Sunday, February 25, 2007

Census of Institutional Repositories in the United States

In this CLIR 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. From the Executive Summary:
What Progress Have Respondents Made on IR Policies?
At least 60% of census respondents with operational IRs report they have implemented policies for (1) acceptable file formats, (2) determining who is authorized to make contributions to the IR, (3) defining collections, (4) restricting access to IR content, (5) identifying metadata formats and authorized metadata creators, and (6) determining what is acceptable content (Figure 6.2). There are many more IR-related activities for which these institutions report drafted policies or no policies at all.

It may be not necessary for all IR policies to be in place at the time of the public launch of an institution’s IR. Taking a wait-and-see attitude, evaluating what transpires after a period of time, then firming up existing policies and implementing new ones as needed may be the most expedient course of action.

Who Contributes to IRs and at What Rate?Authorized contributors to IRs are typically members of the institution’s learning community—faculty, librarians, research scientists, archivists, and graduate and undergraduate students (Table 6.3). Staff who facilitate the research and teaching missions of the institution (e.g., press, news service, academic support staff, central computer staff) are less likely to be authorized to contribute. Asked to identify the major contributor to their IR, only PPT staff are unified in their response, with almost 60% naming faculty (Table 6.4). Percentages drop to 48.1% and 33.3% for PO and IMP respondents, respectively. The unified response of PPT staff probably stems from the fact that they work one-on-one with faculty who are early adopters during the planning and pilot-test phase of the IR effort. In fact, PO, PPT, and IMP respondents choose “IR staff working one-on-one with early adopters” as the most successful method for recruiting IR content (Figure 6.5). Other successful methods are “word of mouth from early adopters to their colleagues” (Figure 6.6), “personal visits to staff and administrators,” and “presentations about the IR at departmental and faculty meetings” (Figure 6.7).

Respondents report that recruiting content for the IR is difficult (Figure 7.3). At institutions with operational IRs, IR staff are willing to entertain institutional mandates that require members of their institution’s learning community to deposit certain document types in the IR (Table 7.3). Asked why they think people will contribute to the IR, respondents give high ratings to reasons that enhance scholarly reputations and offload research-dissemination tasks onto others. Lower-ranked reasons pertain to enhancing the institution’s standing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Stevan Harnad
American Scientist Open Access Forum

The Census of US IRs devotes a good deal of space to the least important aspects of IRs (formats, authorization, selection) and little space to what is most important (IRs do not get filled spontaneously: self-archiving mandates are essential). There is also an inordinate focus on Dspace IRs, whereas of the 212 United States IRs registered in the Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR), 63 are Dspace (226 worldwide), 52 are EPrints (220 worldwide), 42 are Bepress (51 worldwide) and the remaining 55 (250 worldwide) are other...