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Repository effectiveness: how DepositMO can help

Email inbox button, by smilla4Repository interfaces do not make it obvious enough, attractive enough or easy enough to perform their primary function, to enable authors to deposit content. This was the suggestion that began a recent discussion on the American Scientist Open Access Forum, an email list forum for discussing open access and repositories, and prompted this response from Les Carr of the DepositMO project. The full context for this discussion can be found in the list archives.

On 18 Sep 2010, at 21:59, Velterop wrote:

  • Make a repository easy to find (a Google search for “University of X repository” more often seems to produce a link to an article or press release about the repository than a link to the repository itself, at least on the first few pages of the search results – repositories often have names or acronyms that make them difficult to find if you don’t know the name)
  • Draw attention, unambiguously and very clearly, on the repository home page, to the possibility of submitting a paper/manuscript (e.g. a brightly coloured “submit now!” button)
  • Make the deposit procedure very, very easy and intuitive. Involve UX experts where possible.
  • Make deposit the *prime* focus of the repository. Repositories and their contents can be searched in a variety of ways and via many routes, but submission of articles can only take place via the repository’s own web site.

On 19 Sep 2010, at 09:45, Leslie Carr wrote:

I’d like to take this opportunity to mention the new JISC DepositMO project whose aim is to increase the ease of deposit into repositories chiefly by allowing direct deposit from word processors, office programs and the computer desktop (“save as…” and “send to…” directly into EPrints or DSpace). Although the repository’s web interface should be a useful and advantageous environment for the author as well as the reader, the fact is that depositing is An Extra Thing to add to the author’s workflow, and it might help to woo some recalcitrant professors if it appeared to be the same thing as “saving a new copy” and it could be achieved in the familiar interface of Microsoft Word.

I don’t think that technology changes alone will stimulate more Self Archiving (improve the repository! make it more friendly! make it faster! make it more useful!) There has to be a combination of social, management and technological advances all pressing in the same direction. Make Open Access policies mandatory, make open access practices a key part of your institutional business activities and make open access technology as useful as possible.

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