OR 2013 posterOver a year ago, following a staff appraisal, I agreed to become more involved in supporting the development of institutional repositories – an important area of work for UKOLN and JISC.

Following that decision I was successful in being the lead author for two papers which were accepted at the Open Repositories 2012 conference: one, with Jenny Delasalle, which asked “Can LinkedIn and Academia.edu Enhance Access to Open Repositories?” and another, with Nick Sheppard, Jenny Delasalle, Mark Dewey, Owen Stephens, Gareth Johnson and Stephanie Taylor, on “Open Metrics for Open Repositories“.

The former paper concluded by stating that “Further work is planned to investigate whether such links are responsible for enhancing SEO rankings of resources hosted in institutional repositories“.

This follow-up work was carried out during autumn 2012 and the findings published in a series of guest blog posts during Open Access Week 2012. The paper which summarised this work and the findings was accepted by the programme committee for the OR 2013 conference and will be presented in a poster display at the OR 2013 conference which takes place this week. The poster is included in this post.

The paper, which is available for Opus, the University of Bath repository, in MS Word and PDF formats, concluded:

There is a pressing need to gain a better understanding of the SEO characteristics of current repository services in order to identify examples of best practices and flawed approaches. However since local factors are likely to impact the visibility to search engines of content hosted in institutional repositories it will be important to ensure that such local factors are understood. The work described in this paper describes a methodology for sharing institutional findings in order to inform practices across the repository community. We therefore invite other repository managers to work in a similar fashion, critique the methodology and tools we have described and share the findings for their repository.

I’d therefore invite repository managers to provide an SEO analysis for their local repository – and if you would like to publish your findings as a guest blog post, to follow on from the guest posts in which William Nixon, Yvonne Budden and Natalia Madjarevic reported on the findings at Glasgow University, Warwick University and LSE, feel free to get in touch.

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