(#2) What is an institutional repository?

I’d like to introduce you to IUScholarWorks Repository and explain what it can do for you, the IU researcher.

A definition of institutional repository (IR) by Clifford Lynch, Director of the Coalition for Networked Information :

“a university-based institutional repository is a set of services that a university offers to the members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community members. It is most essentially an organizational commitment to the stewardship of these digital materials, including long-term preservation where appropriate, as well as organization and access or distribution.” (2003; http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/br226ir.pdf)

IUScholarWorks Repository is an open access institutional repository and serves as a place to permanently archive research materials in any format such as:

  • Previously published materials (articles, book chapters, etc.)
  • Conference works and unpublished scholarly works
  • Lectures
  • Data files and databases

Understanding open access. Peter Suber, an  independent policy strategist for open access to research, provides a useful definition:

“Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.” (2004, revised 2010; http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/overview.htm)

How does a researcher get started with the IUScholarWorks Repository?
IU Researchers should contact the IUScholarWorks administrator (me, Jennifer Laherty) via email at iusw@indiana.edu or jlaherty@indiana.edu if you are interested in depositing your research materials.  Together and often with assistance from Sherri Michaels, the Intellectual Property Librarian at IU Bloomington, we will determine if you have the rights to deposit your research materials, or if we need to seek permission from the rightsholder in order to make the deposit.  For each item submitted to the repository, the rightsholder must agree to the non-exclusive IUScholarWorks Repository license.

Although it should seem that the author is the rightsholder to the material, this is not often the case for materials already published, such as articles and book chapters.  In most cases, an author transfers a cadre of copyrights to their publisher in a copyright transfer agreement.  It is important to understand which rights were transferred in order to determine if the author has the right to post their work to an open access institutional repository.  We can help navigate to answer this question.  For students desiring to deposit their research, it may be done with permission of their academic department.

Once the copyright situation is figured out, research may be deposited.  Here’s a very short list of some interesting materials in IUScholarWorks:

Some words about access and preservation
IUScholarWorks Repository makes your research freely and broadly available to a worldwide audience (open access); it uses technology (DSpace) and metadata standards (the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, OAI-PMH) to ensure your works are more findable on the Internet; and the Libraries take care to archive and preserve your works for future generations.  IUScholarWorks is privileged to have support from the IU Digital Library Program, a a collaborative effort of the IU Libraries and University Information Technology Services in its efforts to achieve its mission.

Author- Jennifer Laherty

Jennifer Laherty is the Head of Sciences for IU Libraries. She liaises to the biology and chemistry, and related, departments.

1 thought on “(#2) What is an institutional repository?”

  1. Harnad, S. (2008) Waking OA’s “Slumbering Giant”: The University’s Mandate To Mandate Open Access. New Review of Information Networking 14 (1). pp. 51-68.
    Abstract: Universities (the universal research-providers) as well as research funders (public and private) are beginning to make it part of their mandates to ensure not only that researchers conduct and publish peer-reviewed research (“publish or perish”), but that they also make it available online, free for all. This is called Open Access (OA), and it maximizes the uptake, impact and progress of research by making it accessible to all potential users worldwide, not just those whose universities can afford to subscribe to the journal in which it is published. Researchers can provide OA to their published journal articles by self-archiving them in their own university’s online repository. Students and junior faculty – the next generation of research providers and consumers — are in a position to help accelerate the adoption of OA self-archiving mandates by their universities, ushering in the era of universal OA.

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