The IncReASe (Increasing Repository Content through Automation and Services) was an eighteen month project (subsequently extended to twenty months) to enhance White Rose Research Online (WRRO)1. WRRO is a shared repository of research outputs (primarily publications) from the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York; it runs on the EPrints open source repository platform. The repository was created in 2004 and had steady growth but, in common with many other similar repositories, had difficulty in achieving a “critical mass” of content and in becoming truly embedded within researchers’ workflows. The main aim of the IncReASe project was to assess ingestion routes into WRRO with a view to lowering barriers to deposit. We reviewed the feasibility of bulk import of pre-existing metadata and/or full-text research outputs, hoping this activity would have a positive knock-on effect on repository growth and embedding. Prior to the project, we had identified researchers’ reluctance to duplicate effort in metadata creation as a significant barrier to WRRO uptake; we investigated how WRRO might share data with internal and external IT systems. This work included a review of how WRRO, as an institutional based repository, might interact with the subject repository of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The project addressed four main areas: (i) researcher behaviour: we investigated researcher awareness, motivation and workflow through a survey of archiving activity on the university web sites, a questionnaire and discussions with researchers (ii) bulk import: we imported data from local systems, including York’s submission data for the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), and developed an import plug-in for use with the arXiv2 repository (iii) interoperability: we looked at how WRRO might interact with university and departmental publication databases and ESRC’s repository. (iv) metadata: we assessed metadata issues raised by importing publication data from a variety of sources. A number of outputs from the project have been made available from the IncReASe project web site http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/increase/. The project highlighted the low levels of researcher awareness of WRRO - and of broader open access issues, including research funders’ deposit requirements. We designed some new publicity materials to start to address this. Departmental publication databases provided a useful jumping off point for advocacy and liaison; this activity was helpful in promoting awareness of WRRO. Bulk import proved time consuming – both in terms of adjusting EPrints plug-ins to incorporate different datasets and in the staff time required to improve publication metadata. A number of deposit scenarios were developed in the context of our work with ESRC; we concentrated on investigating how a local deposit of a research paper and attendant metadata in WRRO might be used to populate ESRC’s repository. This work improved our understanding of researcher workflows and of the SWORD protocol as a potential (if partial) solution to the single deposit, multiple destination model we wish to develop; we think the prospect of institutional repository / ESRC data sharing is now a step closer. IncReASe experienced some staff recruitment difficulties. It was also necessary to adapt the project to the changing IT landscape at the three partner institutions – in particular, the introduction of a centralised publication management system at the University of Leeds. Although these factors had some impact on deliverables, the aims and objectives of the project were largely achieved
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