Holistic approaches to Institutional Repositories at Open Repositories 2018

Open Repositories 2018

Open Repositories, an annual international conference that brings together users, developers, and librarians to discuss open digital repository platforms for institutional data and scholarship, was held in Bozeman, Montana from June 4 - 8. Anna Sackmann, a librarian and RDM consultant, attended to learn more about how other institutions are incorporating repository deposit into the researcher workflow and to present related local efforts at UC Berkeley. The conference attracts attendees from the US, Asia, Australia, and all over Europe who provide diverse perspectives on the management of digital content to enable reuse, discovery, and long-term preservation.

Libraries play a central role in the archiving and preservation of research outputs. In the United States, private and federal funding agencies require that research data and other outputs be organized and archived for the long term, especially for purposes of reusing and reproducing research. These mandates contribute to a growing culture of open research, in which research data, methods, and subsequent publications are made freely available with the goal of advancing research for all. In order to support these mandates and open research in general , institutions (academic, government and other entities that support the preservation and scholarship) require a robust infrastructure that makes research outputs discoverable, reusable, and easy for researchers to utilize and incorporate into their workflow.

In the UK, open access and preservation of open data has been institutionally and federally mandated for many years. The success of these mandates, bolstered by federal funding for infrastructure, has resulted in a large number of researchers depositing their publications and supporting research materials (data, code, images, etc.) into their institution’s repository . This high compliance rate (e.g. 83% of faculty at the University of Glasgow in Scotland) is the result of a research culture of sharing and openness and deposit processes that easily integrate into a researcher’s workflow. For example, one system with a high deposit rate automises much of the process for the researcher. Following a simple upload by the researcher, a librarian incorporates metadata and generates other information that insures discovery on their institutional platform. Service providers who work with institutions and researchers, like GitHub, Zenodo, and repository software (Samvera, DSpace, and Fedora), increasingly collaborate to create seamless integrations between platforms that serve different stages of the research workflow. For example, code from a repository in GitHub can be pulled into Zenodo, a research data repository run out of CERN. Zenodo then assigns a digital object identifier to the code and archives it for future reuse and discovery.

The five day meeting provided librarians, developers, and users with an opportunity to develop a holistic understanding of research data archival processes, institutional culture around open data, and the technical expertise that is required to create robust and practical archiving solutions. At UC Berkeley, the Research Data Management Program, the Library, and the California Digital Library, collaborate closely to educate users on research data publishing. If you would like more information about our institutional repository, eScholarship, which complies with the UC open access policy, or Dash, the UC data repository, please contact researchdata@berkeley.edu.