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Open Access: Southampton workshops to pave the way forward

Zepler Building, Highfield Campus
Zepler Building, Highfield Campus

Open Access to scientific and academic research publications is one of the hottest topics currently engaging academic and knowledge managers, publishers, and libraries.

The University of Southampton has considerable experience and expertise in making its academic research freely available online, and is now offering that experience to other UK institutions in the form of two free one-day workshops, being held in Southampton at the end of this month (Open Access Institutional Repositories: Leadership, Direction and Launch).

The first workshop, aimed at archive administrators and those offering technical support for institutional repositories, will take place on Tuesday 25 January and will provide hands-on practical sessions on building and configuring repositories.

The second workshop, geared towards pro-vice chancellors, senior librarians, repository managers and researchers, will take place the next day, Wednesday 26 January. This high-profile event will feature speakers from key players such as

Research Councils UK (RCUK), the British Library, the Wellcome Trust, and other influential UK policy developers. The day will end with a research colloquium on Research Repositories: The Next 10 Years, led by Professor Stevan Harnad, regarded as the founder of the Open Access movement, and Professor Nigel Shadbolt, one of the world's leading experts in knowledge management technologies.

The University of Southampton announced last month that it is to make all of its academic and scientific output freely available and that it is transitioning its own repository from the status of an experiment to an integral part of the research infrastructure of the institution.

'2005 is poised to be a breakthrough year for Open Access,' said Dr Leslie Carr, Technical Director of the open source GNU EPrints software initiative, 'particularly for institutional repositories in the UK. At Southampton we have a significant head start since we created the EPrints software that is used by many UK universities. These workshops are intended to pave the way for other institutions who will inevitably be establishing their own open source archives.

'We are providing these events free of charge in order that as many people as possible can attend, and also in the collegial spirit of the open source community. This is a subject which all institutions need to know about and to plan for, and we are anticipating a high level of interest.'

The University of Southampton is the home of GNU EPrints software, the most widely used software for building Institutional Repositories, and the JISC (the Joint Information Systems Committee) TARDis (Targeting Academic Research for Deposit and Disclosure) project, which has been investigating the technical, cultural and academic issues which surround institutional repositories.


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Posted by Joyce Lewis on 10 Jan 2005.