Contribution of self-archiving to the implementation of open access policies: the case of the Institutional Repository ESTIA of Harokopio University
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Library and Information Centre of Harokopio University (LIC) in 2006 developed the institutional repository ESTIA, emphasizing on the documentation, the publication as well as the administrations’ approval in the context of the academic community for the mandatory policies of open content and open access that govern the grey literature of the university. The primary deposition process of graduate/postgraduate theses and PhD’s was incorporated into the workflow of LIC’s staff responsible for the repository, and has worked since then satisfactory. Although no scientific methods were used for evaluating the original process, the Personnel was constantly trying to indicate the disadvantages of the service in order to be improved in the future. Particularly, even though theses deposition to the Library was a simple process, however a) the physical presence of the student at the Library was required b) technical problems usually occurred and c) the Department’s Secretariat misunderstandings were frequent. The disadvantages mentioned above in association with the "maturity" of the open access movement towards the wider academic community, spurred the cooperation of the LIC with the Network Operation Centre of Harokopio University for the redesign of the university’s grey literature deposition process. The outcome of this collaboration was the adoption of the self archiving method as the optimal solution in order to eliminate the disadvantages and optimize the effective implementation of the adopted policies. The self archiving method relies on the use of a user-friendly application that was specifically developed for this purpose by the Network’s Operation Centre of Harokopio University staff. Key point of the new process is the expansion of cooperation between the LIC and the Department’s Secretariats pointing out the latter’s essential role in achieving the whole deposition procedure, since they launch but also complete the deposition process. In the present study the new user-oriented redesigned deposition process of grey literature in ESTIA, based on the primary process, will be described, pointing out the fact that the user is the one who archives his work using the application. All theses are being checked by the LIC’s staff and consequently are published on the repository. Specifically after covering the: policies followed by the institution regarding the deposition of the work, methodology used for the implementation of the new process, departments involved and their approach, ways of informing students as well as the general academic community We will present: the results of the assessment process from users involved i.e. secretaries and students. The evaluation process was considered essential in order to determine whether the self archiving procedure is perceived as an easy, manageable and user-friendly way to implement the policies of LIC. However, beyond that, our goal was to become aware whether the methodology followed for the incorporation of the process in the work routine was the appropriate and whether our venture was accepted both from Department’s Secretariats staff and the students in order to improve any errors that might have occured. As far as the evaluation from the students’ is concerned the reasons for their participation to the research are obvious. In the case of the Department’s Secretariats their participation in the archiving process has changed in relation to the past workflow, incorporating a computational application to meet their working needs. Therefore we thought it was necessary to determine whether our colleagues were satisfied with the changes introduced to their daily work. In order to achieve the work of evaluation, two questionnaires were developed, one for the students depositing their thesis and one for the Department’s Secretariats. The common research modules of questions in both user categories concerned their satisfaction from the: a) instructions and guidance on the new archiving process, b) use of the archiving platform that supports the entire process. Besides the above, questionnaires varied in order to examine for the: a) Department’s Secretariats: the general perception of the overall process, their satisfaction from the application, as well as from the partnerships developed b) students: the users perception of the repositories and open access, as well as their satisfaction from the services offered by the personnel involved The results of our research initially reward the decision of LIC to adopt new dynamic models for providing open access services as the new information environment dictates. Furthermore students recognized ESTIA as a convenient and easy-to-use mean for accessing open content information remaining satisfied both by the services provided by the LIC and the self archiving application. The latter is considered by the users to be manageable, friendly and easy. The same view derives from the Department’s Secretariats, while the point which rewards all of our efforts is the fact that a cooperation of high level was achieved by all parts involved. Additionally, students’ satisfaction for the staff related to services implementation was particularly encouraging. All the above are included in the project for upgrading LIC services named “Advanced Digital Repository and Electronic Library Services for Harokopio University” co funded by the European Operational Program “Digital Convergence” and lead the academic community to the adoption of new ways of deposition and management of the university’s grey literature following the technological developments of our times.