Use cases

Research papers - High Energy Physics

A research group wishes to maintain their preprint series online. The standard method of promulgation in the subject area is to use the universal subject repository. In order not to rely entirely on one provider it is decided to also keep a local copy in Cambridge - in the institutional repository - since it is felt that "a local curator has a greater sense of ownership and responsibility than a remote one."

Having open access copies of the research output also gives the group a mechanism to comply with research funder's mandates of making publicly funded research papers freely available. All research papers are deposited by the group secretary.


Videos - Social Anthropology

A Professor from Anthropology uses the medium of video for his research. He captures a large amount of primary data, for example, he films a Buddhist shrine or a Japanese school’s eye tests for myopia. He also documents interactions between his staff and native people and conversations between anthropologists.

He wishes to share this material with students and with the wider public in his field. He also wishes to keep the material safe for the future. As an anthropologist he understands that not only the content of his research but also the fact that he undertook it in the first place and the methods he used are of future research interest.

He deposits his material with DSpace@Cambridge which gives him a secure home for his material and a simple mechanism to share it with the public – for free.


Books - Philosophy

A Professor of Philosophy wishes to share his thoughts with the world. He has published them in books and book contributions but the books are now out of print. He feels that having them on his personal webpages and searchable in google would be beneficial. He clears copyright with the publishers and deposits the permitted versions on DSpace@Cambridge linking them onto his webpage. This gives his thoughts an increased exposure to the world’s philosophical community. When his collection has been created he also adds other items, in his case radio broadcasts and the transcript of his inaugural lecture.

He sees the electronic archiving service preserving and making accessible material of permanent importance that would otherwise disappear and includes anything that may remain of professional interest after “I, and hence my own website, have expired.”


Images - Scott Polar Research Institute

A research institute receives a large grant to convert their valuable glass plate collection into digital format. The resulting digital image files need to be stored safely. It is also condition of the grant that they are made accessible to the public. Given that this is an important collection of the institute they wish to make it a prominent feature on their webpages.

The institute deposits their digital files with DSpace@Cambridge providing them with reliable storage space. They also use the SOAP web services for creating a project site within their own web pages. This allows them to display DSpace files through their own dedicated website.

The librarian of the institute says: “As digital material of all types, including images, becomes increasingly important for research, we rely on DSpace@Cambridge to provide facilities and support to make our digital holdings accessible to the widest possible audience."


Theses - Material Science

A PhD student wishes to distribute his thesis to gain exposure throughout her global research community. She wants to do this swiftly but she also wishes to publish an article on one particular aspect of her findings. She talks to her supervisor who points her to the institutional repository which offers a free publication service and to the relvant publishers in the field.

She consults the repository staff who are helpful in clarifying processes, particularly regarding copyright. She contacts the commercial publisher she wishes to publish with in future discussing the deposit and thus earlier publication of her theses on the repository. This is agreed.

A departmental collection for theses is created on DSpace@Cambridge in which she deposits her work. She is also able to append supporting data.

She now adds her thesis to her publication list citing a persistent URL and is delighted to find her thesis high up among search results when searching for her name or title keywords in google. She also presses on writing her article. She has negotiated that she will retain the copyright over it and will deposit it with the repository alongside the printed publication.

Supporting data - Oncology

A number of researchers from a department wish to share data supporting findings previously published in research articles. The publisher does not cater for storing data. The data uses a large amount of storage space on their local server.

A collection is created in DSpace@Cambridge for depositing the data on the institutional repository. This creates a long term open access data archive not only supporting the published articles but also enabling other researchers throughout the world to query the primary findings. It also relieves the local server freeing up storage space for the department.