All entries for Monday 09 November 2009

November 09, 2009

Telling a success story

Writing about web page http://go.warwick.ac.uk/repositories

WRAP reached its 2000th live item last week. We made a little news article about it for the library's home page and news feeds, including on Twitter and Facebook. We asked the University's central communications team to publicise it for us, as we did when we reached 1000 items. But whereas that was a big splash at a time of not many other news stories so we got a front page link on the University home page, this time we only got a mention on a news and events page that is buried inside the staff area of the Intranet.

We reached 1000 items in mid July when there weren't many staff around to read about it, which we thought was a shame. But now, even though there are plenty of people around, there is so much else competing for their attention that our 2000th item has passed with hardly a mention. Perhaps reaching 1000 over the summer was a blessing after all!

The 2000th item news went out on Thursday last week, and so far as I can tell the impact so far has been...

1) Two deposits from authors we've not previously been in touch with and a very slightly higher number of visitors to our deposit form - 24 in one day when the highest peak in previous weeks was 21. NB we still don't get anywhere near as many deposits as we do visitors to that form!

2) A handful more visitors to our main page about repositories at Warwick (linked). By which I mean a peak of 53 visits on Thursday when previous high peaks were 40/41.

3) Our approach towards 600 visits a day on WRAP itself was maintained last week. On Monday we reached 595 visits which was great. By Wednesday we'd slumped to 567 (still pretty high!) and on Thursday we were back at 588 visits.

4) The 2000th item which was linked to directly from our news stories attracted 15 visits, to date.

I shall continue to monitor visitor numbers to WRAP and to the 2000th item. Because I was busy last week, I didn't have time to write to the authors to explain to them, which I still intend to do. I also didn't find time to blog about our achievement here, which I've now done...

When we reached 1000 items we were also mentioned in a press release from the JISC, so that would no doubt have had more of an impact. Perhaps we will get more publicity from the JISC and from our University communications team when we reach 10,000!

There are many success stories to tell about a repository. The total number of items in it is a simple one, and reaching a first significant milestone is important.

The speed and consistency of growth is another type of success story. We took 11 months to reach our first 1000 items, and it took us just under 4 months to reach 2000. The story that tells is that it took us a relatively long time to sort out all our processes until they were optimised. I believe that it will take us longer than another 4 months to reach 3000 items (for various reasons but partly because of the need to process theses which take longer), but not significantly so. We can keep growing WRAP's collection in much the same way as we have been doing.

The quality of the items we have collected is a more difficult story to tell but I think that the most interesting number in this blog posting is that we are getting almost 600 visits daily. With only just 2000 items for people to be looking at. My feeling is that this is a significant part of WRAP's success story. People are reading the content and that is what gives us the motivation to go out there and get more!


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