Institutional Repository (IR) Crib Sheet
Institutional Repository (IR) Crib Sheet
Ready responses to faculty questions and concerns about the IR
Questions about using the IR vs. other archive or, department web page
I already put my stuff in arXiv (or another repository). Why should I put it in the IR?
|·||The IR will give your paper a URL that will never break – in 20 years, a citation to your paper that gives the IR link will still work and get people to your paper.|
|·||Also, you don’t need to worry that the server will be maintained. Sometimes, at the departmental level, the “care and feeding” of a project or server is dependent on a set of interested individuals, and if they leave or get new interests, the project may languish. The whole business of libraries is to develop and maintain collections, independent of personalities – having made a commitment to something, we’ll keep it going.|
|·||We don’t know the capabilities of your eprint server, but our IR provides “access control” – if you don’t happen to want the whole world to see something, we can control access to it, that is, the people you want to see your paper will be asked to log in to see it.|
|See also “Published materials and copyright questions” section below|
Why is posting to DSpace better than posting to a department web site?
There are both pros and cons. Here are some pros:
|·||It’s far easier to interact with the IR than with the campus web servers|
|·||Google gives preferential treatment to materials in IRs: your paper definitely be picked up, and will appear higher up on the Google results list|
|·||If you want to restrict access to your work, you can work with the IR administrators to set that up.|
|·||Long-term accessibility: things in the IR get an address (the “handle”) that will never break – you can cite it, and the plan is that 10 – 20 – 30 – indefinite years down the line, that address will still work.|
|·||Long-term readability: one of the underlying commitments with the IR is not just that we’ll maintain works deposited there for the foreseeable, but for certain formats (such as PDF) we are committed to converting or translating or whatever we have to do to keep the material readable.|
|·||We are pledged to maintain the server: backups, regular maintenance, all that, and libraries are all about “long term” maintenance of things.|
And some cons:
|·||Only administrators can change things (the version of the file, for example) once it is deposited in the IR. It’s quite ok – we’re happy to do it – but you have to ask someone to do it, you can’t do it yourself.|
|·||The IR doesn’t have the same “look and feel” as your department pages. But you could deposit your paper in DSpace, and then make a link to it from your department page!|
Questions about how people will find the IR and the things in it (Google questions)
Can you “Google” something in the IR?
|·||Absolutely. Google actually “crawls” IRs more frequently, and puts them higher in its results lists. One of our faculty Googled one of his papers that was both on the departmental site and in the IR, and the IR entry appeared first in the Google results.|
How else will people find the IR?
|·||We expect it will be mostly via Google, but we will shortly be posting links to our IR in various places on the UR website. Departments can add links to the IR from their webpages to help people get there. You can send people the “handles” to your work in DSpace too.|
Searching: what is searchable?
|·||The search box on the IR homepage searches the content of the information fields people fill out when they deposit something in the IR (authors, title, keywords, abstract, etc.). The full text of the deposited item is not indexed at this time by the IR software. However, the full text is indexed (and thus searchable, retrievable) by Google. Go figure!|
Questions about published materials and copyright issues
I’ve already published it, why should I put it in the IR?
|·||It’s easier to put your work in the IR than to post documents to your personal or departmental website – you just click a few buttons and fill in a few blanks; you can do it from any computer; you can even have an administrative assistant or student do it for you.|
|·||When colleagues request copies of your scholarly materials, just give them the URL- no more attaching documents to emails.|
|·||You don’t have to worry about backups, maintenance, etc. – the UR Libraries do that for you.|
|·||Your online files will receive on average 336% more citations than materials available only in paper format.|
What do I do about copyright?
|·||You retain copyright. The “click through license” you’ll see when you deposit something says that you are giving the UR Libraries the right to make your work available, to migrate it to updated formats as that becomes necessary, etc. You retain all intellectual rights to your material, however. Please also see the next question, about material that has been published elsewhere.|
Can I put a journal article or published conference paper into the IR? If the materials in the IR are for educational use, do we even have to get permission from the publisher to put them there?
|·||There are now certain publishers, such as Elsevier and Springer, which are allowing authors to deposit the pre-publication version of their article into an IR. The “Sherpa” project is provides a searchable database of publisher policies regarding IRs, see: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo.php . For conferences, it is best to contact the publisher of the conference proceedings directly.|
If I sign my copyright away to a publisher can I still post my article?
|·||It… depends. Some publishers will allow you to post the pre-publication version. We can help you figure this out; as mentioned above, the “Sherpa” project website can be helpful for determining this.|
What version of an article can I post? It is more natural to post an article at the time of submission. When it is published, I've moved on to other work.
|·||See above – if the publisher allows it, the last pre-publication version – the text you send to the publisher – should be the “ok” version. What you can’t do is take the “published” version – with all the formatting (columns and such) – from, say, the electronic version of a journal, and put that version in the IR. That you must not do.|
Questions about access, versions, and removals
Can I control who sees my work in the IR?
|·||Indirectly, yes: you cannot do it yourself, but you can just ask your campus IR administrator to set up restricted access. At this time, each individual you want to give rights to see your work will need to register in the IR, and be added to an internal “group” that has access rights to the item you deposited.|
|·||Please note that in general, we would prefer that most of the material going into the IR be available to the world.|
What if I revise a paper I’ve put in the IR? Can I add the new version, or replace the old with the new?
