Open Access at the University of Southampton Pushing…

Open Access at the University of Southampton. Pushing the boundaries and the art of the possible.
Case study

“At the University of Southampton researchers, academics, service providers and senior management have been working together for ten years in a partnership to underpin an “open” approach to research and learning resources based on the repository model.

Innovative research at the School of Electronics and Computer Science set out the technical building blocks for making research available on open access. As a next step, the JISC- funded TARDis project (Targeting Academic Research for Dissemination and Disclosure) successfully brought together internal departments – the Library, the University Computing Service and the Intelligence, Agents, Multimedia Research Group within Electronics and Computer Science. Together, they committed to support an institutional strategy for making scholarly communication both more visible and more accessible. This partnership approach remains key and has allowed Southampton to extend open access into other areas including the learning repository.

At institutional level the value of the research repository has been strongly identified with the University’s strategies for the RAE/REF, and with the institutional response to meeting funder mandates. The University of Southampton became the first university in the UK to adopt a formal requirement that all academic staff make access to their published research available online through the institutional repository. Senior management support has been crucial as has been the promotion of the benefits to the author. Institutional strategy often means less to individual academics and researchers than how the services provide benefits to them. It is therefore important to link open access to the research and learning process, and to the benefits of increasing visibility. A pragmatic approach combined with a strongly visible support service has underpinned the way in which open access has been developed institutionally at Southampton.

The University’s main priorities going forward are to increase the amount of open content by encouraging the direct deposit of postprints in the research repository and increasing the range of material across disciplines in the learning repository. In parallel Southampton will experiment with scoping options to link access to research data initially at metadata level.”