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Open Access initiative on campus

October 20, 2015 — 

This year, the International Open Access Week will be held from October 19th to the 25th to raise awareness of Open Access (OA), free and unrestricted online access to research outputs. As an OA initiative on this campus, the University of Manitoba Libraries manages an institutional repository called MSpace. A number of funders including Canada’s Tri-Agencies require grantees to make their scholarly articles OA, and University of Manitoba researchers can meet such a requirement by depositing into MSpace post-prints (peer-reviewed, accepted manuscripts) so that they can be viewed and downloaded by the public. The Tri-Agencies also announced the Draft Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management in July 2015 to promote data stewardship practices including access to research data from Tri-Agency funded projects.

The Lake Winnipeg Basin Information Network (LWBIN) is a web-based data and information portal managed by the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Earth, Environment and Resources, within the Centre for Earth Observation Sciences (CEOS). LWBIN houses research from Canada and the United States, from the Rockies to the Arctic. MSpace allows LWBIN to maintain a publication collection to curate and preserve the Centre’s scholarship including openly accessible government and research-related publications as well as pre-print or post-print journal articles. Where a journal article is copyright protected, LWBN will place the citation so users can access the article through their institution’s journal subscription. LWBIN links documents in MSpace to datasets through its main data site.

With the advancements in technology, the size and number of datasets collected by researchers is increasing at a tremendous rate. Researchers have begun to recognize the need to have a web-based accessible system that can provide harmonization and warehousing of the terabytes of multi-disciplinary datasets that are collected and analyzed each year. Northern and Arctic data pose unique challenges in that they are often very costly to collect and not easily replicated.

Research data is complex; data includes not just the original datasets but also many types of information such as images, data products (e.g. presentations) and textual data (e.g. field notes, publications). This additional information provides context for the data and helps keep it meaningful. MSpace enables LWBIN to add value to science data and keep it relevant by providing a permanent location for the contextual information related to the original datasets.

Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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