An institutional repository?
We’ve been using the words institutional repository (IR) in our posts a lot, so let’s get into the nitty gritty about what it is.
An IR is an online library of sorts where scholarly output (typically research articles, but could be other items) from the community of a research institution is collected, preserved, and shared in digital formats. There are four common reasons institutions of higher education choose to have IRs:
- To collect its campus community scholarly output in one location
- To allow open access to research by means of self-archiving, (can be put in the IR by the authors themselves), or mediated-archiving, (with the assistance of the library)
- Global discovery of, or access to, an institution’s intellectual research
- To keep the institution’s other intellectual outputs, like dissertations, preserved
There are also many other benefits, on the individual level for authors for choosing to include work in an IR. Some of these include:
- Cost. It’s free to add materials to an institutional IR
- Maximization of visibility and impact
- Measuring and keeping up with research activities
- Promoting and leveraging student work in the form of dissertations and theses
Of course, there are many more advantages to including your work in an IR, but we’ll keep it brief. If you’ve been keeping up with us, you’re aware that The Wayne State University Library System has its own IR, called DigitalCommons@WayneState (DC@WSU). It’s hosted by software called Digital Commons, from Berkeley Electronic Press, or bepress, which was founded by scholars.