A community approach to organizing, sharing, and preserving the scientific and creative works of an institution: The case of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Mayagüez Institutional Repository
Ayala-González, Hilda Teresa
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In 2014, the General Library at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Mayagüez Campus began working on the development and implementation of their Institutional Repository (IR) to preserve and provide access to the research outputs and creative work of researchers and graduate students. A series of strategic partnerships with key stakeholders at several campuses were cultivated in order to secure funding, build infrastructure capacity, and develop human resources to launch a successful initiative. Initial financial support from the University’s Nanotechnology Center, the Chancellor’s Office, and the Transformational Initiative for Graduate Education and Research allowed the acquisition of servers and the hiring and training of staff. After a careful evaluation of several open source platforms, a team comprised of librarians and personnel of the Information Technology Center selected DSpace and began the needed customization. Challenges and drawbacks forced the team to rethink the initiative several times. Finally, after joining forces with the Graduate Studies Office (GST), the Institutional Repository was revitalized to provide centralized access and long term storage to all electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). As these documents were stored in several servers and webpages without standardization or metadata, the project was divided into a number of stages. The first phase began in March 2017 with the migration ETDs from 2003 to 2017 accessible via the GST webpage. More recently, January 2018, the second phase was completed with a pilot where graduate students self-deposit their own documents. Along the way, policies, documentation manuals, and best practices were shaped and implemented. This presentation will address the challenges and accomplishments of building an IR, creating policies and procedures, designing workflows, standardizing metadata fields, training staff, as well as planning for future integration with other open source platforms such as VIREO and VIVO. Finally, issues related to advocacy and sustainability will be discussed.