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Networking Repositories, Optimizing Impact: Georgia Knowledge Repository Meeting


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Prepared as the keynote for the Georgia Knowledge Repository's annual meeting, this presentation discusses why repositories are important, the challenges they face, and solutions or opportunities for networking repositories and optimizing their impact for local, regional and global communities.

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Networking Repositories, Optimizing Impact: Georgia Knowledge Repository Meeting

  1. 1. GEORGIA KNOWLEDGE REPOSITORY MEETING COMO2014, Augusta Karen Calhoun October 2, 2014 1 Networking repositories Optimizing impact Link to Slideshare:
  2. 2. Topics today Why repositories are important o Value/positive impact up to now oWhat is or could be in them o Reasons to get excited about repositories going forward Challenges of repositories o Content o Visibility and reach o Little to no “social life” Solutions / opportunities for repositories (optimizing impact) o “Networking” – recruiting content, enhancing visibility, interaction 2
  3. 3. WHY REPOSITORIES ARE IMPORTANT 3 Source of traffic analysis: (US data only)
  4. 4. A lightning introduction to repositories Dictionary definition: ◦ A place or container where things can be deposited for storage or safekeeping A key outcome of the first decade of digital library research and practice (1991-2001) Most are open access (online, free of charge, free of most copyright and licensing restrictions) Three kinds of repos: Subject-based (centered on a subject, discipline or a group of these) Institutionally-based (centered on the intellectual output of an institution) Meta-repositories (repository of repositories, like GKR) 4
  5. 5. How Many Repositories Worldwide? We don’t know, but … (shown) tracks 3,045 repos … containing 12.3 million items tracks 3,787 tracks 2,760 5 40% or more of registered repos use the DSpace repository platform
  6. 6. The Value of Repositories Up to Now Improved discoverability and public accessibility of scholarly information (broad access for more people) ◦ Repos are routinely crawled and indexed by search engines (Google and Google Scholar) – Items reach a broad audience; downloaded often ◦ Growing number of open access versions of articles ◦ In a sample of 2500+ articles from subscription-based journals, 38% had open access versions – and Google/Google Scholar located over ¾ of them (Norris, Oppenheim, Rowland 2008) Open exchange between systems – interoperability, remixing, re-use, disclosure, dissemination (“networking”) Centralized, easier access to hard-to-find content ◦ Repos contain not only pre-prints and post-prints of articles, but reports and working papers, teaching and learning materials, presentations, conference proceedings, media, student work … Long-term access to materials (preservation) 6
  7. 7. 7 Networking repositories
  8. 8. Getting Attention on the Web 8 “You Are What You Link” Source: Adamic and Adar 2001
  9. 9. Discoverability: Integrated and Decentralized Integrated discoverability “The Libraries will need a [pre-indexed] system or service layer that integrates metadata from internal, external, owned, licensed, and freely-available data sources selected by library staff” (Hanson et al. 2011) Decentralized discoverability “The Libraries should generate … metadata for local collections and data sources that can be exported, harvested, or made available for crawling by external systems.” (Hanson et al. 2011) 9
  10. 10. An Example of Best Practice (you are what you link)! 10
  11. 11. 11
  12. 12. Integrated Discovery 12 Content from Creators and Their Agents Local Catalog Local Repositories Locally managed resources Feeds from other sources (fee or free) Local discovery layer Decentralized Discoverability Uploaded/harvested/crawled /indexed metadata & links Library cooperative commons services and registries GALILEO Search engines (Google, Google Scholar) National, National, international, and domain-specific collections and international, and domain-specific collections and National, international, and domain-specific services services collections and services GKR Georgia DL DPLA
  13. 13. What’s in repositories today? Source: Calhoun, K. (2014). Exploring Digital Libraries. p. 95. 13
  14. 14. Some additional reasons to get excited about repositories (and what they might contain) Support particular teaching and learning environments ◦ Example: Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College ( ◦ Example: Seaside Research Portal at Notre Dame University ( Collect and showcase faculty, student or other local work or events ◦ Example: Bucknell University institutional repository, e.g., Faculty Colloquia speaker series ( ◦ Example: Franklin & Marshall College student honors theses ( Select “college library”) ◦ Example: Hurricane Digital Memory Bank ( Expose special collections of institutional significance to a larger audience ◦ Example: Franklin & Marshall College yearbooks ( Select “college library”) Expose and preserve Georgia local and family history ◦ Georgia HomePLACE and the Digital Library of Georgia (; see also 14
  15. 15. THE CHALLENGES OF REPOSITORIES 15 “If a network-based service’s intended communities do not actively engage and participate, the service will die.”* *Calhoun, K. (2014). Exploring Digital Libraries. p. 180.
