Institutional Repository

Institutional Repository

Om Prakash Saini, Malkeet Singh Gill
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch658
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The Concept

Institutional Repository is a new concept for collecting, managing, disseminating, and preserving scholarly work created in digital form by faculties and students in the academic institutions. It offers a set of services including digital content submission, organization, access, distribution, and preservation (Chang, 2003). As Lynch (2003) explained an effective Institutional Repository necessarily represents collaboration among librarians, information technologies, archives and record managers, faculties, and university administrators. Within this framework, libraries play an important role in building and maintaining the infrastructure of these repositories. Since libraries have always managed their institutional collections, they have accumulated abundant expertise in collection assessment, organization, and development. They have also built many efficient tools for facilitating these jobs that led many libraries took the initiative in launching the Institutional Repositories.


History And Origin

Developments in web publishing such as open archives initiatives, open access journals and disciplinary archives have created opportunities for institutions to enhance scholarly publishing. With the launch of open source software globally, the development of IRs has picked up momentum.

The origin of the notion of an “institutional repository” is twofold:

  • Institutional repositories are partly linked to the notion of digital interoperability, which is in turn linked to the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) and its Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). The OAI in turn had its roots in the notion of a “Universal Preprint Service,” since superseded by the open access movement.

  • Institutional repositories are partly linked to the notion of a digital library - i.e., collecting, housing, classifying, cataloguing, curating, preserving, and providing access to digital content, analogous with the library's conventional function of collecting, housing classifying, curating, preserving and providing access to analog content.

Institutional repositories are one of the recommended ways to achieve the open access vision described in the Budapest Open Access Initiative definition of open access. This is sometimes referred to as the self-archiving or 'green' route to open access (Wikipedia, 2014).


Meaning And Definitions

Some of the prominent scholars summarized IR in the following ways: Crow (2002) described Institutional Repository as an online archive of universities, colleges, funding agencies, and other research institutions. Further Crow (2004) identified IR as a digital collection that preserves and provides access to the intellectual output of an institution. Foster and Gibbons (2005) defined Institutional Repository as an electronic system that captures, preserve and provides access to the digital work produced by a community. Institutional Repository is an organization based set of services offered by organization to its community members in the form of management and dissemination of digital materials. It is an organizational commitment to the management of digital materials, including, organization, access, distribution and long-term preservation (Lynch 2003). According to Markey et al. (2007) an IR is a set of services and technologies that provide the way to collect, manage, access, disseminate and preserve digital materials produced at an institution. Since the most Institutional Repositories based at colleges and universities, it is managed by the libraries.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Open Source Software: Software used to create IR and freely available for public under open source license and comply with OAI Metadata Harvesting Protocol released, such as DSpace and EPrints.

Metadata Standards: A concept that applies mainly to electronically stored data and used to describe a definition, structure and administration of data files with all contents in context to easy use of the captured and retrieved data for further use. Dublin Core is an example of such standards.

Digital Preservation: It refers to the actions required to maintain access to digital materials beyond the limits of technological changes. It is the management of digital information over a period of time with long-term maintenance and up gradation of files on digital storage medium.

Archive: Archive is a place where documents are stored, usually to preserve them as a historical, informational, legal, or evidential record, permanently or for a finite or indefinite period of time.

E-Resource: The term used to describe all the information products that a library provides through a computer network. This includes electronic books and journals, bibliographic databases, and library website pages.

Institutional Repository: A digital archive of intellectual products created by the faculty, research staff, and students of an institution and accessible to end-users both within and outside of the institution.

Scholarly Communication: A term used to describe the process of sharing of research output among researchers and publishing their research findings to make them available to the wider academic community and beyond. For example Theses, Dissertations, Research Articles and Conference Papers, etc.

E-Publishing: E-publishing refers to a type of publishing that does not include printed books. E-Publishing instead takes the format of works published online, on a compact disk, emailed, or provided in a file format compatible with handheld electronic readers. E-Publishing is an alternate form of publication especially attractive to new writers.

Metadata: Means data about data, a library catalog is metadata because it describes publications.

Web OPAC: Web OPAC is the Online Public Access Catalogue which allows users avail the services of the library using Internet.

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