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Faculty Support: Institutional Repositories



Institutional Repositories, also called Institutional "Depositories", are collections of digital materials created by that institution.  This provides the institution both a way to store materials and make them available online.

Benefits of having an institutional repository

Excerpted from Wikipedia

  • Opening up outputs of the institution to a worldwide audience;
  • Maximizing the visibility and impact of these outputs as a result;
  • Showcasing the institution to interested constituencies – prospective staff, prospective students and other stakeholders;
  • Collecting and curating digital output;
  • Managing and measuring research and teaching activities;
  • Providing a workspace for work-in-progress, and for collaborative or large-scale projects;
  • Enabling and encouraging interdisciplinary approaches to research;
  • Facilitating the development and sharing of digital teaching materials and aids, and
  • Supporting student endeavours, providing access to theses and dissertations and a location for the development of e-portfolios.

Examples of Institutional Repository Software

^Offsite hosting available
*Can be also used for Archival Digital Collections

Examples of Archival Digital Collections Software

^Offsite hosting available
*Can be also used for Institutional Repository

Examples of Shared Repositories


Turnkey systems which store and maintain materials off campus for annual fees. Turnkey systems offer significant support, including training and ongoing improvements in the system.

Open source systems which are free to download onto your own servers. No annual fees, but you do have to purchase and replace your server on a regular basis, and if there is a problem, you either have to fix it yourself of ask the help of user support groups.

Hybrid systems combine features of both. They may use an open source system but charge for online storage / access. Or they may provide a commercial system, but allow you to store materials on your own servers.

Institutional Repositories

Where does an institutional repository fit within a library's digital collections?

What is in an Institutional Repository?


The chart above shows the range of content that can be housed in an institutional repository.

Some repositories have the ability to include / exclude viewers based on valid IP address or account level.

Jean-Gabriel Bankier and Courtney Smith. "Repository Collection Policies" Australian Academic and Research Libraries (2011): 3, Chart: The continuum of content in repository collections. 

IR @ AU: Things to consider

  • Who maintains it?
    • Duties would include maintaining IR software (if hosted locally) as well as producing metadata for items in the repository
  • Content
  • Cost and Sustainability
    • Do we have enough content to merit a purchase and continued maintenance?

Next Steps

  • Continue to research
    • products
    • cost
    • staffing
  • Investigate shared consortial IR via PASCAL
  • Table until faculty show more interest

Shared Shelf by ArtStor

Shared Shelf is an institutional repository which piggybacks on ArtStor, the gigantic art database. While descriptions indicate that you can post almost any format on Shared Shelf, its forte is photographs.

We have been offered a subscription that would be paid for the first two years, half price the second two years, and full price - $7,199 thereafter. The offer is being made by the Council of Independent Colleges on behalf of the Consortium on Digital Resources for Teaching and Research, and with support provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation,

Who has an IR in SC?

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