General repository FAQs

Frequently asked questions about repositories.

What is the UWE Bristol Research Repository?

The UWE Bristol Research Repository is an open access online repository providing a central record of the University's research output as well as, whenever possible, immediate access to the full text. It covers the whole range of UWE Bristol's output including books, book chapters, conference papers, images, and journal articles. The only exclusion is learning objects which are housed separately in Blackboard.

The repository is accessible to anyone via the Internet and is highly visible to search engines. The intention is to bring UWE Bristol's research to as wide an audience as possible.

What is open access?

Open access is a means of making research results freely available online. It is not self-publishing or a way to bypass peer-review and publication, but a way of archiving and providing free, online copies of research outputs.

Open access gives researchers the ability to make their research results available to anyone via the internet, regardless of whether or not their library has a subscription to the journal in which their research was published.

Wherever possible material placed in the repository is open access, maximizing the chances of other researchers, practitioners, policy makers, students, and the public locating and reading the research.

What are the benefits of including my research in the repository?

Depositing will increase the visibility of your research. This is particularly relevant if people looking at your research don't have a subscription to the journal you have published in.

The repository is indexed by standard search engines such as Google Scholar and also by specialist repository services such as CORE and OpenDOAR. Material held in a repository generally appears higher in search engine rankings than it would if it was stored on University or personal webpages. This increases the likelihood of readership, citation and impact of your research, resulting in a raised research profile for UWE Bristol. As such, the repository has the potential to act as a catalyst for research collaboration.

Creating a central record of research output facilitates the creation of CVs, personal profiles and funding bids.

It will help you to comply with funding requirements. Many research funders, including all the UK Research Councils, now require that the output of funded research be made available on open access.

The repository is central to the University's preparations for research assessment exercises such as the REF.

Isn’t published research already available to everybody?

Unfortunately not. Because UWE Bristol Library Services has invested heavily in online journals it may sometimes appear as if everything is available, but in fact journal subscriptions continue to be a significant barrier to dissemination both within the educational community and beyond. Open access to the repository offers global access to UWE Bristol's research output.

Additionally, not all research is published in journals, and the repository can make other materials, such as theses, working papers, conference papers etc. available to all.

Do other universities have institutional repositories?

Yes, most UK Higher Education institutions have their own institutional repository. IRUS-UK records over 150 UK institutional repositories with more being added all the time.

How do research funders regard repositories?

Many research funders, including all the UK Research Councils, now require that the output of funded research be made available on open access. Sometimes deposit in an institutional repository will meet this requirement.

Sometimes deposit in a subject repository such as UK PubMed Central is required. Sometimes the use of open access journals or a publisher's paid open access option is encouraged.

The SHERPA JULIET service summarises research funders' policies regarding open access to published output. It also summarises their policies regarding the archiving of datasets. You should check the funder's requirements before depositing.

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