UBRISA QUICK REFERENCE: Frequently Asked Questions

What is UBRISA?

The University of Botswana Research, Innovation and Scholarship archive (UBRISA) is an institutional repository (IR). An IR is a long-term digital archive containing primarily scholarly work produced by the members of the institution. It functions to collect and maintain intellectual products such as published journal articles, grey or unpublished literature (e.g. preprints of articles, unpublished seminar and conference papers, working papers and lectures), data sets, reports, book chapters, theses, learning objects, and other scholarly endeavours and to offer free, open access to the research to anyone in the world. Material is usually in textual format but it can also be audio-visual. UBRISA is a collaborative project between the Library, ORD and the IT Departments and the University community. Its mission is to collect, maintain, preserve, record and disseminate the intellectual capital of the institution, to reflect the University’s excellence, and to make these scholarly materials freely available on the Internet. UBRISA functions using open access software called DSpace.



How do I contribute?

Ready to contribute? Get in touch with ubrisa@mopipi.ub.bw or register on the UBRISA site at and follow the online prompts.



What’s in it for me? What are the benefits?

Not only does UBRISA provide a way to promote open scholarly communication, preserve access to your work, and a stable link to retrieve it, but your research will most likely be read by a much larger audience and cited more times. Some studies have estimated that open access articles are cited 50% to 250% more than non open access articles. Plus, online files are suggested to receive on average 336% more citations than materials available only in paper format.

Google Scholar (for example) gives preferential treatment to materials in IRs: your paper will definitely be picked up, and will appear higher up on the Google results list.

Long-term accessibility of your work is assured because research items in UBRISA get a permanent URL called a ‘handle’ that will not break. You can cite it now and years down the line, but that address will remain valid. In fact one of the underlying commitments with UBRISA is not just that we'll maintain works deposited there for the foreseeable future, but that we are committed to converting or translating to keep the material readable in perpetuity.

When colleagues request copies of your scholarly materials, you just give them the URL handle - no more attaching documents to emails - and you can include the links in your CV.



Why do we need an IR when we have journals?

The rising costs of journals make access to their content prohibitive for many. This means that material accessible purely via subscription to a toll access journal will have minimal impact. In the UB context, if the Library doesn’t subscribe to the journal in question, even UB members will not be able to read research that has been funded with UB resources. Plus, valuable ‘grey’ scholarly items like conference presentations, working papers, datasets, white papers, research reports, theses and dissertations often do not end up as journal articles. The idea is to capture them, preserve them and share them with the wider scholarly world.



What types of material can be archived in UBRISA?

During the set up stages of the IR we are accepting published journal articles only. But eventually you will also be able to contribute lectures, conference papers, learning objects, data sets, recordings, images, technical reports, book chapters, theses and more. The work must be produced or sponsored by a UB faculty, department, school or research centre and will normally be scholarly or research oriented. It should be the finished version.



How is UBRISA organised?

The repository organises content around communities and collections. A community usually corresponds to the faculty or research centre. Sub-communities correspond to departments and research groups. Within these sit the actual collections of work.



Who administers the community and collection?

Each collection will have one (or more) assigned administrators whose role it is to:
• Authorise people within the community to submit content
• Approve additional items to a collection
• Encourage submission and description of content
• Understand and observe policies relevant to UBRISA, including those pertaining to rights and licenses, and educate community submitters regarding these policies.

The administrators might be from within the department or faculty, or from within the Library, either a subject librarian or a member of the UBRISA team.

Departments can set up guidelines, if they desire, to monitor what goes into their collections. If preferred, within general guidelines ‘ownership’ of a community, sub community or collection can be completely devolved to the faculty or department.



What if there is no appropriate community or collection for me to submit to?

There are a couple of preliminary steps to archiving your work in UBRISA. Initially you need to identify if there is an existing community or collection that you would like to submit to, or if you will require a new community and / or collection. Prompts to this effect will be built into the registration process. Alternatively you can do this by visiting [UBRISA link] and browsing through the communities and collections. If it is necessary, after this you should contact the Library UBRISA team to discuss your requirements and the material you wish to submit. Any concerns regarding file formats, copyright issues, nature of the material etc can be discussed, and people can be nominated as submitters and administrators. Following this your community and collection will be established on the website and you will be shown how to submit material.



How do I submit my work to UBRISA?

