The University of Southampton

New training course to support Open Access

Published: 29 September 2005

In a move to make scientific research more freely available, the University of Southampton is running a training course this week for those planning to set up institutional repositories.

The University, one of the key players in the global Open Access movement, has launched EPrints Services, to provide a range of advice, support, and practical help to all those planning to set up, or maintaining, an institutional research repository.

This unique service is being launched this week with a five-day course from 26 to 30 September. This training will be repeated in the UK in December, and a similar event will also be run in Bulgaria. Further information is available at

The University of Southampton's School of Electronics and Computer Science leads the world in open access, software to support it, and its applications.

Its software, called EPrints, is already used in hundreds of institutional repositories (IRs) around the world. The EPrints software is open source and free and can be downloaded from the EPrints site.

'The launch of EPrints Services is particularly timely,' said Dr Les Carr, EPrints Technical Director. 'In the UK, the Research Councils (RCUK) have announced that all research council-funded research must henceforth be placed in an institutional repository. Around the world, the success of the open access movement is ensuring that academics and universities want or, increasingly, are required, to make their research universally accessible to the wider community.

'EPrints provides the original solution for institutional repositories,' he continues. 'Now our wide-ranging experience and expertise gained over the years is being channelled into EPrints Services to ensure that new repositories are constructed to suit their institutions, and with appropriate policy and support systems designed as part of the package.'

Dr Carr points out that the advantages of having an institutional repository extend beyond research accessibility: 'We know that IRs increase citations and impact, and can therefore add powerful weight to research status and grant applications,' he said. 'They also enable data-sharing and enhance research opportunities, as well as accelerating the research cycle.'

'But every institution is unique,' he adds, 'and EPrints Services will ensure that these special features can be translated into a repository that best mirrors the institution.'

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