Promoting content discovery of open repositories : reviewing the impact of optimization techniques (2016-2019)

Macgregor, George (2019) Promoting content discovery of open repositories : reviewing the impact of optimization techniques (2016-2019). In: 14th International Conference on Open Repositories (OR2019), 2019-06-10 - 2019-06-13, Universität Hamburg.

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        Abstract

        Ensuring open repositories fulfill the discovery needs of both human and machine users is of growing importance and essential to validate the continued relevance of open repositories to users, and as nodes within open scholarly communication infrastructure. Following positive preliminary results reported elsewhere, this submission reviews the longer term impact of a series of discovery optimization approaches deployed on an open institutional repository. These approaches were designed to support improved content discovery and user engagement, thereby improving content usage. Using Strathprints, the University of Strathclyde repository as a case study, this submission will review the techniques and technical changes deployed on Strathprints and examine the impact of these changes by studying data on web impact, COUNTER usage and web traffic over a 4-year period. Analysis of this unique dataset provides persuasive evidence that specific enhancements to the technical configuration of a repository can generate substantial improvements in its content discovery potential and ergo its content usage, especially over several years. COUNTER usage grew by 62%. Increases in Google 'impressions' (266%) and 'clicks' (104%) were a notable finding, with high levels of statistical significance found in the correlation between clicks and usage (t = 14.30; df = 11; p < 0.0005). Web traffic to Strathprints from Google and Google Scholar was found to increase significantly with growth on some metrics exceeding 1300%. Although some of these results deserve additional scrutiny, the paper nevertheless demonstrates the link between repository optimization and the need for open repositories to assume a proactive development path, especially one that prioritises web impact and discovery.