Submitting is done through the use of a simple, online form in which details of the work are input, and the relevant file then attached to the record. Step by step guidance is available on the website or one to one assistance and practical demonstrations can be arranged. Contact ubrisa@mopipi.ub.bw or your subject librarian.

You can also make use of the Library’s mediated deposit service. We will submit your work on your behalf; you need only send us your material.



I don't have time to submit my work. Can UBRISA do this for me?

Yes, the Library provides a mediated deposit service to deposit work on your behalf, including checking copyright and reformatting if necessary. It will also scan your hard copies if you do not have an electronic version. Please contact the Library UBRISA team at ubrisa@mopipi.ub.bw



What file formats do the submissions have to be in?

Almost all types of formats can be submitted but certain formats are ‘supported’ i.e., UBRISA will undertake to keep them readable. These include formats such as PDF, XML and TIFF. These are preferred as there is a greater chance that they can be used over time. Certain proprietary formats, for instance, can be rendered useless at an update of software, and cannot be reworked to ensure preservation or access. So while UBRISA will accept all kinds of files, some may not be able to be preserved. It is therefore preferred that all textual based documents should be in PDF format. The UBRISA team will be pleased to assist you with any problems regarding file formats and format conversion. Alternatively UBRISA can do it for you and any textual items submitted via the Deposit Service will be converted to PDF(Archival) format.



Describing your work

The descriptive information about your work (metadata) enables it to be searched via the WWW using universal search engines like Google Scholar. Some of the metadata in UBRISA records include -
• Author
• Title
• Date of publication
• Citation
• Document type
• Keywords
• Abstract or description of the work

UBRISA offers an easy to use template into which these details are input. Once the metadata is complete, files can be uploaded and (following approval / checking by the administrator) a persistent link (handle) is assigned to your work. Metadata is important as access to your work through search engines will rely on the descriptive information you assign to it. The better the work is described the greater the chance that it will be found. If you find you want or need assistance with supplying metadata please contact the Library UBRISA team who will be happy to help.



Will UBRISA software (DSpace) provide any metadata?

Yes. The Repository will assign these fields to the record:
• File format
• File size
• Submission date
• Persistent URL
This information will be used to manage the content over time.



Searching: what is searchable?

The IR web site is browsable by author, title and keyword. All fields are searched using the basic search box. You can also use the advanced search tool, which searches the content of most of the information fields that are filled in when something is deposited in the IR (including author, title, keywords, abstract, sponsor, ISSN number, language etc.). The full text of the deposited item is not indexed at this time by the IR software. However, the full text is indexed (and thus searchable and retrievable) by Google.



What existing material can I submit?

You are encouraged to archive both recent and older material to UBRISA. If it is work recently published the chances are you will have a digital copy of the material available to submit. This copy can be either a preprint or postprint copy of the work but the most recent and up to date ‘author version’ is preferred (see also below). If you have older material in paper form only, it will need to be scanned. The Mediated Deposit team provides this service. Your ongoing collaboration with Subject Librarians and UBRISA staff to identify University material that can be preserved in UBRISA will be greatly appreciated.



What version of an article should I submit?

Try to submit the latest or final version of the article that you have. There is a complication because what you can't usually do is simply lift the proprietary "published" postprint version (the publisher PDF) - with all the formatting (columns and such) – from the electronic journal, and put that version in the IR. Fortunately it is allowed to take the publisher PDF and then reformat it slightly but the best and easiest version to submit is your final, accepted ‘author version’ prior to publication.

However, the most important thing is to get your work included in UBRISA, whichever version you have to hand. The Mediated Deposit Service can assist in reformatting the proprietary publishers’ versions.



What do ‘Preprint’, ‘Postprint’ and Author Version mean?

These terms can be a bit confusing”
Preprint generally means the un-refereed, unpublished draft
Author version or submitted version is the author’s final draft incorporating referee comments, prior to publication.
Postprint means the published version, usually the publishers’ PDF version as it appears in the journal, or a reformatted version of the publishers’ PDF.



What if I revise a paper I've put in the IR? Can I add the new version, or replace the old with the new?

UBRISA can actually be used for all stages of your work, from conference paper or theses, to preprint version, to published version, to postprint revised version. We prefer to have the most up-to-date version of your work available in the IR. Metadata tagging will make it clear what stage of the process your work is in and can link to earlier and later versions.



Can I restrict access to material?

Yes, although generally speaking all content should be available on an open access basis. Once your work is submitted to UBRISA it is, copyright allowing, ready for distribution and worldwide access. However there may be cases when you do not want to allow immediate access - such as when an unpublished work has potential commercial or patent value or when you wish to restrict access internally for a specified reason and period.

