E-publications@Bond Repository Almost Here
3 April 2006 3 Comments
It was very pleasing to hear from Peta Hopkins with our Bond library that the Digital Commons-hosted E-publications repository is near to full release. Additionally and most usefully there is to be an E-publications blog to keep us informed of future developments.
Back in January 2005 I was on leave in Tasmania and visited my previous Head of Department at the University of Tasmania, Prof Arthur Sale. He is an avid supporter of institutional repositories for research output (see his article in FirstMonday, De-unifying a digital library). He quickly convinced me of the benefits of research staff self-archiving their publications in a local respository and urged me to install the free E-prints repository software from my old alma mater, the University of Southampton, department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
On return to Bond I was only able to acquire capacity on a Faculty of Information Technology server to install E-prints for my faculty colleagues. With a few days assistance from Travis Johnston from the faculty tech support group we were able to install version 2.3 of E-prints on the latest Apache and MySQL distributions, quite a feat apparently. We were able to put up a few publications to prove that the system could be used easily by staff.
Of course our Bond library staff were very interested in our E-prints experiences and quickly invited me to be part of a working party to look at a university-wide solution. We had some very helpful advice from Belinda Weaver who leads the University of Queensland e-repository implementation. In the end Bond quite rightly decided to adopt a hosting solution using the Digital Commons service which allows an institutional repository to be built quickly without the need to buy and install servers and software and create a technical support team.
The benefits of institutional digital repositories are well know but are worth repeating. Research output is available globally to one research peers via all the usual online search avenues including Google and its ilk. Since preprints can be placed in the repository the research results can be made available immediately without the usual delays involved with conference and journal publishing. More than 80% of publishers than will require copyright be transferred to them still agree to this self-archiving online publication in repositories. Another great benefit is the ease with which research output can be made available to students via simple hyperlinks. Even older research publications not in electronic form can be scanned easily and placed in the repository. Probably best of all is the real-time production of access data that allows research authors a measure of how their work is being cited and used by others around the world.
In just a few weeks Peta Hopkins has been able to create and customise the Digital Commons site for our e-publications at Bond repository. I am looking forward to putting up all my publications in electronic form in the next few weeks. This service will be a great leap forward for Bond’s researchers and will give us a strong presence amongst the research universities of the world.