Jun 082007

The JISC conference Digital Repositories: Dealing with the Digital Deluge took place in Manchester earlier this week, and JISC has now provided a summary here.

The first plenary talk by Andy Powell of Eduserve reviewed the Digital Repositories Roadmap. This was published by Eduserve and UKOLN in July last year, with funding from JISC. From publishers’ perspectives, the parts about open access will be of particular interest:

The vision for 2010 refers to the wish that a “high percentage of newly published scholarly outputs [be] made on available on terms of open access” and speaks of “a growing recognition of the benefits of making academic content more available”. The question now, as far as these goals are concerned, said Andy Powell, is increasingly “not if, but when…” The situation now might therefore require us to set a more ambitious target than that of a “high percentage”, he said.

Andy Powell’s slides are available in full on Slideshare and are worth reviewing. Apart from the open access issues, there are interesting issues arising with geospatial data and with regard to learning objects and research data.

Another plenary keynote was given by Professor Drummond Bone, Vice Chancellor of the University of Liverpool and President of Universities UK (Powerpoint slides). Universities UK was:

“firmly behind” JISC’s approach to the development of open access repositories, suggesting that repositories were “vital to universities’ economies and to the UK economy as a whole.”

Although Universities UK has recently produced a Policy Brief on open access (I blogged about this a few days ago here) the presentation is much broader (although it opens with a slide on OA), covering efficiencies in managing academic assets, data-driven science, lifelong learning and preservation.

The conference was also notable for the launch of The Depot. This will have two main services:

1. a re-direct service, with the Depot acting as a gateway, especially to repositories at UK universities (institutional repositories)
2. a deposit service for e-prints, with the Depot acting as a national repository for researchers not yet having an institutional repository in which to deposit their papers, articles, and book chapters (e-prints).

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