Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Different institutional visions of institutional repositories

Lorcan Dempsey, Processes and repositories, Lorcan Dempsey's weblog, October 16, 2007.  Excerpt:

...A couple of repository launches have come over my horizon in recent weeks.

The first is the Digital Conservancy at the University of Minnesota, which I mentioned the other day. This aims to provide services in relation to two classes of material: faculty research outputs and university administrative materials that traditionally would have gone to the University Archives. As I suggest in my post this makes a lot of sense: the repository aims to support the full range of institutionally produced intellectual outputs.

The second was the Open University's Open Research Online, "a repository of our research publications and other research outputs." In this case, the service aims to provide support for all the research outputs of OU academics. So, what you will find are deposited open access materials. However, you will also find citations to books, journal articles, and so on, which are not actually available in the repository: you may be referred to a publisher site. The repository aims to provide a full record to research activity, not only the open access materials.

What we have here, then, are well-worked through services which offer overlapping but different views onto their University's intellectual outputs. This is not a major issue as universities work towards a view of what should be offered and what their constituencies value.

However, in the longer term, lack of agreement about services and supporting processes may be a barrier, on the management side where different systems support is needed, or on the user side where different services from different universities may lead to confusion, reducing the gravitational pull that familiarity supports....