Congratulations to our third 2014 IR All-Star, Michael Organ, Manager of Repository Services at the University of Wollongong (UOW), Australia! Along with his amazing team of IR support staff, Michael has helped develop Wollongong’s repository, Research Online, into a thriving IR example throughout Australia and beyond. Michael has achieved a broad range of accomplishments during his tenure at Wollongong, but his fearless, take-charge approach to repository management and successful positioning of UOW’s repository as a regional and international leader are especially noteworthy.
By focusing on simplicity and outreach rather than getting bogged down in systems and metadata, Michael and his team have managed to turn Research Online into the second most impactful repository (in terms of download counts) in the Digital Commons community. A densely populated repository with a wide variety of content, Research Online is a glowing reminder that successful IRs are not solely a North American game—Australia is doing amazing things in the scholarly communications field, and UOW is at the head of the pack. In his paper, “Leveraging ERA to increase repository content,” Michael details the intensive process UOW undertook to comply with the 2010 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative. In addition to leading the charge for UOW, Michael also took on the role of helping other Australian schools determine their own strategies for complying. By reaching out to our Digital Commons Consulting Services team, Michael was able to figure out technical workflows for complying with ERA that were of critical value for other Australian IRs and ultimately led to a significant boost in Research Online’s content.
Never one to shy away from trying new things, Michael has shown outstanding initiative and innovation in many different aspects of repository management. Preceding our Data Pioneers program by several years, UOW was one of the first schools to use Digital Commons for hosting research data collections. Michael and his team began investigating the IR as a solution for data management on campus in collaboration with the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), an Australia-wide government initiative, in 2010 and have officially been storing data collections in the repository since May of 2011. A consistent and vocal advocate for measuring IR impact, Michael was an early adopter of the Digital Commons Readership Activity Map, making UOW the first Australian school to display one on its repository homepage. In order to drive traffic to the repository and encourage faculty to share their work, Michael and his team used Digital Commons in a way we haven’t seen before by creating their very own customized “Author Badges.” The badges, which come in four different colors, link back to a faculty’s SelectedWorks page and can easily be added to any website or online profile with simple cut and paste HTML code.
Though now several years old, Michael’s 2010 paper “Research Online: Achieving success” remains a timeless and valuable resource for IR managers at any stage of experience. To read more of Michael Organ’s scholarship, visit his SelectedWorks page here.