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The JISC "Digital Deluge" conference in Manchester (5th/6th June 2007), saw the official launch of "the Depot" as a service to UK academics.
The Depot is available from http://depot.edina.ac.uk/
The purpose of the Depot is to offer repository storage and open access exposure facilities to those UK academics whose institutions do not yet have a repository. Acting in unison with the existing and developing repository network, this will enable all UK academics to share in the benefits of open access exposure for their research outputs. As part of JISC RepositoryNet, the Depot is provided as a national facility geared to support the policies of UK universities and national funding agencies towards Open Access, aiding policy development in advance of a comprehensive institutional archive network.
The Depot offers the following features:
a re-direct service, nicknamed UK Repository Junction, to ensure that content that comes within the remit of an existing institutional repository is correctly placed.
accepts deposit of eprints from researchers at institutions that do not currently have an Institutional Repository (IR). The principal target is postprints, that is articles that have been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication.
as institutional repositories (IRs) are established, the Depot will support the transfer of relevant content to help populate those new IRs. Meantime, The Depot will act as a keep-safe, notifying institutions when deposits are made.
an OAI-compliant interface, so, like other open access repositories, its contents will be available for harvesting, with special attention being paid to ensure that it can searched through the Intute Search, another part of JISC RepositoryNet.
The Depot is designated and funded by the JISC. In 2006 JISC funded the EDINA national data centre (based at the University of Edinburgh) and SHERPA (based at University of Nottingham) to work together to scope provision for a short to medium term repository service to take deposit of peer-reviewed research outputs from any UK academic author without access to an IR at their own university. The outputs of the scoping phase are on the Prospero project pages, including the draft scoping report.