Research Repository Blog


Just showing posts with the tag Research Business and Innovation (RBI)

Thurs 27 Oct Interview: RBI and the Repository 

Posted by Anna Lawson | 5 comments

Ruth Quinn is an Administrative Officer for Research & Development in RBI (Research, Business and Innovation). She has worked with the Repository Team as part of her role centrally administrating the upcoming REF (Research Excellence Framework), which will take place in 2014.

Ruth first learnt about the repository when it was still in its early pilot stages, before the system had gone live. She attended an Administrators planning meeting, as she was told having some knowledge of the system would be useful for planning for the REF. Since then, she has worked with the Repository Team to promote both training opportunities and the repository staff themselves to academics and other faculty staff. She also worked with the team to ensure that ’I can actually pull out exactly the information that the REF requests in its submission’.

Late in 2010, academics who wish to be considered for the REF were asked to upload their top six outputs to the UWE Research Repository. Where possible, it was asked that the full text be uploaded. But if this wasn’t possible due to copyright or other issues, the bibliographic record (with no full text attached) was accepted. These records were then made available to the REF Leaders in the faculties to review.

There are a number of benefits to using the repository in this way. Ruth states that

It is really useful to store all the publication information centrally in one place. All the bibliometric data that will be required for the REF is collected on the repository.

It was initially hoped that using this system would enable staff working on the REF simply to download all of the relevant publication information into the HEFCE system, rather than duplicating data entry.

Of course, the UWE Research Repository is not only there to help with the REF. It is also a way of enabling academics to make their work available via open access, and Ruth acknowledges the benefits of this. She has been able to use it in her own work in the Research Support Service:

I’ve used the search facility in the repository to suggest potential partners for research projects and to find appropriate people to send funding opportunities to.

Ruth says that she’d like to see more multi-media on the repository. ’It looks great when you go on and there’s something new that pops up, something visual’. She acknowledges that there are concerns around copyright, but that these can be overcome with the use of Creative Commons licenses and relevant reuse restrictions.

Another benefit of the UWE Research Repository is that PhD students can upload their work to it. Ruth says ‘I would have thought that would be a very useful tool… they can link to their publications when applying for jobs or creating a web profile… it’s a free tool that they’ve got at their fingertips’.

Overall then, the repository is not just a place to store material for the REF (although that is an important function), but also ‘another tool for academics to promote their research. Both internal and external people can use it to find partners for their research’.

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How the UWE Research Repository will be used for REF 2014

o   Adding art and design material to the UWE Research Repository

o   Adding your work as a PhD student, or your thesis, to the UWE Research Repository

Or to ask us any other questions, get in touch with the Repository Team:

Mon 24 Oct Interview: Open Access in the Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education 

Posted by Anna Lawson | 0 comments

Dr Andrew Spicer is a Reader in Cultural History in the Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education. He is also the Director of the Visual Culture Research Group, and the Principal Investigator of an AHRC funded research project which is investigating the work of the film producer Michael Klinger.

Andrew is fully committed to the idea of open access, explaining that


it can only be a good thing if my work is accessible to students and other scholars. As far as we can with the Michael Klinger project a lot of material is placed online and shared with whoever might be interested in using it.


Andrew’s first encounter with the UWE Research Repository was when RBI (Research Business and Innovation) said that this would be where REF materials would be stored. By his own admission, Andrew is something of a technophobe, so asked the Repository Team to add his work for him. This all went smoothly, but after attending a Repository Training session Andrew is now more confident at adding his own research to the repository. He says that ’it is actually very straightforward. It was vital to do some hands-on stuff, just to sit down with somebody there and just to go through it’.


Andrew claims that although communication from RBI was the immediate reason he added material to the repository, he began to see it as an opportunity. One particular reason he likes adding material to the repository is that


you have a chance to lead in your own stuff rather than rely on publishers’ blurbs… you can focus on one particular facet. Publisher’s blurbs are trying to serve too many different audiences, so often they present the books in a rather more general light than I think is necessary. The repository is a means by which the author can reclaim his work slightly.


Other types of material, not just journal articles and book chapters, can be added to the UWE Research Repository. For Andrew, this could include pieces he has written on British filmmakers for encyclopedias and dictionaries, conference papers, and interviews. For all these the Repository Team will check any associated copyright conditions before adding the material to the repository. For example, for book chapters there is often a one or two year embargo before we can make the full text of an item visible.


Andrew thinks that for interviews and conference papers especially the UWE repository


 is a huge plus…, because where else do you put them? Sometimes they go on the websites of the host of the conference and so on, but they only stay there for a limited period. I think that’s a really positive and important function of a repository, to gather material that’s more ephemeral… I would like to see them on the repository for people to look at”.


Andrew recognises that there are still some barriers to adding this sort of research to the repository, especially from researchers in art and design:


There are a few people in the department who are sceptical about the repository. It’s because they feel they will lose control, or lose rights over their work. They’re also worried about the quality of the reproduction on the repository. And for quite understandable reasons they’re keen that their images or their installation work or their design work is seen in its proper form rather than in a kind of fudgy, pixilated version of it.


These are fears that the Repository Team are keen to address, and are willing to talk to art and design researchers with these concerns in order to find a way forward.


Of course, there are always improvements that can be made to any system, and Andrew’s suggestions include things that may be incorporated into the repository in the future. He suggests having


a way of the author ranking the stuff in the repository - showing the first thing I would like people to see to represent my work as a whole. Within that, maybe there could also be groupings of stuff, because my work would group into three main clusters, one around British cinema, one around masculinity and one around film noir. I think it would be rather nice if there could be a way in which items could be sectioned.


There are a number of reasons for Andrew wanting to share his work with as many people as possible. He explains some of these reasons below:


It has improved access… I suspect judging by some of the e-mails I receive my research would have been seen on the repository - I’m not quite sure how they would have come across it otherwise.


This can, of course, be a two-way process – Andrew also searches for other researcher’s work and knows ’from my own Google searches on people that if there are repository agreements in their university they can sometimes come higher (in the rankings)’.


Perhaps most importantly of all,

People are engaging with my work. They’re e-mailing me and we can have dialogues that way. You can start networking in a meaningful way, creating dialogues with people who, most of the time, you’re actually not aware they’re working in that area. I think increasingly it’s also the way Research Councils are thinking. They place greater stress on sharing, and networking, partnerships and so on.


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