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TARA Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is TARA?
  2. What is an institutional repository?
  3. What is meant by the term 'Open Access'?
  4. Do other universities have institutional repositories?
  5. What are the benefits for a member of staff or postgraduate student who includes his/her work in TARA?
  6. Who can deposit materials into TARA?
  7. How can I add my scholarly content to TARA?
  8. What do I need to know to create a community in TARA? Can I get training?
  9. What are the rights and responsibilities of TARA communities and submitters?
  10. What types of material formats are accepted?
  11. Can I remove items once they've been posted in TARA?
  12. Can I deposit materials that I created before I became affiliated with Trinity? What happens to my materials in TARA if I leave Trinity?
  13. Will I need special software to upload materials?
  14. Why do I need to attach "metadata" to the items I submit to TARA?
  15. What are the advantages TARA provides researchers?
  16. Who can view materials located in TARA?
  17. How do I search for and access scholarly works deposited in TARA?
  18. Who is responsible for managing TARA?
  19. What are the rights and responsibilities of TARA and its administrators?

1. What is TARA?

Trinity’s Access to Research Archive is designed to store, index, distribute, and preserve the digital materials of Trinity College Dublin. Content, deposited directly by Trinity faculty and staff, may include research papers, photographs, videos, theses, conference papers, or other intellectual property in digital form. The content is then distributed through a searchable Web interface. TARA uses DSpace open source software, developed by MIT and Hewlett Packard.

2. What is an institutional repository?

A university-based institutional repository is a set of services that a university offers to the members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community members. It is most essentially an organizational commitment to the stewardship of these digital materials, including long-term preservation where appropriate, as well as organization and access or distribution. Clifford A. Lynch, "Institutional Repositories: Essential Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital Age" ARL, no. 226 (February 2003): 1-7.

3. What is meant by the term Open Access?

When we say that TARA is an open access repository, we mean that the items included can be viewed by anyone, without requiring users to pay to view them.

4. Do other universities have institutional repositories?

Yes. Many universities have implemented institutional repositories using a variety of software systems.

5. What are the benefits for a member of staff or postgraduate student who includes his/her work in TARA?

Allowing your scholarly materials to be stored and distributed via TARA allows you to maximise the dissemination of your research (and its impact) and adds greatly to the distribution provided by traditional journals or personal websites. TARA provides your work with a persistent web link that remains constant and allows anyone worldwide access over the internet. TARA is also ideal for archiving and publishing multimedia formats that aren't suitable for traditional publication methods. When you use TARA you retain the copyright to your own intellectual property while licensing Trinity College Dublin to to allow your work to be accessed through a non-exclusive license.

6. Who can deposit materials into TARA?

Any person or group within Trinity College Dublin can submit content as long they are: a) a member of staff or postgraduate student b) a postgraduate student submitting an electronic thesis c) part of an established Community in TARA. Please contact us for details in setting up your own Community or Collection.

7. How can I add my scholarly content to TARA?

If you are a member of staff or postgraduate student it is recommended that you deposit your scholarly and research papers via the Research Support System. Add your new publication’s details and upload the content to the repository using the button on the second screen. Your papers will be automatically sent to the correct collection for your School. Materials created cooperatively with co-authors who are not affiliated with TCD are accepted as long as at least one of the authors is affiliated with TCD and the submitter owns the copyright to the material. For special collections of material (e.g., a set of images or technical reports) you may wish to have a separate Community and Collection/s established. (All scholarly content in TARA is sponsored by a "community" that is responsible for creating the content and the content guidelines for their section of the repository). A community can be comprised of an academic unit, department, research centre or any other group. Once a community is established, the community members set up the workflow, collections and policies.

8. What do I need to know to create a community in TARA? Can I get training?

Please contact us for initial training (as well as consultation later on) in getting your community off the ground. This instruction will help your community to establish its workflow and to learn about the TARA interface. The process of putting items into TARA is relatively intuitive and does not require knowledge of any specialized software.

9. What are the rights and responsibilities of TARA communities and submitters?

The members of each TARA community will be responsible for establishing the policies and procedures that will guide their use of the repository for storing and disseminating their scholarly output. TARA communities will also be responsible for maintaining their collections and deciding who will perform the work involved therein.

10. What types of material formats are accepted?

TARA can accept a wide variety of formats but can only guarantee to preserve certain formats. To see a complete list of what formats are "known", "supported", and "unsupported" and what exactly those designations mean, please refer to TARA format support page (forthcoming).

11. Can I remove items once they've been posted in TARA?

Under normal circumstances, no. TARA is not intended for ephemeral materials and items likely to be revised. TARA will allow contributors to amend a previous admission with revisions, but will remove the original item only under exceptional circumstances.

12. Can I deposit materials that I created before I became affiliated with Trinity? What happens to my materials in TARA if I leave Trinity?

You may submit items to TARA that you created before you became affiliated with the Trinity if you hold the copyright to the item. As is discussed above, the archive does not remove items once submitted.

13. Will I need special software to upload materials?

No. Only a web browser.

14. Why do I need to attach metadata to the items I submit to TARA?

The metadata attached to each TARA submission is similar to the information in a library's catalogue record for a book. It is descriptive information about an item that allows it to be found via keyword searching (e.g., title of an item, author, subjects, etc.) Having descriptive metadata attached to an item allows it to be more easily accessed using tools like search engines and metadata harvesters.

15. What are the advantages TARA provides researchers?

Researchers are allowed access to the scholarly work in TARA without being required to pay for access. People around the world can access materials deposited in TARA using a search engine such as Google without worrying about the restraints that proprietary databases often create.

16. Who can view materials located in TARA?

TARA is an open access archive and its contents are therefore accessible free of charge to anyone on the World Wide Web. It is possible to restrict access to parts of TARA, but we do not encourage that for most scholarly material. The goal of open access repositories like TARA is to allow any person with an internet connection and web browser to view its contents.

17. How do I search for and access scholarly works deposited in TARA?

TARA allows users to search for items or browse through collections of materials. TARA includes a search feature that allows users to look for items by author, title, or other types of keywords. Items in TARA are also indexed by Google and other search engines.

18. Who is responsible for managing TARA?

The Library is responsible for managing TARA. Its development  is governed by the Institutional Repository Steering Group and is directed by the Dean of Research.

19. What are the rights and responsibilities of TARA and its administrators?

TARA and its administrators reserve the right to remove material, to migrate file formats and to upgrade metadata in certain circumstances.