Impact of Institutional Repositories’ on Scholarly Practices of Scientists

Authors : Prachi Shukla, Naved Ahmad

Institutional Repositories (IRs) are established mainly to provide access to information resources which are otherwise not easily accessible in digital format. Many institutions across the world and particularly in India have successfully developed their own IRs but have not attempted to assess their importance and impact on the Users.

This study conveys the findings of the survey conducted at research centric CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) laboratories of India to determine the scientists’ and research scholars’ preference for publishing their research materials; to measure the impact of IRs on their scholarly practices and to recommend future changes for inviting more participation in an IR.

The study deduced that ‘Peer- Review scholarly Journals’ are preferred medium for publishing research content and ‘Increase in the access to grey literature’ is the most significant impact of IR on respondents.

The findings of this research paper provide insight to the IR managers and administrators of low-deposit and low-usage repositories about the contributors’ apprehensions. The study will also help them to define and adopt policies that will eventually enhance their IRs visibility and impact.


Utilisation of open access institutional repositories in Zimbabwe’s public universities

Author : Mass Masona Tapfuma

Despite the establishment of institutional repositories (IRS) in Zimbabwe’s public universities, content for these repositories remains untangible. The purpose of this study was to explore the utilisation of IRs in the universities.

The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Usage of Technology (UTAUT) model was used to understand individuals behaviours’ towards acceptance of technologies. The pragmatist paradigm guided the study employing the mixed methods research (MMR) approach combining quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Triangulation was used to obtain a deeper understanding of the research problem. Eight public universities were surveyed including all levels of academics, research directors, library directors and IR/faculty librarians. A census, stratified and systematic sampling techniques were adopted to constitute the sample of the study.

A survey was carried out aided by questionnaires and interviews. Document analysis (policies and so forth) and bibliometric analysis were also employed including attending a Zimbabwe University Libraries Consortium (ZULC) workshop.

The findings of the study revealed a high awareness of OA/IRs by the academic community but content deposits were very low despite the existence of research and OA/IR policies (in some of the universities) which mandated deposit of research funded by the universities. A national repository was also established by the Research Council of Zimbabwe to link all repositories in the country while ZULC was lobbying for the development of a national OA policy. T

he study concluded that Zimbabwe’s university libraries faced numerous challenges in marketing and promoting of repositories, therefore, the concept of IRs remains in the infancy stage. It was recommended that: the libraries should intensify OA/IR education efforts; incentivise scholars/academics and library staff; resolve IPR issues and strengthen deposit mandates.

The study would contribute to practice in the establishment, running, management and promotion of repositories and policy makers will be informed and guided in the development and implementation of OA policies and regulatory frameworks leading to the establishment of the requisite infrastructure for OA/IR establishment in all academic institutions in the country, the national repository and the national content harvesting systems. Further research to probe the causes of low deposit rates and why scholars prefer depositing elsewhere is recommended.


Where Are We Now? Survey on Rates of Faculty Self-Deposit in Institutional Repositories

Author : Ruth Kitchin Tillman


The literature of institutional repositories generally indicates that faculty do not self-deposit, but there is a gap in the research of reported self-deposit numbers that might indicate how widespread and common this is.


This study was conducted using a survey instrument that requested information about whether a repository allowed self-deposit and what its rates of self-deposit were, if known.

The instrument contained additional questions intended to gather a broader context of repositories to be examined for any correlations with higher rates of self-deposit. It also included questions about the kinds of labor required to populate an IR as well as satisfaction with the rates of self-deposit.


Of 82 respondents, 80 were deemed to fall within the study’s parameters. Of these, 55 respondents’ institutions allowed self-deposit, and 10 reported rates of self-deposit of more than 20 items per month.

More than half the total respondents reported using at least three methods other than relying on self-deposit to add content to their repository. Respondents are generally unsatisfied with their deposit profiles, including one at a school reporting the highest rate of self-deposit.


From the responses, no profile could be formed of respondents reporting high rates of self-deposit that did not entirely overlap with many others reporting little or no self-deposit. However, the survey identifies factors without which high rates are unlikely.


The results of this survey may be most useful as a factor in administrative prioritizations and expectations regarding institutional repositories as sites of scholarly self-deposit.

URL : Where Are We Now? Survey on Rates of Faculty Self-Deposit in Institutional Repositories



Lessons Learned in Partnerships and Practice: Adopting Open Source Institutional Repository Software

Author:  Amy Leigh Allen


After the establishment of the University Archives at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, it became apparent that processes needed to be established for collecting, preserving, and providing access to born-digital materials.

The University Archivist established partnerships across multiple departments within the Libraries and with faculty and staff of colleges, schools, and administrative units across campus to test open source repository software and develop collections to fulfill this need.


This case study examines three specific projects and workflows providing access to digital undergraduate honors theses, university serials, and music concert recordings. Lessons learned during the project include the success strategies for partnership formation along with the identification of project processes that need improvement, such as promotion and long term preservation.


The campus has transitioned to a proprietary system for the official institutional repository. However, the pilot projects examined in this study filled intermediate needs: providing a group of files and metadata for the official institutional repository and helping the Libraries to evaluate the sustainability of open source platforms.

Staff gained experience and identified areas where improvement was needed. However, the most successful aspect of the project was establishing partnerships that will carry over to the new repository.

URL : Lessons Learned in Partnerships and Practice: Adopting Open Source Institutional Repository Software


Institutional repositories as infrastructures for long-term preservation

Authors : Helena Francke, Jonas Gamalielsson, Björn Lundell


The study describes the conditions for long-term preservation of the content of the institutional repositories of Swedish higher education institutions based on an investigation of how deposited files are managed with regards to file format and how representatives of the repositories describe the functions of the repositories.


The findings are based on answers to a questionnaire completed by thirty-four institutional repository representatives (97% response rate).


Questionnaire answers were analysed through descriptive statistics and qualitative coding. The concept of information infrastructures was used to analytically discuss repository work.


Visibility and access to content were considered to be the most important functions of the repositories, but long-term preservation was also considered important for publications and student theses.

Whereas a majority of repositories had some form of guidelines for which file formats were accepted, very few considered whether or not file formats constitute open standards. This can have consequences for the long-term sustainability and access of the content deposited in the repositories.


The study contributes to the discussion about the sustainability of research publications and data in the repositories by pointing to the potential difficulties involved for long-term preservation and access when there is little focus on and awareness of open file formats.