The public will still have access to the metadata, but not to the work itself. Please discuss any embargo intentions you have with the UBRISA team.



Can I withdraw material from UBRISA?

Yes although it is better to think of UBRISA as a permanent archive. If material is withdrawn a ‘tombstone’ is supplied so if the material is requested (because it has been cited) the original metadata will be available with a withdrawal statement in place of the link to the work. Withdrawn material will no longer be searchable. The specific criteria for withdrawal are detailed in the Digital Repository Policy.



Are there any quality controls?

Collections can be set up with an optional ‘review’ stage to check the quality and appropriateness of submissions. Generally this will only be necessary for non–peer-reviewed, unpublished work. Departments themselves, supported by ORD, must undertake this review stage. An additional editorial stage which checks accuracy of, and adds value to, metadata is an inbuilt part of the submission process which will be undertaken by designated personnel or the collection administrator. Authors do not need to worry about this stage. Once they deposit their work it is submitted into the workflow process. They will receive an email as soon as their item has been added to the publicly visible database.



Is there a permanent way to cite work in the IR in my CV?

Yes - that is what the permanent handle system is all about. Once deposited, just copy the handle / url that appears in the record. That is your permanent link to your item in the IR.



Will my work have links to the library catalogue, and will the library add any additional metadata to my work?

Yes, in some cases. UB theses for instance have a catalogue record which can link to the virtual version which sits in UBRISA. The Library may ‘add value’ to metadata.



Copyright and intellectual property rights

See also the special UBRISA website section on Copyright here.

What can I do with material accessed in UBRISA?

Unless otherwise stated, you should treat the work like any other copyrighted material, and may make ‘fair use’ of it as allowed under law.

What do I do about copyright?

If you are the copyright holder then you retain copyright. You retain all intellectual rights to your material. You can opt to put a Creative Commons License on your work, which will help specify how you want your material to be used and provide an explicit mechanism for others to know that. Just let us know what you prefer. Please also see the next questions, about material that has been published elsewhere or is about to be published.

Can I put a journal article or published conference paper into the IR? If the materials in the IR are for educational use, do we even have to get permission from the publisher to put them there?

There are now many publishers, such as Elsevier and Taylor & Francis, which are allowing authors to deposit their article into an IR. The ‘Sherpa RoMEO’ project provides a searchable database of publisher policies regarding IRs. It outlines the copyright and repository policies for over 90 publishers and 7,000 scholarly journals. (see: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo.)

Final edited ‘author versions’ are usually allowed to be deposited in the IR if they are the author's copy (without publisher formatting). We can also reformat the publisher’s PDF and deposit it. Sometimes an embargo is imposed and there may be special instructions or restrictions that limit your posting to the refereed manuscript or require a specific kind of citation. We can advise on all this.

For conference papers, it is best to contact the publisher of the conference proceedings directly.
Below are the default policies of some of the major publishers:

Journal / Publisher Can archive preprint and post- print? With these conditions / restrictions…
BIOMED Central Publisher PDF may be used
Blackwell Some journals impose embargoes typically of 6 or 12 months, occasionally of 24 months - no listing of affected journals available as yet
Publisher version cannot be used
On author or institutional or subject-based server
Server must be non-commercial
Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged with set phrase ("The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com")
Must link to publisher version
Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
Cambridge University Press On authors personal or departmental web page or institutional repository
Pre-print to record acceptance for publication
Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged
Authors version may be deposited immediately
Publishers version/PDF may be used on authors personal or departmental web page any time after publication
Publishers version/PDF may be used in an institutional repository after 12 month embargo
CODESRIA Publisher's version/PDF may be used
Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged with citation
Must link to publisher version
Elsevier On authors personal or authors institutions server
• Published source must be acknowledged
• Must link to journal home page
• Publishers version/PDF cannot be used
• Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
• NIH Authors articles will be submitted to PMC after 12 months.
Emerald Published source must be acknowledged
Must link to publisher version
Publisher version cannot be used
Institute of Physics Published source must be acknowledged
Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used, except for New Journal of Physics
IR is non-profit
If funding agency rules apply, authors may post articles in PubMed Central 12 months after publication
John Wiley & Sons On personal web site or secure external website at authors institution
Pre-print must be accompanied with set phrase (see individual journal copyright transfer agreements)
Published source must be acknowledged with set phrase (see individual journal copyright transfer agreements)
Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
Palgrave Macmillan Post print only
Policy unclear for preprints
24 month embargo
Authors version only
On authors web site or institution’s or funding body’s online repository/ archive
Must be clearly identified as authors post-peer-review, pre-copy-edit version
Must link to publisher version
Publisher copyright must be acknowledged with set phrase
Royal Society Pre-print must be removed on publication of article
May post pre-print on preprint servers
On author website, institutional website, not for profit repository
12 month embargo on posting to not for profit repository
Publisher PDF cannot be used
Published source must be acknowledged
If funding agency rules apply, authors may post articles in PubMed Central 12 months after publication
Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
Scientific Journals International Published source must be acknowledged
On a non-profit server
Springer (Verlag) Authors own final version only can be archived
On authors website or institutional repository or funder’s designated website/repository
Published source must be acknowledged
Must link to publisher version
Set phrase to accompany link to published version (The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com)
Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
Taylor & Francis 12 month embargo for STM Journals
18 month embargo for SSH journals
Some individual journals may have policies prohibiting pre-print archiving
Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
On a non-profit server
Published source must be acknowledged
Must link to publisher version

