|dc.description.abstract||Unlike its predecessor project IRIScotland, which took a more top-down approach to developing repository services for users in Scottish HE institutions, the ERIS project took a bottom-up approach, and consulted potential users of repository systems widely at the outset of the project, whether these systems would be for use by single institutions or subject pools. The idea was to find out what the user community actually required in terms of repository systems and services.
In practice we discovered that there was a range of opinion about the usefulness of repositories to researchers, and to institutions. Some groups within HE are already clear about the usefulness of the technology, and the associated workflows. These do not need much persuading. Others see the suggestion that they should use repositories to disseminate their research as an imposition of extra work, additional to the existing publication process, either for themselves or their research administrators. This spectrum of opinion surfaced in both the focus group activity and the case studies, reports on which form part of the appendices to this report. Perhaps surprisingly, the division of opinion was also found among the research pools and their users.
The staff of the project responded to the spectrum of opinion, and the range of commitment to the role of repositories in dissemination, and in the research process, by reformulating their ideas about engagement with the research community in Scotland, and about what was required to achieve the goal of enhancing repository infrastructure for users and stakeholders. This was done in an agile way, and the new approach and new targets were formulated and agreed, and reflected in the quality plan which can be found at Appendix J.
The new approach consisted of two strands. The first was about increased advocacy for the use of repositories, which involved the offer of hosted repository services during the later stages of the project, for institutions which did not already have their own institutional repositories. If these (generally) smaller institutions wished to continue to have access to these hosted repository spaces after the end of the project, it was proposed that these repository-lite services would be administered by the SDLC (the Scottish Digital Library Consortium), at minimal cost. The idea of this was to ensure at least a minimal level of provision nationally, to encourage the use of repositories.
The second strand involved looking beyond the limited period of the project, to what would be required to promote the take-up and development of repository services in the longer term. It was concluded that this would involve developing the business case for continuing ERIS/IRIScotland type work. What the project had in mind was setting up co-ordinating groups and fora for meetings of stakeholders and users, and the research pools. This would be the responsibility of the SCOS group (the Scottish Council for Open Scholarship). It was planned that SCOS would be launched formally at a event closure meeting, held in the Royal Society of Edinburgh, in September 2011. [Quality Plan Appendix J].
The course of the project after the community consultations followed this new approach. The project continued to be agile in response, and influenced related work in Scotland (see section: ‘Outcomes’).
We have a number of recommendations to make for future approaches to repository operations in Scotland. These are listed in a section following.||en_US