. . . opening access to research  

Completed Project -

SHERPA Plus Project

Mission  |  Aims  |  Shared Experiences  |  Challenges  |   Partners  |  Staff  |  Management


The SHERPA Plus project is a major initiative to support repository development in all UK Higher Education institutions. The project is addressing the practical tasks of cultural change and effective advocacy. It is looking at the issues generated by the extension of repository use to a variety of new content-types - datasets, learning objects, multimedia, etc. It is looking at the requirements of institutional stakeholders in the establishment of new repositories and in the further population of existing archives.

SHERPA Plus is building on the successful partnership of the SHERPA Project institutions, acting as a focus for the practical assessment of advocacy and population strategies in a variety of settings inside and outside the project consortium. It is supporting the identification and dissemination of good practice in repository development and use. It is facilitating the synthesis of developments in different areas of repository use and offer integrated advocacy and information support to HE institutions and the repository community.

This work will go towards building a foundation for the wider national repository infrastructure to underpin the needs of both the research and learning communities. The project is funded for two years, beginning mid-2005.

Project Aims

The original SHERPA project was involved with the advocacy and establishment of institutional repositories in its member institutions. SHERPA Plus is developing and extending this work to address the wider UK HE community and advocating the general establishment of institutional repositories in HE institutions. SHERPA Plus has a goal of assisting at least 20 new repositories to be established over the life of the project.

SHERPA Plus is also producing a series of deliverables to support the development of repositories amongst the wider UK HE community and provide advocacy support through collection, analysis and dissemination of population and usage strategies. The work involves:

In these ways the project will support both bottom-up advocacy, by developing academic support, and top-down advocacy, by assisting the development of policies encouraging repository use. The results of this work will be available to the wider community and can feed into planning for new repositories and advocacy campaigns.

Shared Experiences

The project will also capitalise on existing work and contacts within the partnership to draw from related projects at home and abroad and from the wider Open Access movement. Each of the partners has a live repository and an active programme to advocate repository use within the normal work-flow of their academics. The partnership is therefore well placed to evaluate different strategies for increasing the population of repositories, with the continuing need for internal advocacy and cultural change.

The extension of repositories to include additional data-types, with different producers, user communities and life-cycles, will bring different stakeholders into contact with repositories, allowing different processes and user communities to be supported by repositories with a wider range of activities.


The tasks for advocacy lie in for cultural change, adoption of the new facilities and the integration of repositories in institutional information strategies and services. Experience from the SHERPA project and others demonstrated that the major barriers in the development of eprint repositories are not technical but cultural and managerial. The same proportion of effort is likely to apply in the extension of repositories to hold different materials and data types.

Establishing new repositories requires substantial effort and support and it is likely that there will be novel advocacy challenges presented by institutions which may not have the same drivers as those institutions in the first wave of adopters. Advocacy is being carried out with reference to other advocacy programmes internal to institutions and other national initiatives, like the developing JISC/SURF funded archiving advocacy campaign. The Joint CURL/SCONUL Scholarly Communications Group is planning a major advocacy project in this area. Contact has been made with the Group, who are happy to collaborate with SHERPA Plus.

Through providing a centralised information point for advocacy, SHERPA Plus aims to facilitate development of advocacy work in the large number of institutions without archives. This work is supported by an active advocacy programme addressing these institutions and by helping institutions to mount their own advocacy campaigns. The development of repositories to handle, store and give access to a wider variety of data-objects will bring new combinations of stakeholders to repository work. SHERPA Plus will examine the issues arising from such extension of repository holdings.

A Forum for Repository Administrators

As part of the SHERPA Plus activities, it is proposed to scope and develop an independent spin-off organisation to facilitate collaborative working, sharing of experiences and represent the concerns and interests of repository administrators. This is called the UK Council of Research Repositories (UKCORR). The basic UKCORR organisation will be scoped, established and spun-off; with a strategy for sustainability being scoped as apart of project work.

Project Partners

SHERPA Plus builds on the successful partnership of the SHERPA Project and the involvement of the partners in this project is supported by CURL as an outcome of the SHERPA Project. The partnership is a large and varied consortium and has within its membership a range of examples of repository environments and institutional structures. The working structure of SHERPA Plus is based on a core of repository activism with development and synthesis work drawing from the strengths and activities of its partners.



Stephen Pinfield (

Project Manager

Bill Hubbard (

For further information about SHERPA Plus and the intended work of the project, then please contact Bill through the details above.

Technical Officer

Peter Millington (

Services Development Officer

Jane H Smith (

Project Management

Project Management is following the model established by the SHERPA Project to oversee the work of project staff and contacts in 21 institutions. Day to day management is under the control of the Project Manager, with oversight by the Project Director based at the University of Nottingham. The existing SHERPA Management Group (SMG) is acting as a Management Group for SHERPA Plus.

In this the project reflects a similar structure to the current SHERPA Project, with a core unit based at the lead site and support to, and contributions from, partner sites. This structure has worked well, providing flexibility between partners while maintaining a strong identity, group experience and collective voice. The partners' experiences will feed back into the SHERPA partnership for contextualisation and discussion with findings collated and subsequent further disseminated.

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