If I sign my copyright away to a publisher can I still post my article?

It depends. The copyright transfer form must allow you to do so, or the publisher must grant permission either individually or by default. In fact most publishers now will allow you to post various versions. As mentioned above, the ‘Sherpa’ project web site can be helpful for determining this. If you retained your copyright transfer agreement of a recent publication, it may also specify. We can help you ascertain the situation.

What can I do to ensure I will be allowed to self archive in the future?

Many publishers will allow you to archive either in pre or post print format, however some do not. One thing you could try is to add an Author's Addendum as recommended by the SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition

Why do I have to sign a non exclusive licence in UBRISA?

The copyright of any material deposited in UBRISA is retained by the creator or original copyright holder. The repository exists to preserve and make available that material, but it does not assume ownership rights. We only require authors to accept the UBRISA Deposit Licence. When you submit content to UBRISA, you click through this non exclusive deposit License. This is a contract between you and UB, allowing UB to distribute and preserve your work. No copyright transfer is involved. The intent of the license agreement is to give UBRISA permission to post the material openly on the Web and to take the necessary steps to preserve the material (preserving the material might mean that the files will need to be converted to a different or newer version of a file format if the existing file format or the hardware/software needed to read it becomes obsolete).

A non-exclusive distribution license means that authors may make other copies of their work available on other web sites or through other means without obtaining permission from UBRISA. They may also formally publish their work, in the same form or in a revised form, without obtaining permission from UBRISA.
UBRISA charges no fee for the service and collects no revenue from the repository.

How will UBRISA protect my unpublished material?

There will never be any compulsion to submit unpublished material to the IR. If you are concerned about plagiarism of your unpublished work and ideas, then you should not submit it. Alternatively you might choose to supply bibliographic details only, along with your contact details, or restrict access to the full text to specified members of UB. Theses and dissertations which have potential commercial value will have ‘patent’ holds put in place for them.

All material in UBRISA is made available, and stated as such, on the ‘Fair Use’ understanding: users must treat the work like any other copyrighted material, and may make ‘fair use’ of it as allowed under law. But once in the WWW environment, UB cannot take responsibility for illegal or unfair use of material.



Is self-archiving mandatory?

It is the stated policy of UBRISA for it to become mandatory for academic staff to deposit the full digital version of all refereed publications in the IR, copyright allowing. It will also be mandatory for all UB funded and publicly funded research to be accessible in UBRISA. The more material we have in UBRISA the more valuable it will be and the more traffic it will see. More downloads and more citations will increase the visibility of UB research.

A comprehensive research output collection will also enhance and then replace the current efforts of ORD in collecting directly from researchers through Chairs of Faculty Research and Publication Committees. ORD would then be able to interrogate/harvest statistics from UBRISA to monitor institutional research performance, and perform analysis for reporting purposes.

Experiences of other universities have shown that without a mandate in place the majority of research is never captured for IRs as self-deposit never becomes part of the normal behavioral pattern.



Will personal details about me be made available?

No. But you can choose to add your email address to metadata about your research item, if you would like to receive feedback or comments.



Who can I contact about setting up a community and collection?

To discuss your requirements please contact UBRISA.
Email: ubrisa@moipi.ub.bw



Have your questions been answered?

If not contact us at ubrisa@moipi.ub.bw