|·||This might be a good place to note that the IR is meant for finished material, not works in progress. At the same time, we know “revisions happen,” and we are happy to make sure the most up-to-date version of your work is available in the IR.|
|·||Unfortunately, at this point you can’t get back in and edit your deposit. (We realize this is inconvenient.) If you revise a paper you’ve deposited, or want to add an addendum, send the new material to your campus IR administrator, with a note indicating what you want done. We can add a new version to your existing deposit, along with labels indicating which is the original paper, and which is the latest version (or addendum). It’s easy (for us) to do this, and we are happy to – so don’t hesitate to ask.|
What if I really want to remove something I put in the IR?
|·||This is something you can’t do yourself, but your campus IR administrator will be happy to do it for you. There are 2 levels of making something no longer available in the IR:|
|·||Withdrawal: the item will not be visible, and search engines will be blocked from detecting it, but the item will actually continue to exist in the IR. An Administrator would be able to reinstate it.|
|·||Removal: the item will be deleted from the IR, and cannot be reinstated without re-submitting it.|
|·||When an item is Withdrawn or Removed, a “tombstone” is left in its place. If someone should enter the item’s URL (or “handle”, in IR parlance), they will get a message that gives a reason why the item is no longer available, and the email for the DSpace administrators. If the DSpace administrators receive a message about a removed item, they will forward it to the appropriate person(s). Using a ‘generic’ contact avoids the problem of updating tombstone messages as people come and go.|
Who are these “campus IR administrators”?
|·||Many of the librarians on the various UR campuses can help guide you through the registration or deposit process, or explain things about how the IR works. In addition, on each campus there is a librarian who is also the designated IR administrator, who has administrative access rights to the IR. They can set up communities and collections, set up access controls, change or remove deposits, and fix typos in records.|
|o||River Campus: Suzanne Bell, firstname.lastname@example.org|
|o||UR Medical Center: Michele Shipley, Michele_Shipley@urmc.rochester.edu|
|o||Eastman School of Music: Jim Farrington, email@example.com|
Questions about what can go into the IR and who can put things in
Who can make deposits to DSpace?
|·||Basically, anyone at the UR who registers as a user and requests authorization to deposit to a particular collection. We try to set up the “collection structure” with some input from the department, so that there’s some organization and sense of what’s going on, but so far, no departments have chosen to have a “gatekeeper” who would review and accept or reject submissions.|
What can be posted? Who decides? Is it peer reviewed?
|·||Scholarly or artistic work of enduring value. And who decides that! J Frankly, we are trusting that people will have a sense of what this means, and be sensitive enough to the image they are presenting to the world, not dump a bunch of junk into the IR. (There is a certain amount of “process” to go through, to deposit things, so it’s likely you will only do it for things you really think are good, and you want to share with the world.) Right now, no departments have chosen to appoint anyone as gatekeeper, reviewing what goes into the IR. Our sense is it will be somewhat self-regulating. It is not peer reviewed. (It is possible to set up a collection that way – to have a person or several people required to review materials that are submitted – but no one has chosen to do that yet.)|
Can I only put .pdf’s and text files into the IR?
|·||You can put any kind of digital material in DSpace, including images and multimedia formats.|
What file formats do the submissions have to be in and how can you be sure they are updateable?
|·||There is a full and detailed list available here: http://www.lib.rochester.edu/index.cfm?PAGE=1360 Almost all types of formats can be submitted – anything, really: if you can upload it, you can put it in the IR. Certain formats are “supported,” i.e., we are pledging to keep them readable. These are listed first, and include formats such as PDF, Postscript, plain text, HTML, GIF, JPEG, and AIFF (for sound).|
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Can I put web pages in the IR?
|·||At the moment, the IR does not handle deposits of web pages very gracefully. While we experience web pages that have pictures, graphics, multimedia, etc., as unified presentations, they are really made up of totally separate files: text files, graphics files, etc. DSpace is happy to accept all the pieces into one “deposit,” but is unable (now) to display the web page back to the users as one integrated unit. It can only list and offer links to the separate pieces. We are waiting on a DSpace software enhancement called “bundling” to fix this situation.|
|·||Until “bundling” is possible, the work-around we suggest is to deposit the original web page, along with a PDF. This will allow users to see an exact representation of the page (color and everything), while we also archive the original formats. The full version of Adobe can convert web pages to PDF; there are also shareware programs (such as HTMLDOC) available on the web that do a pretty good job.|
|Other questions and answers|
|What are these weird URLs? Who owns Handle.net?|
|·||Each item deposited is given a unique and unbreakable URL, such as http://hdl.handle.net/1802/228 , known as a “handle.” To ensure that URLs don’t break even though the files themselves may have to be physically moved from one storage location to another, all of the URLs point to Handle.net, which is a service provided by the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI). Handle.net then redirects the user to the current location of the file.|
|Is there a permanent way to cite work in the IR in my CV?|
|·||Yes – that is what the “handle” system is all about. Once deposited, just copy the “handle.net/1802/…” URL that appears in the record. That is your permanent link to your item in DSpace.|
Will our IR be part of a larger consortium of IRs?
|·||Yes, the IR software we are using is called DSpace, and the University is part of the DSpace Federation, which includes many prestigious institutions such as MIT, Columbia, Cornell, and Cambridge in the UK.|
Why do we need an IR when we have journals?
|·||The IR is mainly aimed at those materials that may not, for whatever reason, make it into a journal. Things like conference presentations, preprints, working papers, white papers, theses and dissertations, special collections (such as unique musical scores and 19th century photographs)… There are many, many great pieces of scholarship and artistic endeavor produced on our campus that don’t end up as journal articles. Why not try to capture them and share them with the world?|
Why have a separate login and password, why not just use NetID?
|·||Trust us, we’re working on it! ;) We agree, NetID is the way to go. We’re working on implementation.|
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