eIFL INSTITUTIONAL REPOSITORIES SETTING THE PLATFORM FOR INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION
Contributed by Susan Veldsman, eIFL, South Africa,
Over the last year electronic Information For Libraries (eIFL) has been working hard to create a database and record all aspects of Institutional Repositories that have been developed in all our member countries. After a lot of correspondence and updating with countries, we can now report that 17 member eIFL countries currently have:
- 27 repositories in progress
- 69 active repositories,
- Total of 96 institutional repositories
This gave us the opportunity to look for international co-operation with other projects. Being so closely associated with SURF, the Netherlands, eIFL were quite aware of the DRIVER project and its follow up DRIVER II sister project. (Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research:DRIVER) that they were involved in. One of the objectives of DRIVER is to organize and build a virtual, European scale network (portal) of existing institutional repositories from the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Belgium.
eIFL saw the challenge and decided to piggy back on the expertise and technology infrastructure that the SURF/DRIVER project already had in place. Talks began with all parties involved and during June/July 2007 a similar portal(network) was created and can currently be viewed at http://eifl.cq2.org.
As a result, eIFL has organized and built a virtual eIFL member country scale network (portal) of existing institutional repositories.
This is only the beginning of a long journey. eIFL's ultimate goal is to develop these repositories to reach an international standard. This will be done by training e.g metadata, other standards, linking, setting up repositories, etc These repositories should be at such a level that they could easily feed or be included into, for example, a DRIVER project.
This has brought a very much higher profile to eIFL and we have received enthusiastic and excited feedback.
This is not the only activitiy we are envisaging, we are also busy to "mass register" eIFL repositories in IR registers and harvesters (OAIster and OpenDOAR) We are also looking at additional training that could be given to countries to "move" their repositories from an inactive to active status, as well as to start up new repositories.