Institutional repositories centralize, preserve, and make accessible the knowledge generated by academic institutions. They benefit institutions by raising their profiles and scholars by bringing broader dissemination, increased use, and enhanced professional visibility of scholarly research. As such, institutional repositories represent one of the best opportunities for libraries to partner closely with faculty and to help shape the future of scholarly communications.
CARL is working towards the development and advancement of institutional repositories by:
- Articulating the importance of institutional repositories
- Improving the content recruitment at institutional repositories
- Demonstrating the value of overlay services for Canadian institutional repositories
CARL fully supports the systematic archiving of, and access to digital research output of Canadian academic organizations into institutional repositories as stated in its Position Statement.
Initiatives and Resources
CARL Open Repositories Working Group
In January 2018, CARL assembled this group, which includes representation from those managing repositories and communicating with researchers as well as library directors who guide and shape organizational priorities. The group is seeking to establish a strategic vision for Canadian repositories and help move the community forward around shared goals and objectives. More information about the Open Repositories Working Group.
Institutional Repositories Available in Canada
A growing number of Canadian research institutions are implementing institutional repositories. These repositories are an important strategy for attaining open access, and provide a key infrastructure for the long-term preservation of digital materials. CARL has assembled a comprehensive list of:
- Canadian Institutional Repositories
- Adoptive Repositories (intended for those whose home institution does not currently maintain an institutional repository)
- The brochure, Greater Reach for Your Research: Expanding Readership through Digital Repositories , describes the benefits of repositories, how they fit into the broader scholarly communication environment, and addresses major concerns that researchers may have.
- CARL’s Step-by-Step Guide to Setting up an Institutional Repository (2002) explains the major steps necessary to launch an institutional repository, including pre-implementation, implementation and post-implementation stages, and provides links to policies and procedures of existing e-prints and institutional repositories.
- As materials deposited in institutional repositories are held in open access, researchers and authors may want to learn more about CARL’s work on open access.
Open Access Repositories
- Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR) is an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories.
- Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies (ROARMAP) is a searchable international registry of open access mandates and policies.
- Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) aims to enhance the visibility and application of research outputs through global networks of Open Access digital repositories.
- Public Knowledge Project, a multi-university initiative, maintains a usage statistic page (as of September 2014) of journals using Open Journal Systems.
- Synergies Canada is a not-for-profit platform for the publication and the dissemination of research results in social sciences and humanities published in Canada.
- PubMed Central Canada is a free digital archive of full-text, peer-reviewed health and life sciences research publications.
Search Engine Optimization for Institutional Repositories
Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial to ensuring high visibility for institutional repositories in popular search engines such as Google and Google Scholar.
- Getting Found: SEO Cookbook by Patrick O’Brien and Kenning Arlitsch (Council on Library and Information Resources, 2015) provides a step-by-step video guide to help libraries measure and monitor the search engine optimization (SEO) performance of their digital repositories.
- Invisible Institutional Repositories: Addressing the Low Indexing Ratios of IRs in Google by Kenning Arlitsch and Patrick O’Brien (Library Hi Tech, Vol. 30 No. 1, 2012) explores the problem of low indexing ratios of some repository content, in both Google and Google Scholar. Access the pre-print version in open access. The same authors have also published a book that deals with this subject in more detail: Improving the Visibility and Use of Digital Repositories through SEO: A LITA Guide (ALA TechSource, 2013).
- Getting into Google, Google Scholar and other search engines (Council of Australian University Librarians, 2013) provides information on how to get indexed in search engines.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Institutional Repositories (OCLC, 2012) is a webinar recording that explores SEO techniques for improving the indexing ratios of institutional repositories in Google Scholar.