Getting to the Repository of the Future

As our workshop day kicks off we bring you this guest post from Chris Awre, Head of Information Management at the University of Hull. 

One of the workshops taking place just prior to the Repository Fringe this year is ‘Getting to the Repository of the Future’.  This Jisc-sponsored event takes as its starting point the encouraging situation that repositories are now far more part of the digital infrastructure of institutions (and the HE sector generally) than they have ever been.  The last decade has seen huge efforts by Jisc and many in the sector to establish institutional and other types of repository to help manage the growing body of digital academic output.  We are now at a place where a large of number of repositories and associated service components are available and working well.  Recent Government open access policy announcements might have cast some uncertainty on the central role of repositories, but the counter-case has been well made and the message more or less taken on board by funders.

Signs of success are a useful indicator of a good time to ask questions about what comes next.  What do we still need to do to fully embed repositories?  What drivers might lead us down particular paths, and what other paths do we need to explore?  What additional institutional assets could benefit from repository involvement in their management?  Are our repositories able to do what we need them to do?  Is our current picture of repository organization a sustainable one?

Questions, questions…  Looking 2, 5 or even 10 years ahead to how we envisage repositories operating will allow us to address these questions and identify the steps we need to take now in order to see these future developments come to pass.  Strategy is all about long-term planning, but that planning needs to start today to ensure it can be fulfilled.

The workshop is an opportunity for those attending to air their thoughts, views, suggestions, etc. to help inform Jisc thinking re: support of future repository development, but also to facilitate the sharing of ideas and stimulate thinking within the HE community itself.  Comment and input is also very welcome via this blog.  Summary findings will be posted post the event, and specific questions floated to stimulate input.  Let us know what you think!

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