Wednesday 21 May 2008
Increasing the trust in digital repositories
RCUK advise researchers to place research outputs arising from publically funded research in digital repositories. STFCprovide the ePubs digital repository to hold copies of papers by STFC researchers.
Many researchers also use repositories established for their discipline, such as the arXiv repository used in particle physics for many years. A serious growing pain for digital repositories has been the issue of how to identify versions of open access (OA) works deposited in them. Draft versions, working papers, different formats, supporting material and so on are all accepted by repositories, but their version status is often poorly described and items are often not linked together appropriately. This can result in researchers basing arguments on draft versions of papers where the vital point was changed in the final publication. Today JISC has published a Version Identification Framework (VIF) to guide designers and managers of digital repositories to overcome this problem.
The primary recommendation of the VIF project is that the 5 essential pieces of version information identified by the Framework are made transparent to the end users of repositories: defined dates, identifiers, version numbering, version labels or taxonomies and a text description. VIF suggests embedding such information into objects themselves, for example using coversheets or watermarks, as well as storing detailed version information in the repository metadata itself.
Catherine Jones, the STFC Library Systems Development Manager, represented the STFC on the JISC project which produced the VIF. A press release is available from JISC.
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