Open Access and Institutional Repositories: the DRUM Experience

As part of the Catholic University of America Libraries speaker series on Open Access for International Open Access Week, Terry Owen, Digital Scholarship Librarian from the University of Maryland, College Park, gave a talk October 20, 2015 on institutional repositories. While he focused on the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland(DRUM), he discussed also the general issues and problems that are faced by any academic institution that wants to set up an IR. His comments are summarized below.
OA literature can be defined as “…digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.” (Peter Suber, 2004)
SPARC has their definition: “Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles, coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment.”
Mr. Owen defined open access as “a digital collection capturing and preserving the intellectual output of a single or multi-university community.”
The Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) lists over 3,000 academic IRs.
Terry Owen
Terry Owen describes how DRUM came about

Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM)

  • Initial proposal to Provost from ULC May 2003
  • Mission: to store, index, distribute, and preserve the research works of UMD faculty
  • Developed using DSpace
  • Open source
  • Active user community
  • Out-of-the-box implementation
DRUM was launched in August, 2004 with more than 1,100 documents. As of October, 2015, the repository contains more than 16,500 documents: 10,744 these and dissertations and 5,897 faculty and student papers and projects. The documents have been auto-added for many years.
Having good policies on managing an IR can save time and effort.

DRUM policies:

  • Depositor must be a UMD faculty member
  • Depositor must have the ability to assign needed rights to UMD
  • Deposits must be substantial works of scholarship
  • Deposits must be complete and able to stand alone as a work or collection(no notes, etc.)
  • No restrictions on the formats

Faculty outreach is the key to getting faculty involved. Terry offered the following suggestions:

  • Campaign to faculty offering to deposit papers on their behalf and check copyright permissions
  • Participate in new faculty orientation
  • Open access week
  • Work extensively with library liaisons

Faculty need to know their rights and obligations. The SHERPA/RoMEO website satisfies this need by cataloging publisher copyright policies and self-archiving limits.

Faculty needed to be convinced to deposit in DRUM. Faculty had many concerns:

  • Redundancy
  • No time
  • Copyright confusion
  • Fear of plagiarism
  • Work associated with inconsistent quality
  • Publishers might not accept articles for publication if freely available

However, there are advantages:

  • Research widely available
  • Greatly increases the chances of the research being cited
  • Access is maintained with a permanent URL
  • No need to maintain files or changing URLs on personal websites
  • Easy to deposit works along with associated content
  • Research is quickly and easily available from any computer at any location
  • Number of downloads shows impact of research
DRUM and other IRs have focused on adding grey literature from:
  • Research centers/institutes
  • Undergraduate research
  • Research data
  • Electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs)

For DRUM, adding ETDs electronic theses and dissertations have been mandatory since September, 2003. The documents are submitted via the web in PDF form, are automatically deposited in DRUM, and are still available in the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global database.

Students have embargo options:

  • Restrict access for one year
  • Seek patent protection for material in the thesis
  • Published in a journal that has restrictions for depositing in an open access repository can restrict access for six years
  • Publish a book based on the research
  • Restrict access indefinitely (requires written approval by the Dean of the graduate school)

Terry has found that embargo requests in DRUM average 39% per semester by students which seems high (Terry does not know why).

Open Access Proposal was submitted to the UMD Academic Senate in 2009:

The Resolution

  • The president should collaborate with other universities
  • Library should keep faculty informed and assist in negotiating copyright arrangements
  • Researchers are encouraged to publish in OA journals, negotiate to retain the right to post, and consider journal price
  • Researchers are encouraged to deposit in DRUM

However, the senate voted in April, 2009 and turned it down!

What did we learn?

  • Need a clear message
  • Focus on one aspect: self archiving
  • Don’t assume faculty know about OA
  • Senate not the best place to start
  • Build support from the ground up
  • Customize message to fit needs and interests of each department

It should be noted that Open Access is different for the sciences and the arts/humanities.

Open Access for the arts and humanities:

  • Books play a larger role in journal articles
  • Demand for articles decline slowly and sometimes grows
  • Use and citation of journal articles is typically much longer
  • Timely access to journal research not as critical as in the sciences
  • Little government funding

What’s happened since at the UMD?

  • Invited to faculty meetings
  • University Library Council spent majority of 2009 to 2011 discussing OA
  • Establish joint Provost/Senate open access task force in 2012
  • UMD signed the Berlin Declaration February, 2013
  • Establish OA publishing fund September, 2013

The session ended with questions from the audience.

Update: December 8th, 2015: Video of the lecture is on YouTube: