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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Types of repositories and their challenges

Chris Armbruster and Laurent Romary, Comparing Repository Types: Challenges and Barriers for Subject-Based Repositories, Research Repositories, National Repository Systems and Institutional Repositories in Serving Scholarly Communication, working paper, November 23, 2009. Abstract:

After two decades of repository development, some conclusions may be drawn as to which type of repository and what kind of service best supports digital scholarly communication, and thus the production of new knowledge.

Four types of publication repository may be distinguished, namely the subject-based repository, research repository, national repository system and institutional repository.

Two important shifts in the role of repositories may be noted. With regard to content, a well-defined and high quality corpus is essential. This implies that repository services are likely to be most successful when constructed with the user and reader uppermost in mind. With regard to service, high value to specific scholarly communities is essential. This implies that repositories are likely to be most useful to scholars when they offer dedicated services supporting the production of new knowledge.

Along these lines, challenges and barriers to repository development may be identified in three key dimensions: a) identification and deposit of content; b) access and use of services; and c) preservation of content and sustainability of service. An indicative comparison of challenges and barriers in some major world regions such as Europe, North America and East Asia plus Australia is offered in conclusion.

The authors invite comments.