Content mediation

There are two principal approaches to adding material to a repository - self-archiving (in which authors deposit their own papers in the repository), and mediated deposition (where a dedicated member of staff handles the deposition process on authors' behalf). Both approaches require administrative effort for such things as fielding practical queries from authors, PDF-making, quality checking, or even making deposits. Superficially, self-archiving by authors ought to require less administrative effort, but the capacity for authors to make mistakes means that saving may not be as much as you would expect. Mediated deposition tends to yield benefits including improved data quality, and higher deposition rates.

Estimating the time required for administration is highly variable and dependent on your deposition rates - although there is a chicken-and-egg situation here (see Benchmarking and Targets). Advocacy materials often state that it only takes 10 minutes to deposit an item, complicated items can take much longer (for instance, if you need to merge separate files for figures in with the body of a paper). With fully mediated deposition, 30 minutes per item would also make allowance for other administrative activities. This estimate can perhaps only be halved for an author self-archiving system.

Using these figures and your anticipated (or target) deposition rate, you can calculate how many Administrator FTEs you need. For a mediated-deposit system in a large institution, you should really think in terms of whole-FTE posts, with any spare time they have devoted to advocacy initiatives. You may be able to get away with half-FTE admin roles in smaller institutions and/or with author self-archiving.

Find out more from the JISC Digital Repositories infoKit