Focus on the ''OA Repository at ICRISAT''

When one logs on to the homepage of OA@ICRISAT, one might not readily realize its a repository homepage, the design is very impressive and warmly welcoming. OA@ICRISAT is built on E-Prints 3 software and provides value added services beyond most repositories. ICRISAT (The International Crops and Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics) is an international non-profit organization  headquartered in India with two regional hubs (Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa) and with other partners world-wide. ICRISAT focuses on research and capacity building in semi-arid tropics characterized by low-to-medium rainfall and with poor soils. ICRISAT Open Access mandate compels every ICRISAT researcher or author in all locations to submit a copy of their paper upon receipt of communication from the publisher about its acceptance. The repository was started in 2009[1] and is registered with CIARD RING, DOAR and ROAR map. The repository collects institutions’ research output in agriculture and can handle a variety of content types and a wide array of file formats.

The interface of OA@ICRISAT home page presents the site information in three panels – left, centre and right. The middle panel has a scrolling banner with a welcome note from the Director General and also a brief information on some of the ICRISAT mandate crops such as millet and sorghum. There is an RSS box that provides  a selection of recent submissions. On the left panel there are two distinct menus ‘repository’ and ‘access points’ ; under the ‘repository’ menu some generic important information about the repository is provided .This includes policies, the OA Mandate and repository statistics. There are five policies that are presented these are metadata policy, data policy, content policy , submission policy and preservation policy. The OA mandate is available in full text with the signature of the Director General of the institution. A number of access points are categorically listed as entry points for users, and includes here the two options for simple search and advanced search. In the advanced search option users can qualify their searches by specifying elements they want to include. The statistics link provides capabilities to generate statistics  and also provides options to present the information graphically. The contents of the repository are indexed by OAIster, scientific commons, Bielefeld Academic Search Engine,  Scirus and Google Scholar. On the right panel there are featured photographs for scientists on a scrolling banner.

The repository provides other valued added services, it has a link to the ICRISAT blog and also links to InfoSAT –an electronic repository of reprints collected in the Semi-Arid Tropical Crops Information Service (SATCRIS) one of the ICRISAT programmes. An additional link is provided from the repository to the OPAC search for the ICRISAT Library. OA@ICRISAT is a classic example of repositories providing value added services. Webometrics ranking of repositories recommends that repositories should have) their specific links , ii) mainly full-text scientific papers, iii) ensure visibility by use of identifiers, iv) store rich files, v) contents easily indexed by search engines specifically Google scholar vi) be OAI-PMH data providers. In addition, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) recommends that OA repositories should use appropriate metadata standards and use recommended controlled vocabularies in indexing their contents.


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