The University of Tasmania’s ePrints repository has been ranked in the top 100 in the world.
The Webometrics group has just released its 2012 ranking of institutional repositories in the world and UTAS came in at number 85.
Only two other Australian universities made the cut, the University of Queensland (14), and the Queensland University of Technology (20).
ePrints is a growing collection providing free, searchable, open access to publications by current UTAS staff and higher degree students including journal articles, books, conference papers and theses.
The repository was started by Professor Arthur Sale in 2004 and later transferred to library management.
Prof Sale said research outputs are an interesting form of ‘public good’, in that they increase in value every time they are used.
“In the past, researchers just submitted their papers to a journal and hoped someone would read them,” he said.
“Now, researchers can see the value of making their results openly accessible and they are working to realise what the Internet offers: free access to the world’s research for everyone with an online connection.”
Prof Sale said from 2011 to 2012, the ePrints repository helped bring the university’s website ranking up from 575th to 475th, a respectable ranking globally, though UTAS aspires to even higher levels.
“It also offers the opportunity to the world to see the quality of the research being done at the University and the value of its collections.
“The importance of open access to research is that everyone with a desire to know has access, as opposed to the present situation, where access is controlled by the ability to fund a subscription of up to thousands of dollars, in the hope that something useful will be published, or paying a per-article access cost of around $30, sight unseen as to value.”
He noted that in its second year, UTAS and the University of Queensland (Australia’s largest university) tied for top place in the national Awards for Excellence.
“It was not a coincidence that both universities are still in the top 100.
“Both universities have a record of progress in open access, and especially in making the results of PhD research public.”