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Friday, September 15, 2006

First results of the MIRACLE survey

Karen Markey and five co-authors, Nationwide Census of Institutional Repositories: Preliminary Findings, a presentation at JCDL 2006 (Chapel Hill, June 11-15, 2006).   (Thanks to DigitalKoans.) 

Abstract:   The MIRACLE (Making Institutional Repositories A Collaborative Learning Environment) Project is a multi-phased research project that is investigating the development of institutional repositories (IRs) in American colleges and universities to identify models and best practices in the administration, technical infrastructure, and access to repository collections. This paper features preliminary findings from the projectís first phase, a nationwide census that will reveal the extent of college and university involvement with IRs in the United States. Preliminary findings address the types of investigative activities that institutions are conducting prior to making the decision to implement an IR, perceived benefits of IRs, staffing for IRs, methods of recruiting digital content, characteristics of operational IRs including their costs, and respondentsí next steps on the road to implementing an IR.

One table in the paper ranks the top and bottom three benefits of IRs.  The top three were "Capturing the intellectual capital
of your institution", "Better service to contributors", and "Longtime preservation of your institutionís digital output".  The bottom three were "Reducing user dependence on your libraryís print collection", "Providing maximal access to the results of publicly funded research", and "An increase in citation counts to your institutionís intellectual
output".

When institutions without IRs were asked why they didn't have one yet, the top two reasons given were "Other priorities, issues, activities, etc., are more pressing than an IR" and "We have no available resources to support planning".  The bottom three reasons were "We do not understand or believe in the value or effectiveness of an IR", "We have no support from our libraryís administration", and "We do not need an IR
These top and bottom reasons indicate".