While doing their research, both scientists and students often face the need to find the full text of an academic publication. And if it has been placed in the University Repository, it will be easily found and will be available to all readers.
The primary goal of creating open access archives - repositories - is to increase the openness of information regarding the research and academic activities of the university. Consequently, this leads to an increase in its awareness in the global research and academic space. This service opens up academic papers of University authors to a wide range of users. It also provides long-term storage of learning content and research findings. These were the goals of creating the St Petersburg University Research Repository in 2013.
Each paper stored in the open access archive receives an identifier and a unique hyperlink, which is then provided by a search engine upon request for the study title. The author of the academic paper confers his/her rights. Consequently, the reader has the opportunity to read the full text. This also indirectly affects the citation of materials, as repositories are well indexed by search engines. Additionally, the reader is able to have a look at a large number of journal publications, references to which are indicated in pre- or postprints published in the repository.
The main objective of storing papers in open access archives is to make them more accessible to readers. Research findings are not always published in open academic journals that provide free access to all published materials (gold open access). Some publications are distributed by subscription, which means that not everyone has the opportunity to read them. At the same time, the majority of such journals allow papers to be published in “green open access” in the form of a preprint or a postprint in institutional repositories or on the personal pages of the authors. A scientist's site can be deleted, but a paper stored in the repository will always be available. Thus, it is much more worthwhile to upload it to the open access archive. If the paper is difficult to find or has been published in a journal with a costly subscription, then the likelihood that it will be read and cited, as well as the likelihood that it will serve as a basis for further research, decreases significantly.
Academic staff of St Petersburg University, who understand the importance of the Research Repository, store not only preprints of their papers there, but also upload teaching aids and student training manuals. From 2016, as required by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, the University has been uploading students’ graduation projects to its open access archive.
By the end of 2018, there were more than 13,700 documents in the St Petersburg Research Repository.
The number of hits reached 64,500, which exceeded the website traffic of 2017 more than twofold.
The number of documents tends to increase mainly because of uploading Graduation Projects, the collection of which totals more than 8,600 documents. The Research Repository is also enlarged substantially due to downloads of the collections of Academic Journals and Digital Collections of the Scientific Library. Moreover, it is enriched with books of subject collections published at St Petersburg University and uploaded by the University Publishing House. The digital collection of St Petersburg University will be further expanded by research and methodological materials that are used in the implementation of academic programmes and are not published as editions with an assigned international standard book number ISBN. It will also be expanded by materials of conferences held at St Petersburg University as collections of texts and theses of reports and presentations.