Comparing repositories - subject-based, institutional, research and national repository systems

From: Armbruster, Chris <Chris.Armbruster_at_EUI.EU>
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 18:22:00 +0100

Dear colleagues,

We would like to discuss a new distinction among repository types,
not just differentiating institutional and subject-based
repositories, but also research repositories and national repository
systems. For this purpose we have written a working paper that we
would like to invite you to respond to. We imagine that this new
four-fold distinction would help repository managers and stakeholders
in improving repository services in a targetted manner. Please answer
to the list (or, if you prefer, write to me directly).

- Armbruster, Chris and Romary, Laurent, Comparing Repositories
Types: Challenges and Barriers for Subject-Based Repositories,
Research Repositories, National Repository Systems and Institutional
Repositories in Serving Scholarly Communication (November 20, 2009).
Available at SSRN:

After two decades of repository development, some conclusions may be
drawn as to which type of repository and what kind of service best
supports digital scholarly communication, and thus the production of
new knowledge.
Four types of publication repository may be distinguished, namely the
subject-based repository, research repository, national repository
system and institutional repository.
Two important shifts in the role of repositories may be noted. With
regard to content, a well-defined and high quality corpus is
essential. This implies that repository services are likely to be
most successful when constructed with the user and reader uppermost
in mind. With regard to service, high value to specific scholarly
communities is essential. This implies that repositories are likely
to be most useful to scholars when they offer dedicated services
supporting the production of new knowledge.
Along these lines, challenges and barriers to repository development
may be identified in three key dimensions: a) identification and
deposit of content; b) access and use of services; and c)
preservation of content and sustainability of service. An indicative
comparison of challenges and barriers in some major world regions
such as Europe, North America and East Asia plus Australia is offered
in conclusion.

Best wishes, Chris Armbruster

Other publications and working papers of potential interest:

- Romary, Laurent and Armbruster, Chris, Beyond Institutional
Repositories. International Journal of Digital Library Systems 1(1)
(forthcoming, 2010). Available at

- Armbruster, Chris, Whose Metrics? On Building Citation, Usage and
Access Metrics as Information Service for Scholars. Learned
Publishing 23(1) (forthcoming, 2010). Available at

- Armbruster, Chris, The European Research Conundrum: When Research
Organizations Impede Scientific and Technological Breakthroughs
Despite Targets, Money and Policy to Foster These Activities (October
27, 2009). Available at
Received on Tue Nov 24 2009 - 02:22:04 GMT

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