  16. 16. A repository should not be a solution looking for a problem to solve 16 Source: Cf. Rieger 2008, under section 2
  17. 17. Problems of institutional repositories Visibility and reach (low awareness and recognition) Weak understanding of community needs and attitudes, work practices, motivators Difficulty articulating the value Difficulty recruiting content Read-only (“web 1.0”) Often conceived of as “destination sites” only (rather than as assets to be networked) 17
  18. 18. Low awareness of institutional repository 92.7% 75.8% 57.2% 100.0% 80.0% 60.0% 40.0% 20.0% 0.0% D-Scholarship@Pitt Unaware undergrads Unaware grad/PhD Unaware faculty 18 Source: Calhoun and Fudrow 2014, detail of slide 16; see also Moore 2011
  19. 19. Subject-Based Repositories In general, subject-based repositories have been more successful at attracting submissions and use World ranking of 1,746 web repositories, January 2014 Source: 19
  20. 20. Successful Subject Repositories: Are woven into the way their disciplines communicate:  Readers/researchers: where they look for information, see what’s been or will be published, look for collaborators  Writers/contributors: where they “register” their work (and establish claims to discoveries), where they first share their work with colleagues for comment/review Had a strong community orientation at inception and have a high degree of trust and participation at maturity 20 Cf. Erway 2012
  21. 21. Needs Assessment: the exception rather than the rule WHY DO IT Understand the context of potential use Understand workflows and work practices, preferences, beliefs of potential depositors Identify use cases Generate awareness Understand how to talk about repositories to those who will contribute content ◦ (how does the repository solve their problems?) WHO HAS DONE IT Almost no one Exceptions: ◦ St Jean et al. 2011 (the IR as a local resource) ◦ Maness, Miaskiewicz and Sumner 2008 (IR “personas”) ◦ Moore 2011 (faculty attitudes and practices) ◦ Palmer, Teffeau and Newton 2008 (problems an IR might solve for faculty) 21
  22. 22. Content recruitment: A critical measure of engagement and participation 22 Ratio of amount of content in the repository content that could reasonably be expected to be there
  23. 23. How big are they vs. how big should they be? “If all of the tenured academic research active staff at a UK university deposited all of their annual output (papers, presentations, learning materials, etc.) in the institutional repository, deposits would be in the range of 10,000 items per year” (Carr and Brody 2007) 23
  24. 24. Some Size Comparisons Name of Repository No. of items (year reported) World Ranking* 971,292 (2014) 1 Research Papers in 400,000 (2014) 4 Economics (RePEc) University of California eScholarship 74,678 (2014) 6 AgEcon Search 78,467 (2014) 9 DSpace@MIT 74,986 (2014) 18 SMARTech (Georgia 46,520 (2014) 67 Tech) Athenaeum (U. of Ga.) 14,204 (2014) 587 24 Sources: Cybermetrics Lab, OpenDOAR; data as of July 2014; 1,983 repositories tracked
  25. 25. “Social” repositories? People used to social sites bring their expectations with them when they approach repositories, but … Most repositories continue to operate from a traditional, collections-centered, “siloed” service model The social nature and roles of a library are typically lost – repositories and other digital libraries are mostly read-only (“web 1.0”) “Social” platforms are active, open, gregarious and “chatty” with people, organizations, other software, servers, apps …  A repository that incorporates social web approaches continues to be the exception rather than the rule 25
  26. 26. An Experiment at Teachers College, Columbia University 26 “Institutional repositories may garner greater community participation by shifting the focus from library goals … to one that focuses on building localized teaching and learning communities …” (Cocciolo 2010)
