Burn, KL & Wilson, K 2009, 'Build it and they will come?: assessing the impact of 'academic-friendly' practices on institutional repository growth at Southern Cross University', paper presented at Information Online 2009 Conference, Sydney, NSW, 20-22 January.
Despite a proliferation of institutional repositories being established in recent years, and the significant financial and staffing resources invested in them, many have not fulfilled their initial promise. While most repository managers have been committed to providing open access to the research output of their institutions, many repositories have limited content and most academics have not yet been persuaded to engage with them in a sustained way. It has been hypothesised that better results might be obtained if population strategies were more aligned with the needs and current work practices of academics rather than the primary focus of the repository being as a showcase for the institution. In 2008 Southern Cross University Library’s ePublications@SCU project team sought to take a more “academic-friendly” approach to repository development with the view that this would ultimately lead to improved deposit rates. Attempts were made to reduce any perceived complexities of the system that may be barriers to academic participation. Some of the strategies employed by Library staff included: producing promotional material that highlighted the personal and professional benefits for academics of the repository, creating Personal Researcher Pages for each academic in order to showcase their scholarly profiles, and taking responsibility for copyright checking and uploading of all papers into the repository. This paper reports on the results of a study conducted at Southern Cross University in 2008.