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Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS)

Overcoming Barriers to Use

The most common barriers to using the repository and suggestions for breaking them down.

Lack of awareness of the repository and how to use it
  • Provide liaison librarians with talking points about SOAR (see below) so that it is easy to discuss
    • Develop a marketing plan and strategies (see Promotion)
  • Increase exposure 
    • Make SOAR and information about it easy to find on the Library home page and/or other high-use pages
    • Encourage other departments to do the same, especially on pages used frequently by authors/creators (i.e., research administration, graduate programs/colleges, etc.)
  • Use search engine optimization techniques where possible to improve search result rankings
Lack of time
  • Streamline the submission process as much as possible with easy to use and find submission methods 
  • Require as little as possible from submitters by providing the information needed, including the version the publisher
    • Many campuses use a faculty members' CVs to provide them with a list of publications that are closed access and advise version that is needed for the repository
Jargon/terminology is confusing
  • Be prepared to clarify terms when discussing self-archiving with faculty 
  • Clarify terms and acronyms on web pages and other documents related to SOAR
  • Try to remember how foreign the terms were to you and your library staff when first learning about repositories
Confusion about copyright
  • Clearly state that the author/creator retains copyright for all works submitted to the IR
  • Provide basic information about copyright v. licensing, and link to additional in-depth resource
Concerns about publishers’ policies about licensing and version that may be deposited 
  • Educate people about publishers' policies and Sherpa/Romeo
    • More than 80% of well-established publishers and journals allow self-archiving of accepted or submitted manuscripts
  • Provide information from Sherpa/Romeo to authors/creators on demand