Forwarded from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL).
ARL Publishes SPEC Kit 292: INSTITUTIONAL REPOSITORIES
Since 2002, when DSpace and other institutional repository (IR) software began to be available, an increasing number of research libraries and their parent institutions have established institutional repositories to collect and provide access to diverse locally produced digital materials. This emerging technology holds great promise to transform scholarly communication, but it is still in its infancy. This survey was intended to collect baseline data about ARL member institutions' institutional repository activities.
For the purposes of this survey, an IR was simply defined as a permanent, institution-wide repository of diverse locally produced digital works (e.g., article preprints and post-prints, data sets, electronic theses and dissertations, learning objects, and technical reports) that is available for public use and supports metadata harvesting. If an institution shares an IR with other institutions, it was within the scope of this survey. Not included in this definition were scholars' personal Web sites; academic department, school, or other unit digital archives that are primarily intended to store digital materials created by members of that unit; or disciplinary archives that include digital materials about one or multiple subjects that have been created by authors from many different institutions (e.g., arXiv.org).
The survey was distributed to the 123 ARL member libraries in January 2006. Eighty-seven libraries (71%) responded to the survey. Of those, 37 (43%) have an operational IR, 31 (35%) are planning for one by 2007 at the latest, and 19 (22%) have no immediate plans to develop an IR. The survey found that most IRs had been established in the last two years (or had just been established). By far, the library was likely to have been the most active institutional advocate of the IR. It was also likely to have been the primary unit leading and supporting the IR effort, sometimes in partnership with the institutional information technology unit. The main reasons for establishing an IR were to increase the global visibility of, preserve, provide free access to, and collect and organize the institution's scholarship.
By a large majority, the most frequently used local IR software was DSpace, with DigitalCommons (or the bepress software it is based on) being the system of choice for vendor-hosted systems. Local systems usually either ran under variants of Linux or Windows on an Intel-based server or under Solaris on a Sun server. A typical IR holds about 3,800 digital objects, with electronic theses and dissertations, article preprints and post-prints, conference presentations, technical reports, working papers, conference proceedings, and multimedia materials being the most common types of documents. IRs normally support OAI-PMH and, a little over half the time, OpenURL.
The average IR start-up cost has been around $182,500 and its average ongoing operation budget is about $113,500. Reallocated funds from the library's budget are a key source of IR support, as are new funds from grants and the parent institution. Staff members have been the largest single IR budget item during start-up and remain so in ongoing budgets. Many IRs were funded without dedicated budgets, using existing personnel and technical resources. The typical IR is supported by about 28 full-time equivalent staff from a variety of units within the library and elsewhere, a digital library/initiatives unit managed it, and that unit reported to a high-level library administrator, such as an assistant or associate dean/director. Although institutional repositories are at an early stage of development, ARL libraries have demonstrated a strong preliminary commitment to them.
This SPEC Kit includes documentation from respondents in the form of IR home pages, IR usage statistics, deposit policies, metadata policies, preservation policies, and IR proposals.
The table of contents and executive summary from this SPEC Kit are available online at http://www.arl.org/spec/SPEC292web.pdf
SPEC Kit 292, Institutional Repositories
University of Houston Libraries Institutional Repositories Task Force * July 2006 * ISBN 1-59407-708-8 * 176 pp. * $45 ($35 ARL members)
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