Repositories: what to consider before building one

Repositories: what to consider before building one

In recent times, research repositories have surged in popularity, akin to a chart-topping hit in the realm of research and development. They've become the go-to solution for many teams and researchers aiming to streamline their processes and enhance collaboration. However, amidst the excitement surrounding repositories, it's crucial to understand their purpose and how to wield them effectively.

In a recent episode of "From Funders to Builders", the nuances of research repositories were dissected, shedding light on the dos and don'ts of implementation.

One of the things mentioned in this episode is the 5Cs to consider before starting your repo:

1. Concept: Setting the Foundation: Before diving headfirst into building a repository, it's imperative to define the concept behind it. What's the goal? Identifying the purpose of the repository sets the tone for subsequent decisions. Whether it's creating a knowledge hub for researchers or facilitating cross-team collaboration, clarity on the concept is paramount.

2. Consumption: Knowing Your Audience: Understanding who will consume the repository's content is pivotal. Tailoring the repository to suit the needs and preferences of its users is essential for maximizing its utility. Whether it's researchers, product managers, or the entire organization, catering to the intended audience ensures relevance and engagement.

3. Content Type: Structuring Information: Deciding on the type of content to include in the repository lays the groundwork for its structure and functionality. Will it house reports, insights, multimedia content, or a combination thereof? Determining the content type enables effective organization and retrieval of information.

4. Creation: Establishing Guidelines: Defining who will create and contribute content to the repository is essential for maintaining consistency and quality. Establishing clear guidelines ensures uniformity in formatting, writing style, and content relevance. Whether it's researchers, designers, or product managers, a structured approach to content creation is indispensable.

5. Cleaning Up: Regular Maintenance: Just as clutter accumulates over time, repositories can become inundated with outdated or irrelevant content. Implementing regular clean-up sessions ensures the repository remains a valuable resource. Assessing the relevance of existing content and pruning outdated information fosters efficiency and prevents the repository from becoming a digital junkyard.

Conclusion: Building with PurposeResearch repositories hold immense potential as tools for knowledge management and collaboration. However, their effectiveness hinges on careful planning and execution. By adhering to the five Cs—Concept, Consumption, Content Type, Creation, and Cleaning Up—teams can build repositories that drive innovation, foster collaboration, and elevate research practices.

Repositories are more than just digital storage spaces; they're catalysts for transformative research practices. Repositories can be great, but being mindful to build them when you need them for what you need is key. Otherwise, it can be a costly mistake. So, let's build repositories with purpose, leveraging their potential to propel research and innovation forward.

Watch the full episode here: