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Perceptions and Experiences of Staff in the Planning and Implementation of Institutional Repositories

From: Library Trends
Volume 57, Number 2, Fall 2008
pp. 168-190 | 10.1353/lib.0.0027



The MIRACLE (Making Institutional Repositories a Collaborative Learning Environment) Project team investigated issues and trends related to institutional repository planning and implementation, such as the purposes and roles of an institutional repository (IR), system selection criteria, system features, policies, services, and sustainability. Data were collected through telephone interviews with thirty-six IR staff and individuals who played important roles in the development of IRs at their respective institutions. Interviewees came not only from academic institutions where an IR had been implemented but also from those planning, pilot-testing, or having no plans to launch an IR. Regardless of the phase of IR development, interviewees consistently expressed enthusiasm for deploying IRs to provide access to and to preserve digital materials. The findings indicate that IR staff view the IR as the infrastructure for their university’s participation in the open access movement and are confident about IR’s long-term sustainability. Because branding and the scope of IRs have evolved over the years, IRs are increasingly being perceived in terms of this overarching goal or purpose, rather than as a set of specific functions, features, or services. Based on these results, it is suggested that IRs need to design value-added service models that would allow IR staff to better serve their learning communities.