  27. 27. Networking Repositories - Some Bad News Low Indexing Ratios (Google Scholar) A large proportion of repository traffic comes from Google Scholar AND “Search engine optimization (SEO) research conducted at the University of Utah has revealed that many institutional repositories have a low indexing ratio [average 30%] in Google Scholar.” (Arlitsch and O’Brien 2012) EEK! 27
  28. 28. Networking Repositories - Some Good News GALILEO attracts a good deal of attention on the Web AND The inclusion of the Georgia Knowledge Repository in the GALILEO discovery environment should be A GOOD THING! 28 Source:, 9/24/2014 Unique visitors per month Range from ~75K to ~200K
  29. 29. 29 Optimizing impact
  30. 30. The starting point: Working with a “mess” … holistically 30 “Repositories and services often exist in this sort of mess. Not as a result of any failing or sloppiness on the part of the managers or developers, but because … repositories exist in the midst of an extremely complex set of interactions and influences (only a small percentage of which are technical).” (Robertson, Mahey, and Barker 2008)
  31. 31. Positive interdependence An element of cooperative and collaborative learning where members of a group who share common goals perceive that working together is individually and collectively beneficial and success depends on the participation of all members 31
  32. 32. Solutions and Opportunities to Consider 1. A strategy based on community engagement to… 2. Recruit or aggregate content 3. Visibility and reach (discoverability) All need to be understood at 3 levels simultaneously: 32 (Remember slide 14? Integrated AND decentralized discoverability)
  33. 33. 1. Positive interdependence: Understanding and engaging with communities 33
  34. 34. What to do? INVENTORY REPOSITORIES ASSESS NEEDS - UNDERSTAND AUDIENCES 34 Name Size Usage (stats, web analytics) Rankings Similar/related/competitor sites Last needs assessment? Benefits to target audiences Communications/outreach activities Potential for social features? What else? Audience segmentation Size Needs assessments Work practice studies Discipline-specific norms Funders, funding policies Value propositions (by audience segment) What else?
  35. 35. Improving value propositions to stakeholders and target audiences Hosting Library • Fostering open access to scholarship • Raising profile of library’s curatorial role in scholarly communication Parent Institution • Showcasing institution’s intellectual output/prestige • Source of institution-level metrics Institution’s End-Users • Discovering research conducted locally • Engaging with learners and teachers • Networking, finding collaborators Institution’s Faculty & Researchers • Increasing exposure to work • Solving visibility, management, or access problems Selected communities statewide, regionally, nationally, globally? • Demonstrating societal benefits of research and education • Supporting knowledge transfer and economic growth Adapted from: Calhoun, K. (2014). Exploring Digital Libraries. Table 8.1, p. 183 35
  36. 36. 2. Positive interdependence: Recruiting or aggregating content 36
  37. 37. Things to think about: recruiting content More “social,” interactive interface Understanding and articulating the value from THEIR perspectives Making it easy to get started Crowdsourcing Talking about open access … carefully and strategically Additional services (mediated deposit, automated deposit, copyright, author fees, altmetrics e.g. tracking downloads) Many more ideas: Exploring Digital Libraries, p. 197 (Table 8.2, “Barriers and Service Responses for IRs:”) Involving intended audiences in setting strategy/objectives Finding and working with “champions” New kinds of content Validating assumptions about intended audiences, needs, content, expectations Branding (or re-branding) and communications programs (including ones using liaison librarians to build relationships/get the word out) Raising awareness and recognition of value 37
  38. 38. 3. Positive interdependence: Enhancing visibility and reach (discoverability) 38
