Policy development, as our literature review and our modified Delphi study showed, is considered to be one of the most time consuming aspects of building an Institutional Repository. Some of the experts we interviewed stated that they had built the policies for their IRs after they had launched it, in a “if we need it, we’ll build it” way, others merely smiled and said “Policies? That would be a nice idea…”
As a group we decided that, although it was against the consensus, it was important for us to create policies for the future users and managers of ICS Archive (ICSA) as we planned to pass on the maintenance of this IR to another party upon completion of our project. It was, therefore, necessary to have clear and concise rules and procedures in place for the future success of ICSA.
As other members of the team were busy transcribing and coding, the task of policy building fell to me. The reason behind this was simple; I was going to Australia for 3 weeks and couldn’t be part of the situational work that needed to happen. Policy building was something that could be done remotely with enough time and effort. And boy oh boy was there a lot of time and effort put in!
Now, I would be the first person to say that I don’t know too much about policy development. I was quite worried to begin with, as my language is – for want of a better word – informal. But I needn’t have worried! Again the wonderful community of IRs was ready and willing to lend a hand. Most of our experts had been more than happy to show us their own policies so that we would have a jumping off point and it was these, and the excellent OpenDOAR policy development tool, that informed the policies that have guided our own IR.
The policies that were developed include:
- Use Policy.
- Copyright and License Policy.
- Metadata Policy.
- Preservation Policy.
- Notice and Takedown Policy.
Oftentimes you will find that an appraisal policy is included in the “necessary policies” for an IR but as for now ICSA is dealing only with Masters theses and capstones from the School of Information and Communication Studies at UCD, a policy regarding appraisal and scope was considered a little redundant at the moment. There is room to develop this if the scope of ICSA changes in the future but this is something that we felt was not crucial at the moment.
As someone starting off in this career it was really amazing to see how welcoming and helpful the community is for new practitioners and we hope that our own policies can be used by students like us in the future for their own projects. Anybody who wants to have a look at how our policies turned out is more than welcome to look at them when ICSA goes live in a few weeks! Our project will be fully available online and the policies have their own appendix and everything.