image from Flickr - attributed to 'Tall Chris'

I’m looking to set a common definition for ‘institutional repository’ in the context of the ERIS Project. Its been the cause of some confusion in a number of areas so I’m hoping that we can come up with something that does the job across the board.

For example, the beloved Wikipedia describes Institutional Repository as;

An Institutional Repository is an online locus for collecting, preserving, and disseminating — in digital form — the intellectual output of an institution, particularly a research institution.

For a university, this would include materials such as research journal articles, before (preprints) and after (postprints) undergoing peer review, and digital versions of theses and dissertations, but it might also include other digital assets generated by normal academic life, such as administrative documents, course notes, or learning objects.’

Now, if we were to take this definition within the project, then we (potentially) are including thinking about learning objects, which I have always seen as being outside of the project scope. But not all institutions are equal, with each one having one, or many repositories with varying degrees of content etc.  For a project which deals with 20 HEI, just explaining what we are referring to when we talk about IR’s is causing a bit of a headache.

So, suggestions on a postcard if you can.  How have other projects dealt with this issue? Has it even been an issue??



One Response

  1. I’ve always thought as an IR as the institutional shop window for research outputs. But then again what is a research output – data, publications, educational objects, reports, minutes. I’d say all of the above, though not everyone will want to expose them all. Where I’m based we take a more narrow point of view that our IR is for research outputs; but this is a policy not technology choice. Over time as the role and focus develops I’d expect that definition to blur and change.

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