The IPR issues facing self-archiving: key findings of the RoMEO Project

Introduction Inspired by the Open Archives Initiative, the United Kingdom (UK) Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) established the FAIR (Focus on Access to Institutional Repositories) programme in 2002. One of the programme's objectives was to "explore the challenges associated with disclosure and sharing [of content], including IPR and the role of institutional repositories". To this end, the JISC funded a one-year project called RoMEO (Rights Metadata for Open archiving). RoMEO, which took place between 2002–2003, specifically looked at the self-archiving of academic research papers, and the subsequent disclosure and harvesting of metadata about those papers using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) by OAI Data and Service Providers [Open Archives Initiative, 2002a]. The RoMEO project aimed to develop simple rights metadata by which academics could protect their research papers in an open-access environment and also to develop a means by which OAI Data and Service Providers could protect their open-access metadata. RoMEO proposed to show how such rights solutions might be disclosed and harvested under OAI-PMH. The RoMEO project was divided into two phases: a data-gathering phase and a development phase. The project team produced a series of six studies based on their work [Gadd, Oppenheim, and Probets, 2003a; 2003b, 2003c, 2003d, 2003e, 2003f]. (In the remainder of this article, these studies will be referred to as RoMEO Studies 1–6). This article aims to provide an overview of all the activities of the RoMEO project and to report on its key findings and recommendations.