Practice Article

From Meow to ROAR: Expanding Open Access Repository Services at the University of Houston Libraries

  • Annie Wu (University of Houston)
  • Taylor Davis-Van Atta (University of Houston)
  • Santi Thompson (University of Houston)
  • Bethany Scott (University of Houston)
  • Anne Washington (University of Houston)
  • Xiping Liu (University of Houston)


INTRODUCTION The rapidly changing scholarly communication ecosystem is placing a growing premium on research data and scholarship that is openly available. It also places a growing pressure on universities and research organizations to expand their publishing infrastructures and related services. DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM To embrace the change and meet local demands, University of Houston (UH) Libraries formed a cross-departmental open access implementation team in 2017 to expand our open access repository services to accommodate a broad range of research products beyond electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). The result of this effort was the Cougar Research Open Access Repositories (Cougar ROAR), a rebranded and expanded portal to the UH Institutional Repository, and the UH Dataverse, which disseminates the full range of scholarly outputs generated at the University of Houston. This article describes the team’s phased activities, including internal preparation, a campus pilot, rebranding, and a robust outreach program. It also details the team’s specific tasks, such as building the Cougar ROAR portal, developing ROAR policies and guidelines, enhancing institutional repository functionality, conducting campus promotional activities, and piloting and scaling a campus-wide open access program. NEXT STEPS Based on the pilot project findings and the resulting recommendations, the team outlined key next steps for sustainability of the UH Libraries’ open access services: continuation of the campus CV service, establishment of campus-wide OA policy, further promotion of Cougar ROAR and assessment of OA programs and services, and investment in long-term storage and preservation of scholarly output in Cougar ROAR.

Keywords: open access, institutional repository, data repository, rebranding of OA service, scholarly communication

How to Cite:

Wu, A., Davis-Van Atta, T., Thompson, S., Scott, B., Washington, A. & Liu, X., (2019) “From Meow to ROAR: Expanding Open Access Repository Services at the University of Houston Libraries”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 7(1). doi:

Download PDF
View PDF



Published on
13 Dec 2019
Peer Reviewed