FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is a repository?

A repository is an online archive that collects the University’s research in digital form and makes it accessible to all.

What is ResearchSPAce?

ResearchSPAce is the institutional repository at Bath Spa University. It aims to collate and showcase the research outputs of Bath Spa University. ResearchSPAce aims to provide open access to the entire research output, including both textual and non-textual material.

What is EPrints?

EPrints is the repository software we are using. It is open source software developed by the University of Southampton.

Who do I contact for help?


How can material be added to ReseachSPAce?

  • Self-deposit

Academic staff are invited to deposit their own research outputs directly in to the repository by logging into ResearchSPAce using their BSU username and password.

There is a step-by-step guide to self-depositing research available, as well as two video guides for depositing full text research and non-textual research.

All submissions will be reviewed against the University’s Content Policy for the repository.

  • Mediated deposit

In addition to the process described above, academic staff are also welcome to email with a copy of their research output for inclusion in the repository.

  • Retrospective population of the repository

Bibliographic records will be uploaded from existing reliable data sources where possible. The Research Publications Librarian (Repository Manager) will check the uploaded bibliographic records for accuracy and completeness, and will contact staff members by email to obtain “full text” material where appropriate. When full text material is included, the creators of a work will be asked to agree to a Deposit Licence. This gives the repository non-exclusive rights to make the work available on ResearchSPAce.

“Full text” material will only be visible in the live repository when the Repository Manager is completely satisfied that all the necessary checks have been made. Where “full text” is not available the bibliographic record only will be publicly available on the repository.

What types of material are available in ResearchSPAce?

The content of the repository will include research outputs from academic members of staff. Items that would normally fall within the scope of the repository include full text material such as journal articles, books, conference papers and commissioned reports as well as non-textual research outputs such as a digital representation of an image, artefact, or composition, or recordings of performances. “Full text” items will only be included where available and in accordance with copyright requirements. The repository may also provide access to selected PhD theses with the author’s agreement. The repository is not expected to provide access to non-scholarly outputs or teaching materials.

Why should my research outputs be included on ResearchSPAce?

Material in the repository is open access. This means that the work is more visible and will reach a wider audience. The repository is cross-searchable, and it is indexed by standard search engines such as Google and specialist repository services such as OAIster and Institutional Repository Search, because of the way web crawlers work repositories consistently receive high ranking results. In addition, many studies show that where articles are open access and freely available they have greater impact and higher citation rates. Work included on the repository is preserved, each document is given a permanent identifier so that you shouldn’t encounter broken links. In addition, depositing work on the repository fulfils funders requirements as many research funders, including all the UK Research Councils, now require that the output of funded research be made available on open access platforms.

What about copyright?

Where copyright has not been assigned to anyone else, the creator retains ownership of the material. You agree that a copy can be made available in the repository by signing a Deposit Licence. It is important to consider the rights you, as the copyright holder, allow when submitting work for publication. For example, you should ensure that you retain the right to place an approved version of the work on the University or your own personal website, or the University's repository and distribute copies of the work to other staff and students for teaching and research purposes.

Where an author has assigned copyright to a publisher, most publishers will allow the deposit of an 'author's final version' in a repository (possibly subject to an embargo period). This is the author-created version sent to the publisher post-refereeing. Library staff will check journal publishers' policies using the SHERPA RoMEO service and rules on publisher websites, including Copyright Transfer Agreements before making the “full text” available in the repository.

What if we're challenged?

We maintain a Notice and Takedown Policy, which explains the procedure for dealing with complaints regarding copyright.

Am I obliged to transfer copyright to a publisher?

Your copyright is normally your own property unless you transfer it to another party, and you are not obliged to transfer it to anyone. However, many academic publishers ask that you transfer it to them as a condition of publication. It is worth asking whether they will accept instead a non-exclusive licence to be the sole commercial journal publisher, or even to retain the right to re-publish elsewhere later, perhaps after an agreed period. JISC provides an example Licence to Publish.

What about co-authors?

Collaborative outputs can be included on ResearchSPAce provided one of the creators/authors is a member of staff at Bath Spa University. However, it is your responsibility to ensure that all other co-authors are happy to allow the Work to be included in ResearchSPAce. When signing the Deposit Licence, you agree that co-authors/co-owners of the Work have allowed the Work to be included on ResearchSPAce. We would normally expect you to email your co-authors to inform them of this. A standard email template is available on request. Library staff can assist in obtaining permission from co-authors if required. Co-authors at other universities are free to deposit in their own repository as well.

Which version do you require?

It is important to consider the version of the research output that you keep once it has been published.  In the case of book chapters and journal articles, the version most often stipulated by publishers for use in a repository is the "author's final" or "accepted" version (sometimes known as a "post-print"). Occasionally, the "submitted" version (sometimes known as a "pre-print") is required.

The 'pre' and 'post' refer to the peer review process: -

  • A pre-print is the version of an item that has not yet undergone the peer review process.
  • A post-print is the version of an item that has undergone the peer review process.

It is best if you keep copies of these versions and keep track of the different versions when you submit your work to a publisher. This reduces problems in depositing the item later. In the case of journal articles, you can check the publisher's policy using the SHERPA RoMEO service.

By retaining the ‘author’s final version’ you can ensure that you have the correct version for inclusion in the repository. Proof copies are unlikely to be acceptable as the publisher's copy-editing, typesetting and logo are involved.

ResearchSPAce contains links to an article's DOI (digital object identifier) and the homepage of the journal or publisher website (where available), ensuring the published version is clearly identified to users of the repository.

More information is available via the Version toolkit here.

What happens if I leave Bath Spa University?

Items will remain in the repository. If you move to another university, we can provide copies for their repository.

Do other universities have institutional repositories?

Most UK Higher Education Institutions have a repository. The Registry of Open Access Repositories currently lists over 200 UK based repositories, these can be searched using the Search Content function.

How do research funders regard repositories?

Many research funders, including all the UK Research Councils, now require research, produced with their funding, to be deposited in an open access repository. Details of each funder’s requirements are available from SHERPA JULIET. The RCUK Policy on Open Access is available here.

Can you cross-search all repositories in the UK?

The Institutional Repository Search is UK based, and allows you to search using keywords, with the option to narrow the results further by institution or item type. Abstracts are available and you can link through to the individual repository. It does not necessarily link to the full text though.

CORE provides access to millions of scholarly articles aggregated from many Open Access repositories. Advanced Search allows you to search by Author, Keyword, Publisher and Year. You can chose to limit search results to full text only. The service is provided by the Open University. A mobile application is also available for Apple and Android Devices.

What is metadata?

Metadata is structured information that describes, explains, locates, or otherwise makes it easier to retrieve, use, or manage an information resource. Metadata is often called data about data. Within the repository the metadata includes elements such as title, abstract, author, and keywords. Metadata also allows us to find and organise resources, and to archive and preserve them for future use. It also allows us to uniquely identify work, by providing a persistent URL (e.g. a DOI), and metadata protocols makes the data inter-operable to allow cross-searching.

What is a DOI?

DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier. Many journal articles, and almost all recent journal articles, are given a DOI number. DOIs can usually be found when looking at an abstract for a journal article. They will usually follow a similar format to: 10.1016/S0048-9697(02)00292-9, with a number, then a slash, then some letters and numbers.

DOIs can always be made into links by adding before the DOI. This link will then take you to the abstract for that article, and, if the institution you are logged into (e.g. Bath Spa) has paid for access, a link to the full text. DOIs are used as links because they provide persistent identifiers, meaning the links will not break when any changes are made to Internet pages.