  39. 39. Positive Interdependence: Integrated and Decentralized Discoverability Shared Values: Data Sharing, Syndication, Synchronization, Linking Local Authentication, Discovery/ Delivery Services Group Discovery/ Delivery Services (like GALILEO) Outward Integration, Exposure, and Linking (e.g., Search engines, other global aggregators) 39
  40. 40. Things to think about: discoverability Web traffic analysis (at local and GKR/GALILEO level) Define and implement best practices for SEO/ASEO Provide stable identifiers and URLs Establish links from high traffic sites (e.g., learning management systems?) For certain types of collections, working with Wikipedia Participate in registries and interoperability frameworks (other repositories of repositories) New institutional repositories for local collections whose metadata can be exported, harvested, made available for crawling Discovery system indexing for GKR and/or for GALILEO as a whole (selected external repositories and outside sources like HathiTrust, Internet Archive, top-ranked subject repositories, other sources that are or could be indexed by EBSCO Discovery Service) 40
  41. 41. Thank You! No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main. Meditation XVII, John Donne 41
  42. 42. References -1/3- Adamic, Lada A., and Eytan Adar. “You Are What You Link.” In 10th Annual International World Wide Web Conference, Hong Kong. 2001. Arlitsch, Kenning, and Patrick S. O’Brien. “Invisible Institutional Repositories: Addressing the Low Indexing Ratios of IRs in Google Scholar.” Library Hi Tech 30, no. 1 (February 3, 2012): 60–81. doi:10.1108/07378831211213210 Arlitsch, Kenning, and Patrick S. OBrien. 2013. Improving the Visibility and Use of Digital Repositories through SEO. LITA Guides. Chicago IL: ALA Editions. Calhoun, Karen. Exploring Digital Libraries: Foundations, Practice, Prospects. Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman, An imprint of the American Library Association, 2014. Calhoun, Karen, and John Fudrow. Highlights of ULS FY14 General Survey. University of Pittsburgh. University Library System, January 31, 2014. 0Survey.pdf 42
  43. 43. References -2/3- Carr, Leslie, and Tim Brody. “Size Isn’t Everything.” D-Lib Magazine 13, no. 7/8 (July 2007). doi:10.1045/july2007-carr. Cocciolo, Anthony. “Can Web 2.0 Enhance Community Participation in an Institutional Repository? The Case of PocketKnowledge at Teachers College, Columbia University.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 36, no. 4 (July 2010): 304–12. doi:10.1016/j.acalib.2010.05.004 Erway, Ricky. Lasting Impact Sustainability of Disciplinary Repositories. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC Research, 2012. Hanson, Cody, Heather Hessel, Deborah Boudewyns, et al. Discoverability Phase 2 Final Report. Report, February 4, 2011. Maness, J. M., T. Miaskiewicz, and T. Sumner. “Using Personas to Understand the Needs and Goals of Institutional Repository Users.” D-Lib Magazine 14, no. 9/10 (2008). Moore, Gale. “Survey of University of Toronto Faculty Awareness, Attitudes, and Practices Regarding Scholarly Communication: A Preliminary Report,” March 3, 2011. 43
  44. 44. References -3/3- Norris, M., C. Oppenheim, and F. Rowland. “Finding Open Access Articles Using Google, Google Scholar, OAIster and OpenDOAR.” Online Information Review 32, no. 6 (2008): 709–15. Palmer, C. L., L. C. Teffeau, and M. P. Newton. Identifying Factors of Success in CIC Institutional Repository Development-Final Report. Urbana, IL: Center for Informatics Research in Science and Scholarship, August 2008. Rieger, O. Y. “Opening up Institutional Repositories: Social Construction of Innovation in Scholarly Communication.” Journal of Electronic Publishing 11, no. 3 (2008).;view=fulltext Robertson, R. John, Maendra Mahey, and Phil Barker. “A Bug’s Life?: How Metaphors from Ecology Can Articulate the Messy Details of Repository Interactions.” Ariadne, no. 57 (2008): 5. St. Jean, Beth, S. Y. Rieh, E. Yakel, and K. Markey. “Unheard Voices: Institutional Repository End-Users.” College & Research Libraries 72, no. 1 (2011): 21–42. 44