Brining IRUS to the USA: International Collaborations

Santi Thompson, Jo Lambert, Ross Macintyre, David Chaplin, Hilary Jones, Laura Wong, Joy Perrin, Sara Rubinow, Katherine Kim, Bethany Nowviskie, Paul Needham, Christa Williford, Wayne Graham

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Purpose: The value of Open Access (OA) in supporting effective research is widely recognised. Institutional repositories perform a key role, facilitating global knowledge sharing and enabling academic institutions to share research outputs with a wider audience. Within this context, measuring the reach of research is key. Tracking, monitoring and benchmarking usage of scholarly resources helps to demonstrate value and impact. It supports understanding of an institution’s research, identifies emerging trends against a local, a national and often an international context, and informs both policy and process for a wide range of stakeholders. Part of Jisc’s Open Access offer, IRUS-UK (Institutional Repository Usage Statistics) enables Institutional Repositories to share and compare usage data based on the COUNTER standard. The service provides access to authoritative, standards-based statistics supporting universities to gain a better understanding of the breakdown and usage of their institution’s research, which they can share with key stakeholders. It provides a clear indication of the significant level of repository usage in the UK, and through the IRUS-USA pilot project it offers potential for national benchmarking in the US, as well as international comparison. This session will focus on the IRUS-USA pilot project, a joint effort between Jisc in the UK and the Council on Library Resources (CLIR)/Digital Library Federation (DLF) in the US. The presentation will highlight the outcomes of the pilot and suggest opportunities for international collaboration to support comparison and benchmarking. Design, methodology, or approach: The benefits of IRUS-UK, particularly the ability to access standards-compliant usage data so that participating institutions can run complex reports, do cross-institutional comparisons, and generally better visualize and benchmark their own usage statistics, was an attractive feature for members of the DLF and CLIR, who have worked with Jisc to bring IRUS-USA to the United States. The IRUS-USA pilot project includes eight higher education institutions across America (University of Virginia, University of Pittsburgh, Montana State University, Indiana University, University of Maryland, University of Houston, Smithsonian Libraries, and the California Institute of Technology). Following a yearlong period of access to a web portal and the compiling of usage statistics, pilot participants will engage in a survey and focus group to assess the benefits and barriers of IRUS-USA as well as the opportunities to expand the pilot to a larger, sustained service model. Findings: Drawing upon quantitative and qualitative assessment data, this session will update the LAC community on the IRUS-USA pilot project achievements and lessons learned at the pilot’s conclusion. It will highlight examples of best practice, as well as opportunities for international coordination and cooperation. It will conclude by sharing the benefits of standardizing data to create clear and understandable impact measures and emerging common practices with similar tools and metrics. Practical implications or value: The IRUS-USA Pilot Project replicates an approach initiated in the UK to aggregate COUNTER-conformant (standards based and comparable) usage statistics across different repositories to support comparison and benchmarking. At the same time it explores opportunities for international measurement and assessment and the potential impact.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Sep 26 2019


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