One of the major stumbling blocks for our team, surprisingly, was in choosing a name for our repository. We were all too aware that picking the right name would make marketing efforts–like creating a logo, designing posters, and presenting the IR to students and lecturers–easier and more effective, and so we knew it was a big decision. Many IRs seem to use acronyms that are pithy or clever, like ARAN (Access to Research at National University of Ireland, Galway), CORA (Cork Open Research Archive), and the Marine Institute OAR (Open Access Repository). And so our first instinct was to come up with a clever, pithy acronym.
As it turns out, pithy, clever acronyms are not that easy to generate.
Hooked on phonICS
The school only gave us one directive in choosing a name: It had to feature ICS. And so, acronym-obsessed, we tried to force one out of what seemed like a hundred words ending with ics. We floated the idea of LOGICS (Log of ICS), LIRICS (Library and Information Research at ICS), ETHICS (eTheses at ICS), and more. None were the right fit. Then there were words that might’ve fit, but couldn’t be forced into an acronym, such as scholastics (student capstone homework open library … it couldn’t be done).
Peann luaidhe is ainm dom
Another tactic we tried was using an Irish word, like bradán (salmon, as in salmon of knowledge) or peann luaidhe (pencil, because I like the way it sounds — pea aun louie, for those who don’t speak Irish). But because the content of the IR would rarely, if ever, be in Irish, we decided an Irish name might well be lost on users, and so Irish words were left in the same dark hole where we’d tossed the strained acronyms.
Keep it simple
In the end, we decided to keep it as simple as possible. We wanted a name that would be clear without being too boring, something with a little alliteration or something that tripped nicely off the tongue. We briefly settled on calling it the Graduate Research Repository at ICS (or GRR@ICS). But we then realised that by naming it along those lines, we were limiting the scope of the IR to what it will be initially — strictly postgraduate research. The school had already indicated that they might one day diversify the content to include undergraduate work, other coursework, publications, and even teaching materials. And so we went back to the drawing board once more and came away with our name: the ICS Archive (ICSA for short). It doesn’t have the alliteration, but we all agreed there was something satisfying about the way it sounded. Clear, coherent, and uncomplicated. A moniker had been chosen.
After we chose the name, designing a logo was the next step in branding our IR. ICS Archive doesn’t exactly lend itself to easy visuals, so we chose a mascot that had ties to UCD: the fox. UCD’s campus is home to several foxes, creatures with a storied association with cleverness and resourcefulness, attributes we like to think librarians have in spades. I used Adobe Photoshop to design the logo, which is made of a combination of icons I purchased from The Noun Project (check it out, it’s absolutely amazing).
The small, square logo was done, but in order to take advantage of wide computer screens and wide banners on social media pages and this blog, I decided to create a widescreen version that put the fox in the centre of a long row of hardbound volumes. This is what we use on this blog, and on our Twitter profile and Facebook page.
With a name, a logo, and a mission (see below), our IR is nearly ready for launch. Now all we need to do is name the fox. Any ideas?
The mission of the ICS Archive (ICSA) is to provide long-term preservation of and open access to research produced by master’s candidates at the School of Information and Communication Studies at University College Dublin. By showcasing this research, ICSA stands to increase the School’s visibility, status, and public value.
Author’s note: In case you were wondering, “peann luaidhe is ainm dom” means “pencil is my name” in Irish.