Institutional repositories are "digital collections capturing and preserving the intellectual output of a single or multi-university community." The Case for Institutional Repositories: A SPARC Position Paper (2002).
Repositories extend the traditional role of libraries to support research at all stages and to preserve, manage, and provide access to many types of digital materials in a variety of formats, which may include not only published papers, but also:
Learn more about repositories at SPARC's Repository Resources Page.
Expanding Readership and Advancing Knowledge
A research repository allows scholars and researchers to preserve and manage the broad scope of items comprising their intellectual output, and, in doing so, complements the more traditional scholarly communication activities such as publishing in a peer-reviewed journal.
Research repositories also serve the university community by facilitating the collection and management of a department’s work to more clearly demonstrate the full impact of the scholarship and research produced by its faculty, students, and staff.
Repositories support scholars and researchers in all disciplines by creating a permanent archive of their digital research output. The contents of digital repositories are backed up regularly and stored on secure servers. Also, repository staff comply with emerging standards for digital formats that support long-term access regardless of changes in popular software.
Materials in online repositories are curated to enable search, discovery, and reuse. Items, or collections of items, have a permanent URI for citations. Also, citations for items that have the proper permissions are available for harvesting by subject-specific or region-based repositories. Repositories can help fulfill funder or journal requirements by providing a publicly accessible location for your research data.
Promoting the continual addition of research materials and the development of innovative services for repositories requires an active and sustained effort by stakeholders, including libraries, IT centers, administrators, and faculty. Some of the challenges facing repositories are: