Strategies for Institutional Repository Development: A Case Study of Three Evolving Initiatives


As an evolving part of the profession of librarianship, institutional repository development is still in the process of establishing guiding principles and best practices. There is no one path to follow and few established cases from which to learn about development options and risks. This case study presents a close examination of the approaches taken at three university libraries, comparing choices, strategies, and conditions driving development activities. The most pronounced differences stem from how the initiatives are balancing content acquisition and service provision. Across cases, intellectual property concerns are prevalent, and repository goals and policies are often implicit, with the value of the repository for faculty and the university emerging in multiple ways. The complex planning, management, and technical work of repository developers is increasingly dependent on coordination with liaison librarians and their existing relationships with faculty. The three cases suggest a range of productive responses to the many challenges facing institutional repositories, as they mature, expand, and integrate further with library operations, and continue their important contribution to the ever-changing enterprise of scholarly communication.