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Archiving and publishing research outputs at UCL: Looking back at 5 years of the UCL Research Data Repository

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posted on 2024-07-09, 11:01 authored by Christiana McMahonChristiana McMahon

Making research outputs widely available holds the potential to enhance their value, enabling them to be re-used, combined and repurposed by academic and other users in ways that might never have been anticipated by the original creators.

However, the process of archiving and publishing research outputs - such as datasets, figures, models, software, posters and presentations - can be challenging. Technical, financial, cultural and organisational barriers exist that can potentially hamper efforts to make these as openly accessible as possible. Further, whilst efforts to foster even greater transparency is giving rise to new ways of working, embedding innovative workflows - anchored in the research data lifecycle - remains relatively problematic.

In June 2019, the Research Data Management team in UCL Library Services and the Research Data team in the Centre for Advanced Research Computing launched the UCL Research Data Repository (RDR). As a cross-faculty and free to use service, the RDR enables all staff and research students to archive and publish their research outputs helping aligning them with the FAIR principles, namely that they are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. As a fully openly accessible repository, users potentially increase the likelihood of outputs being accessed and re-used by others, potentially sparking new collaborations and increasing the visibility and impact of their work.

To date, we have published over 800 research outputs, which have been viewed over 670,000 times with over 420,000 downloads.

Looking ahead, we will continue to build the service, offering further training for, and enhanced engagement with, communities across UCL. We will also further explore and evaluate the potential for the RDR to possibly begin receiving controlled and restricted datasets. Our goal is to provide a responsive, high quality and user-friendly service that supports staff and research students across UCL in managing their research outputs for the longer-term.


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