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What are institutional repositories and why are they created?

Take action

  • Look at other institutional repositories.
  • Consider the needs of your community and the types of materials produced.


  • Carolina Digital Repository [Link]

"We provide long-term access and safekeeping for scholarly works, datasets, research materials, records, and audiovisual materials produced by the UNC-Chapel Hill community."

  • CDL Digital Preservation Repository [Link]

"The Digital Preservation Repository (DPR) serves the stewardship mission of the UC libraries by providing a single shared solution for the preservation, management, and controlled dissemination of digital collections that support research, teaching, and learning. The repository provides a set of self-service interfaces that the libraries use to deposit and manage digital objects, relieving individual libraries of the burden of creating and maintaining custom digital repositories."

  • Deep Blue at the University of Michigan [Link]

"Deep Blue is the University of Michigan's permanent, safe, and accessible service for representing our rich intellectual community. Its primary goal is to provide access to the work that makes Michigan a leader in research, teaching, and creativity."

"DSpace@MIT is a growing collection of MIT’s research that includes peer-reviewed articles, technical reports, working papers, theses and more. End-user downloads of the 60,000+ items regularly exceed one million per month."


  • Tananbaum, Greg. "Institutional Repositories: Promises of Yesterday and Tomorrow." YouTube, 1:01:49, April 8, 2009. Posted by ALCTS. July 30, 2012. [Link]


  • Berkeley Electronic Press, "Making the Case for an Institutional Repository to Your Provost". (2009). [Link]

The goal of this paper is to help you maximize the effectiveness of your message when you are ready to “sell” your provost’s office on the value of the repository.  Through their research, they’ve identified four key value propositions, or benefits, that have proven to resonate with provosts.  To illustrate those benefits, they provide stories, screenshots and web links.

  • Crow, Raym, "The Case for Institutional Repositories: A SPARC Position Paper" ARL Bimonthly Report 223. (2002). [Link]

"Institutional repositories—digital collections that capture and preserve the intellectual output of university communities—respond to two strategic issues facing academic institutions: 1) they provide a central component in reforming scholarly communication by stimulating innovation in a disaggregated publishing structure; and 2) they serve as tangible indicators of an institution’s quality, thus increasing its visibility, prestige, and public value. This paper examines institutional repositories from these complementary perspectives, describing their potential role and exploring their impact on major stakeholders in the scholarly communication process."

  • "Core Requirements for Digital Archives". Digital Curation Center, DigitalPreservationEurope, NESTOR, and Center for Research Libraries. (2007). [Link]

"In January 2007 representatives of four preservation organizations convened at the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago to seek consensus on core criteria for digital preservation repositories, to guide further international efforts on auditing and certifying repositories. (...) The attendees identified what they believed were ten basic characteristics of digital preservation repositories.  The key premise underlying these characteristics is that for repositories of all types and sizes preservation activities must be scaled to the needs and means of their respective designated community or communities."

  • Lynch, Clifford A. "Institutional Repositories: Essential Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital Age" ARL, no. 226 (February 2003): 1-7. [Link]

"The development of institutional repositories emerged as a new strategy that allows universities to apply serious, systematic leverage to accelerate changes taking place in scholarship and scholarly communication, both moving beyond their historic relatively passive role of supporting established publishers in modernizing scholarly publishing through the licensing of digital content, and also scaling up beyond ad-hoc alliances, partnerships, and support arrangements with a few select faculty pioneers exploring more transformative new uses of the digital medium."

  • Markey, Karen,  Soo Young Rieh, Beth St. Jean, Jihyun Kim, and Elizabeth Yakel. "Census of Institutional Repositories in the United States: MIRACLE Project Research Findings." CLIR Pub140. (2007). [Link]

"In this report, the authors describe results of a nationwide census of institutional repositories in U.S. academic institutions. The census is one of several activities of the MIRACLE Project, an IMLS-funded research program based at the University of Michigan.

A considerable portion of the scholarly record is born digital, and some scholarship is produced in digital formats that have no physical, in-the-hand counterparts. The proliferation of digital scholarship raises serious and pressing issues about how to organize, access, and preserve it in perpetuity. The response of academic institutions has been to build and deploy institutional repositories (IRs) to manage the digital scholarship their learning communities produce."

  • Ware, Mark, "Pathfinder Research on Web-based Repositories". Bristol, UK: Publisher and Library/Learning Solutions (2004). [Link]

"This report reviews recent developments and quantifies the growth of institutional repositories, and explores the impact their expansion may have on scholarly publishing."

Last updated on 09/29/13, 6:20 pm by edfoster10


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