Activity data to Enhance and Increase Open-access Usage (AEIOU)

Lead institution: Aberystwyth University
Project home page:
Project hypothesis:
"The provision of a shared recommendation service will increase the visibility and usage of Welsh research outputs".
This will be demonstrated through quantitative and qualitative assessments:
  • By a [significant] increase in attention and usage data for items held within the six core institutional repositories
  • By establishing a user focus group to explore the potential of the recommendation service and its impact on repository users
The project evaluation concluded:
"The AEIOU project has successfully developed and implemented a repository resource recommendation service. Due to considerable challenges around the project timescale it has not been possible to undertake a robust evaluation of the service to assess the extent to which its implementation would prove the project hypothesis. The positive feedback to date could be indicative that the recommendation service may encourage further use of repository resources; however, further data over a longer period would be needed to validate this.
"More general feedback suggests that the service is seen as a positive enhancement to the repository and can provide benefits to users as well as exposing more of the repository content to users. "
Project description
Anecdotal evidence has suggested that the majority of user traffic into an institutional repository is generated through hits from Web search engines such as Google. Searchers will be directed towards a single item or record and have no additional incentive to look for further relevant information within the repository. The purpose of the proposed AEIOU Wales Project is to increase the visibility and usage of all academic research by aggregating Welsh institutional repository activity data to provide a “Frequently viewed together” recommendation service, such as those used by Amazon and many other e-commerce websites.
This project will utilise existing relationships and build on the national repository infrastructure established through the Welsh Repository Network (WRN), a collaborative venture between the twelve Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Wales. We propose to create a shared recommendation service by aggregating activity data from each WRN repository so that searchers accessing an item within an institutional repository will be presented with recommendations to further research outputs from across Wales. We will also explore the potential of promoting relationships between cross- institutional, collaborative research groups within Wales via the recommendation service, as well as enhancing the visibility and usage of all academic research by directing users to a Welsh Research Gateway.We therefore hypothesise that the creation of a shared recommendation service will increase the visibility and usage of that research and will be demonstrated through a significant increase in attention and usage data at both an institutional and national level.