SSRN at Utah State University’s Regional Conference on Institutional Repositories, September 30, 2009

Institutional Repositories: Disseminating, Promoting & Preserving Scholarship
Institutional Repositories: Disseminating, Promoting & Preserving Scholarship

SSRN will be attending Utah State University’s Regional Institutional Repository Conference: Disseminating, Promoting, & Preserving Scholarship.  The conference is sponsored by Utah State University, Berkeley Electronic Press, and the Utah Academic Library Consortium.  The conference will be on the Logan campus of Utah State University on September 30, 2009.

We will be presenting an electronic poster “Institutional Repositories & Discipline Repositories: The IR Horizon.” The poster will be available for viewing at the conference:

8:30 AM – 4:30 PM Merrill-Cazier Library Room 101
Institutional Repositories & Discipline Repositories Eposter, Social Science Research Network

The EPoster will also be available for viewing at this blog the day of the conference.

Institutional Repositories (IRs) have played an important role in promoting and expanding the pathways to scholarly content. Most IRs reside in universities providing valuable services to faculty, researchers, and administrators who want to archive research, historic, and creative materials.

The increasing awareness that universities and research institutions were losing valuable digital and print materials began driving the establishment of IRs and provided the changes in scholarly communication needed to remove the barriers to access. The primary purpose of the early IRs was to aggregate and preserve the intellectual output of a laboratory, department, or university. The incentives and commitments to change the process of scholarly communication have also begun serving as strong motivators for continuing and expanding the building of them. Presently there is a “bandwagon” approach to mandating submissions to “your school’s” IR. For universities, repositories are marketing tools communicating capabilities and quality by showcasing faculty and student research, public service projects, and other important activities and collections.

However, there are real limitations. Funding, especially in the current economic climate, poses a serious challenge. There are small aggregate amounts of submitted content overall and it is sparse in many areas. In addition, there is a general lack of knowledge amongst many scholars as to why an IR is valuable. Scholarly societies have been establishing discipline-based repositories to preserve the history and literature of a particular subject area and address some of these limitations. In the future, we see IRs partnering with disciplinary repositories (DRs) by playing a key role in providing a bountiful location harvest.