Institutional Repositories SPEC Kit 292

The Institutional Repositories SPEC Kit 292 presents the results of a thirty-eight-question survey of 123 ARL members in early 2006 about their institutional repositories practices and plans. The survey response rate was 71% (87 out of 123 ARL members responded). The front matter and nine-page Executive Summary are freely available. The document also presents detailed question-by-question results, a list of respondent institutions, representative documents from institutions, and a bibliography. It is 176 pages long.

The text is well organized, comprehensive in scope, and provides a wide variety of examples that may be consulted for comparison and guidance. Institutional Repositories is appropriate for libraries with an operational institutional repository as well as those institutions that are in the planning or investigation stage. — Mary Beth Weber, Library Resources & Technical Services 52, no. 4 (2008): 270-271.

The publication provides useful comparative data on website presentation and various policies required for the effective operation of an institutional repository. . . . For an institution considering the establishment of an institutional repository, the survey results provide information on the skill set required by staff and an indication of the costs which are likely to be incurred. . . . This SPEC Kit achieves its stated purpose and provides a useful snapshot of developments in the ARL institutions, while the detail provided by individual institutions provides useful insights and strategies. — Eve Woodberry, Australian Academic & Research Libraries 39, no. 2 (2008): 129-30.

Here are some of the survey's findings:

  • Thirty-seven ARL institutions (43% of respondents) had an operational IR (we called these respondents implementers), 31 (35%) were planning one by 2007, and 19 (22%) had no IR plans.
  • Looked at from the perspective of all 123 ARL members, 30% had an operational IR and, by 2007, that figure may reach 55%.
  • The mean cost of IR implementation was $182,550.
  • The mean annual IR operation cost was $113,543.
  • Most implementers did not have a dedicated budget for either start-up costs (56%) or ongoing operations (52%).
  • The vast majority of implementers identified first-level IR support units that had a library reporting line vs. one that had a campus IT or other campus unit reporting line.
  • DSpace was by far the most commonly used system: 20 implementers used it exclusively and 3 used it in combination with other systems.
  • Proquest DigitalCommons (or the Bepress software it is based on) was the second choice of implementers: 7 implementers used this system.
  • While 28% of implementers have made no IR software modifications to enhance its functionality, 22% have made frequent changes to do so and 17% have made major modifications to the software.
  • Only 41% of implementers had no review of deposited documents. While review by designated departmental or unit officials was the most common method (35%), IR staff reviewed documents 21% of the time.
  • In a check all that apply question, 60% of implementers said that IR staff entered simple metadata for authorized users and 57% said that they enhanced such data. Thirty-one percent said that they cataloged IR materials completely using local standards.
  • In another check all that apply question, implementers clearly indicated that IR and library staff use a variety of strategies to recruit content: 83% made presentations to faculty and others, 78% identified and encouraged likely depositors, 78% had library subject specialists act as advocates, 64% offered to deposit materials for authors, and 50% offered to digitize materials and deposit them.
  • The most common digital preservation arrangement for implementers (47%) was to accept any file type, but only preserve specified file types using data migration and other techniques. The next most common arrangement (26%) was to accept and preserve any file type.
  • The mean number of digital objects in implementers' IRs was 3,844.

The SPEC Kit is available from Amazon and Amazon UK.

Bibliographic information: Bailey, Jr., Charles W., Karen Coombs, Jill Emery, Anne Mitchell, Chris Morris, Spencer Simons, and Robert Wright. Institutional Repositories. SPEC Kit 292. Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, 2006. (ISBN: 1-59407-708-8).