Institutional and Subject Repositories and Open Access
What are institutional repositories?
Institutional repositories are large databases of publications produced by researchers and staff working within one organisation, typically a University. The original motivation for creating institutional repositories was to provide a Green Route for Open Access publishing. Repositories were also created by communities of scholars for their Subjects, for example, Physics or Social Sciences. Software to create and manage repositories is available free for organisations to use (EPrints and Dspace).
The motivation has changed over time. Universities and research organisations now need to maintain accurate records of research outputs for research evaluation purposes. They use repositories as a marketing tool to showcase their research and integrate publication information into websites. Many universities now require (mandate) researchers to deposit copies of their research with the university/institutional repository.
Repository Search Engines
You can search repositories using a number of specialised search engines. BASE and OAIster have an international coverage including the UK. IRS searches UK institutional and subject repositories. SHERPA Search offers UK and a global search.
SHERPA Search - Separate Searches for SHERPA Repositories; UK Repositories and OpenDOAR Global Repository Search. OpenDOAR is a Directory of Open Access Repositories.
Subject Repositories aim to provide an Open Access route for research in a specific area. There are notable successes in the biomedical and life sciences where there are three significant Open Access repositories supported by leading science and medical research organisations. These repositories work with publishers and researchers provide a single point of access to the Open Access literature. They are PubMED Central and European PubMED. Other disciplines also maintain Subject Repositories.