Issues of Institutional Repositories
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300 A g r e e m e n t s u p p l e m e n t s invest in tools oF CreAtion over ColleCtion oF ArtiFACts mAp loCAtion F, G, 1, 2 threAD loCAtion Page 42 sCApe Artifacts The nature means Invest in Tools of Creation over Collection of Artifacts issues oF institutionAl repositories mAp loCAtion F, 5 threAD loCAtion Page 103 sCApe Academic Collection Development Issues of Institutional Repositories Scholarly Communications deals with helps define is influenced by Author William Zayac Figure 159 Figure 160 A g r e e m e n t s u p p l e m e n t s 301 Agreement DesCription What Are Institutional Repositories? Slowly becoming more popular around the world, Institutional Repositories are open access databases of the works created by the people who work in or study at the repository’s host institution. One major survey of Institutional Repositories, the University of Michigan MIRACLE1 Project, found that research institutions were more likely to develop Institutional Repositories than universities and colleges that catered only to master’s and baccalaureate students. It also found, however, that there was a “sleeping beast of demand” among these master’s and baccalaureate institutions. That said, the concept of an Institutional Repository (at least in the digital context in which it is now used) is still in its growth phase, and its benefits and weaknesses cannot accurately be understood or assessed on a larger scale because of its limited expression in the real world. However, that has not stopped researchers from searching for and discussing these benefits and weaknesses or at least expressing their views concerning them.2 Why Create an Institutional Repository? The main purpose of an Institutional Repository is to provide online access to essays, papers, presentations, and other digital works created by the faculty at a specific institution or school. One of the most important jobs of a library is to provide its users with access to a wealth of knowledge relevant to their interests and needs. Therefore , one would assume that the wealth of knowledge preserved in an Institutional Repository has a significant audience, at least for those who started the trend. It should come as no surprise, then, that many of the earliest developed collected the works of workers at researchfocused institutions and that one large set of institutions following suit is comprised of universities and colleges. The access granted by these institutions allows many people to gain access to scholarly works to which they may not normally have access, whether it is because they are not in the databases to which they have access on their own or through their own respective institutions due to budgetary constraints or for whatever reason. Librarians, often focused on the transfer of information and the creation of knowledge through this communication , will immediately recognize these benefits in Institutional Repositories . However, there are other qualities that can help justify the existence of Institutional Repositories. For one, certain repositories are more affordable to host and easier to create than they have been in the past. Several pieces of open source software for the creation and management of Institutional Repositories have been developed and are available to whichever institutions are willing to host them. Items can be more easily found with greater standards regulating metadata and its use. Items can be labeled accurately and then disseminated from a central resource. This saves faculty members time and effort as the maintenance of labels, formats, and thoughts concerning a work becomes increasingly complicated.3 And, of course, trends change and so do the opportunities for outside thinking. Scholarly works that would not normally fit into certain standard database groups may be difficult to find through “normal” resources.4 On a more basic level, Institutional Repositories provide libraries with the opportunities to develop new strategies and standards for digital collection management5 and have even expanded the perception of the library as a “viable research partner” in institutions.6 What Issues Must Still Be Addressed with Institutional Repositories? As with any good library, the interface providing access to works must be appropriate for its patrons. In the Communities Thread, Lankes points out that there are many Institutional Repository home pages that only begin to provide access to works. However, the aim of librarianship is no longer to simply match people to a resource or a set of resources for which they are searching; it is (as the Atlas emphasizes) to encourage the creation of knowledge through...



Subject Headings

  • Library science -- Philosophy.
  • Library science -- Forecasting.
  • Libraries and community.
  • Libraries and society.
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