Fighting poverty together: Open Repository partners with Oxfam

January 25, 2012

Today, Oxfam GB adopts 'Open Repository' - the service from open access specialist BioMed Central, which allows organizations to build, launch, host and maintain their own repositories.

While Oxfam is best known for its anti-poverty programme and campaigning work, the organization also produces vital research and policy materials from its experience across the world. Through the implementation of the Open Repository system, Oxfam is now able to maximize the distribution of this documentation in a one-stop personalised repository - at a fraction of the cost of other commercial systems.

Oxfam works with others to overcome poverty and suffering and to have the greatest possible impact on the lives of poor people worldwide. Working with affiliate organizations in the Oxfam International Confederation, Oxfam GB concentrates on three interlinked areas of work: emergency response to provide swift aid to people in need, focusing on water and sanitation, and public health; long-term development projects which help people in poor communities identify what keeps them in poverty, and then control and work towards solutions to their own problems; and high profile campaigning for long term and sustainable change.

Capturing and structuring, and then showcasing, Oxfam's extremely large and ever evolving output of research and policy information from these programmes was a significant challenge for the organization. Through partnership with pioneering open access publisher BioMed Central, Oxfam now has a flexible, reliable repository solution which allows it to organize and share this material on a global basis.

Speaking as the new system went live, Robert Cornford from Oxfam GB said, "We have had a very interesting experience working with Open Repository to establish the Oxfam iLibrary, from working out a classification system for our very varied content through developing a remote deposit structure so people across our programme offices can upload materials, to integrating with a separate website. We now have a digital library where we can capture our experience and share our knowledge easily and quickly. Our repository, the Oxfam iLibrary, will have an immediate impact on our own ways of working internally and, with our new information website ( now live, will make our content available to external audiences across the world."

An increasing number of organizations are looking to provide open and unrestricted access to their published research and reference materials, to share learning, and to demonstrate transparency and accountability. This has led organizations like Oxfam to look for innovative ways to store and classify, and then publish and publicize, their resources.

BioMed Central's Open Repository service provides an extremely cost effective solution for institutions looking to showcase their open access research. Open Repository is built upon the latest version of DSpace, an open-source solution for accessing, managing and preserving scholarly works. Customers of Open Repository benefit from updated system features not only from DSpace themselves, but also from BioMed Central's team who are continually working to enhance their repository service.
Notes to Editors

1. For further information on the Oxfam GB partnership please refer to the OR case study

2. Open Repository ( is a service from BioMed Central to build, launch, host and maintain institutional repositories for organisations. Built upon the latest DSpace repository software the service has been designed to be flexible and cost-effective. BioMed Central's economy of scale makes it possible for organisations that could not otherwise afford to, or lack the infrastructure or technical capacity in-house to run their own repositories

3. Oxfam GB is registered as a charity in England and Wales (202918) and Scotland (SCO39042) and is a member of Oxfam International.

BioMed Central

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