Introducing CREST

At the RAU we use the CREST Collections repository for all our peer reviewed research papers.

CREST Collections is a joint repository for research outputs of institutions who are Members of the Consortium for Research Excellence, Support and Training. It is sub-association of Guild HE a membership organisation representing the most recently designated universities and university colleges, specialist colleges and other bodies providing higher education programmes. Eleven institutions use the CREST repository.


CREST is an open access repository built using ePrints, open source software originally created by the university of Southampton that is compliant with the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting. It offers support for ORCID, Datacite DOIs, Core, integrations with Symplectica and PURE and allows CSS bootstrapping.

While the RAU has a long history of applied research less time has been spent on academic research and unfortunately the repository has been left a little unloved.

Earlier in December I attended an all-day training session on CREST delivered by Co-sector, the digital services branch of the University of London (used to be University of London Computing Centre). It was well attended with representatives from eight of the eleven institutions who use CREST.


Michele Morelli, developer at Co-sector, gave a us a step-by-step tour through all aspects of our repositories using our newly created institutional staging servers. We covered: the various tabs, searching, browsing and exporting files, batch editing, user management, the various eprints phases, the admin menu and reporting. Michele also spent some time looking at the new REF and RIOXX2 plugins.

In the afternoon Rachel Persad, Policy Manager for Research and Innovation at GuildHE, gave a presentation on REF2021 and open access. The requirements for REF2021 are more stringent than those for the REF2014 in relation to open access. Deposit must be as soon as possible after Point of Acceptance and no later than 3 months after date of publication. However there are deposit exceptions (e.g. related to staff contracts, security risks, delays etc.), and small specialists are able to make use of these.

The training session was really useful and the RAU will definitely be making better use of CREST over the forthcoming year – it’s on our New Year’s resolutions list 🙂

RAU CREST Repository: