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Saturday, February 24, 2007

CLIR census of IRs in the US

Karen Markey and four co-authors, Census of Institutional Repositories in the United States: MIRACLE Project Research Findings, CLIR, February 2007.  From the splash page:

In this 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.

A considerable portion of the scholarly record is born digital, and some scholarship is produced in digital formats that have no physical, in-the-hand counterparts. The proliferation of digital scholarship raises serious and pressing issues about how to organize, access, and preserve it in perpetuity. The response of academic institutions has been to build and deploy institutional repositories (IRs) to manage the digital scholarship their learning communities produce.

From the executive summary:

Why Study Institutional Repositories?

...IR efforts require a considerable financial, personnel, and technical investment. For this reason, it would be helpful if academic institutions could learn from one another, sharing their experiences, building models, and formulating best practices. Such sharing would streamline the implementation of IRs at institutions where the decision to initiate an IR effort has not yet been made....

Who Bears the Responsibility for IR Planning, Pilot Testing, and Implementation?

At PPT [planning and pilot testing] and IMP [implemented] institutions, librarians take the lead in IR pilot testing and system implementation (Table 2.4), assume most of the responsibility for the IR effort (Figure 2.6), and are members of various IR committees (Figure 2.5). Funding almost always comes from the library (Table 3.1). A typical approach to funding the IR is to absorb its cost in routine library operating costs....IR committee membership becomes increasingly less inclusive as the IR project progresses from pilot testing to implementation, leaving the library “holding the bag” (Figure 2.5)....

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 [only planning] 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....

PS:  For background, see Kathlin Smith, U.S. Institutional Repositories: A Census, CLIR Issues, January/February 2007 (blogged here 2/3/07).