Behind a Law School’s Decision to Implement an Institutional Repository
19 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2010
Date Written: March 4, 2008
An institutional repository [IR] is a means to collect the intellectual digital output of an organization. Among the primary goals of the IR are the following: 1. To collect an organization’s documentary output into one virtual location. 2. The genre of these contributions includes not only the traditional papers, but also videos, slide presentations, and anything else that can be preserved in a variety of electronic formats. 3. After collection, the IR offers open access to those materials. 4. The combination of diverse contents and open access culminates in the institution’s heightened visibility on the internet. Assessment of the merits of any IR plan can usefully be framed in terms of these four goals. However conceived, the decision to create an IR represents a significant investment for any institution. The following sections address some of the issues associated with the commitment to initiate and sustain a productive IR.
The authors’ home institution, the University of Georgia School of Law chose Digital Commons [DC], the product created and supported by The Berkeley Electronic Press, or “bepress,” as its IR platform.5 For present purposes, therefore, “IR” and “DC” will be used interchangeably. Digital Commons is related to another bepress product, SelectedWorks [SW]. SelectedWorks allows an individual to post his or her papers to a customizable individual page, which can be institutionally branded and related back to the institution’s DC. The following comments are based upon the authors’ own experiences, but are intended to be broadly applicable to any setting considering whether and how to implement an IR.
Keywords: Institutional repository, justification
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