Northampton Electronic Collection of Theses and Research

JISC projects


Bringing a buzz to NECTAR
Open to Open Access


NECTAR was a repository start up project funded by the JISC within its Repositories and Preservation programme start-up and enhancement strand. The programme's vision was to establish a network of digital resources and services, in order to significantly improve content use and curation. To this end, the programme funded some 23 repositories of research outputs in universities and colleges, as well as repositories for theses, e-learning materials and research data.

As part of the JISC project, we were committed to sharing some of the project outputs with the wider repository community. On this page you will find some of the key documents and presentations that we produced.

NECTAR briefing sheet
This document was circulated to the research community before being presented to the University Research Committee for approval. It outlines the underlying principles for the repository.

NECTAR case history
This case history was submitted to the Open Repositories 2008 conference held at Southampton in April 2008, it forms part of a set of repository case histories produced by repository managers from the UK and internationally.

Repository software: functional specification
This specification was circulated to prospective software suppliers. It outlines functional rather than technical requirements.

Creating a buzz for NECTAR.
This presentation was given to a Repositories Support Project Professional briefing and networking event, held at The University of Northampton in November 2008. It outlines NECTAR's progress to that point and addresses early advocacy issues.

NECTAR launch party
Photos of the NECTAR launch party held on 19th June 2008.

Adding value to the institutional repository - the NECTAR experience
The focus of a 'Soapbox' presentation at Repository Fringe 2008, this poster outlines the ways in which NECTAR is providing added value to its stakeholders.

Gathering NECTAR at The University of Northampton
This case study article describes the development of NECTAR from conception to launch.

Repository policy at The University of Northampton
A short case study, presented to the SUETr Repository Policy event at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, February 2009.

NECTAR project - past events

Demonstrating and exploiting repository value - 3rd December 2008
Jointly offered by the NECTAR and WRAP projects, and sponsored by the JISC Repositories and Preservation Programme, this event was aimed at repository managers and administrators, and equipped participants with the knowledge they needed to gather and use evidence of repository value in repository advocacy activities.

RSP/SUETr Copyright for Repositories Staff Training Workshop - 28th October 2008
A meeting for repository administrators and others tasked with providing open access to university outputs. An opportunity to learn about the matters surrounding IPRs and repositories and what can be done to deal with them.

RSP Professional briefing and networking event (Start up event) - 15th Novenber 2007
A briefing for repository adminstrators covering repository case studies from the University of Northampton and Cranfield University, policy frameworks, and copyright issues.

EMALINK (East Midlands Academic Libraries network) workshop on repository advocacy - 7th November 2007.
Part of the EMALINK series of seminars, this session gave library staff from the region the chance to share experiences and good practice in repository advocacy.


The KeepIt project addressed one aspect of NECTAR's remit: to preserve university research outputs. Digital preservation is notoriously challenging. The KeepIt project sought to bring tools and expertise to new custodians of digital content - repository managers.

NECTAR was one of four exemplar repositories in the project. Together the exemplars represented science (eCrystals at the University of Southampton), arts (UAL Research Online at the University of the Arts in London), research (NECTAR) and learning and teaching (EdShare also at the University of Southampton).

The four repository managers were offered training in digital preservation and the tools to accomplish this. The project is described in detail on the KeepIt blog. Posts of particular relevance to NECTAR are listed here.

In addition to contributions to the KeepIt blog, the following project outputs were produced:

Bringing a buzz to NECTAR

Our third JISC-funded project aimed to implement a range of new tools, services and procedures in NECTAR to collectively revitalize the repository, further embedding it into the research environment of The University of Northampton and ensuring that it continues to be fit to support the university's needs.

The 'Bringing a buzz to NECTAR' project had several objectives:

  1. To modify university procedures for entering, validating and enhancing NECTAR metadata to increase researcher involvement, encourage the deposit of full content and further embed NECTAR in researcher workflows.
  2. To implement technical and procedural changes as necessary to ensure NECTAR's compatibility with the requirements of the British Library's EThOS service.
  3. To implement technical and procedural solutions (when available) to ensure NECTAR would be ready to support the Research Excellence Framework (REF).
  4. Through implementation of the Eprints Kultur plugin and rebranding of the repository interface, to better display the creative research outputs of the institution and to visually embed NECTAR within The University of Northampton's new university website.
  5. To implement the sector's best ideas for new 'added value' services from NECTAR (e.g. personal bibliographies on staff profile pages) to increased the perceived benefit of NECTAR.
  6. To provide a programme of appropriate training, advocacy and promotional activity to support the changes described above.
  7. To collaborate with colleagues in the Repositories Support Project (RSP) and UKCoRR to ensure that sector best practice is followed.

In addition to fulfilling the stated objectives, the project delivered a number of outputs:

  • Pickton, M. (2011) Bringing a buzz to NECTAR: Encouraging take up and embedding through new repository services Presented to: Repository Fringe, Informatics forum, Edinburgh, 3-5 August 2011.
  • Pickton, M. (2012) Bringing a buzz to NECTAR. ALISS Quarterly. 7(3), pp. 24-29. 1747-9258.
  • Pickton, M. (2012) Bringing a buzz to NECTAR. Poster presented to: Research Active: Library and Learning Services Conference 2012, Sunley Management Centre, University of Northampton, 19 June 2012.
  • Pickton, M. (2012) Bringing a buzz to NECTAR: Outcomes and impact. Presented to: JISC Repositories Take-Up and Embedding (JISCrte) Event, Nottingham, 10 February 2012.

The project ran from February 2011 to February 2012 and was part of the Repositories: take-up and embedding strand of the JISC Information Environment 09-11 Programme. For further information about the project please contact the NECTAR team.

Open to Open Access (O2OA)

One of nine JISC-supported 'open access good practice' projects, O2OA is a joint project involving Northampton, Coventry and De Montfort Universities. Internal partners at Northampton are Library and Learning Services and the Institute of Health and Wellbeing.

Together we aim to establish institutional processes to support researchers in meeting funders' requirements for open access to publications and data.

Project objectives are to:

  1. Identify the open access needs of researchers, information managers, research support staff, corporate leads and external funders
  2. Understand the relationships between open access publications, open access data and impact
  3. Develop workflows to support open access dissemination
  4. Test and review technical modifications to existing institutional systems
  5. Embed a pro-open access culture using behaviour-change informed approaches to engage researchers
  6. Align recommendations and workflows to funders' and institutional mandates
  7. Disseminate learning from the project across the HE sector

Please see the JISC Open Access Good Practice and O2OA blogs for further information or contact Miggie Pickton to learn more.