About the RRN Institutional Repository
The RRN institutional repository is one of a number of project initiatives designed to facilitate easy and open access to research and other knowledge-based materials in refugee and forced migration. At the time of this writing (August 2010), two other regional repositories are currently being developed - one in Kolkata, India and the other in Johannesburg, South Africa. In addition to the repository located at Forced Migration Online, the research community will be able to take advantage of various opportunities to permanently store their research online.
The RRN repository is currently developing policies around submitting materials and criteria for acceptance. We expect that these will be ready over the next few months and a comprehensive outreach strategy will be implemented to invite academics, community based researchers and organizations that produce research to permanently store their material in a repository supported by York University's library .
The increasing number of online repositories are in response to the growing recognition that while publishers were needed for dissemination, other models were becoming available. Why not share information in a more economical manner? Results from studies done in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s indicated that work deposited into institutional repositories that were easily accessible were more visible and preferentially ranked online. Works are also cited earlier and more frequently and they are used more than traditional publications. More and more funders, particularly those disbursing funds from public monies, are insisting that all research papers generated through their funding are freely accessible through the publisher’s website or an online repository within six months of publication. Publishers themselves are becoming more open to self-archiving. And after all, scholars do not publish to get wealthy (although it would certainly be nice) – they publish to be cited and to have impact.
As part of YorkSpace, the RRN repository uses D-Space as its platform and is compliant with global standards for interoperability. It is hosted and maintained by the university libraries. A permanent URL (handle) is created for all items. Committed to the idea of permanence, once submitted, articles are generally not removed except under certain special instances (i.e. impending legal action, etc.). The RRN repository will enter into a non-exclusive contract with scholars/organizations who deposit their articles. The RRN repository is completely Open Access – no usernames or passwords are required except for adding materials. We will be using YorkSpace's Non-Exclusive license at this address: http://www.fsc.yorku.ca/yul/drupal/yorkspace/?q=node/10
Institutional repositories can be very helpful in collecting and permanently storing regionally based resources that are not readily available otherwise. This would include academic scholarship, resources and research produced by grassroots and community based organizations as well as international NGOs and other relevant agencies – all of which produce important resources, but may not have put them into permanent storage (lack of capacity, partnerships, etc.). Websites come and go, organizations come and go, books and journals go out of print, war breaks out or a natural disaster occurs and everything is destroyed. Permanent loss of research and knowledge is a real risk. Given that each regional hub of the RRN will undoubtedly have its own collections to be included, developing regional networks of institutional repositories in refugee and forced migration issues will positively impact the availability and accessibility of research as well as strengthen the research capacity of their own larger networks. By providing this service in its respective regions, it will contribute towards a more equitable dissemination of knowledge throughout the Global North and South.