Institutional Repositories

A repository may contain a wide range of material that reflects the intellectual wealth of an institution – for example, journal articles submitted for publication, articles(pre-prints) accepted for publication (post prints), conference papers, working papers, doctoral theses and dissertations, datasets resulting from research projects, etc. – or they may focus on just one class of material, e.g. peer-reviewed papers.

Background
  • Self-archiving refers to the practice of scholars depositing copies of their research papers in electronic repositories or ‘open archives’. Repositories can either be institutionally-based ‘capturing and preserving the intellectual output of a single or multi-university community’ (as defined by Raym Crow (see below)) or discipline-based (as is the case of the most famous open repository, the physics arXiv.
  • A repository may contain a wide range of material that reflects the intellectual wealth of an institution – for example, journal articles submitted for publication (pre-prints), articles accepted for publication (post prints), conference papers, working papers, doctoral theses and dissertations, datasets resulting from research projects, etc. – or they may focus on just one class of material, e.g. peer-reviewed papers.
Benefits for the Individual
  • Research papers that are freely available online are on average better visible and used more often than those that are not. Depositing academic work in an open access repository therefore increases the profile of an author on a world-wide basis, increasing both the dissemination and the impact of the research they undertake.
  • Regular submission of an author’s work to a repository provides an author with a central archive of their work and a record of publications to add to their CV.
Benefits for the Institution
  • Establishing an institutional repository enables a university to publicise its research and teaching programmes by enabling access to the work of its staff and students. The academic work of an institution can be presented in one place rather than just spread amongst hundreds of journals, so increasing visibility and prestige.
  • The quality of a university’s academic output forms an effective advertisement for the institution, attracting external revenue streams, new faculty, and students. Deposit in a university repository can also ease – both for the institution and for the academic author – the administrative burden of reporting publications for research assessment and review exercises.
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