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Institutional Repositories: IRs

What Is an Institutional Repository?

  Image Source: ALA 

Institutional repositories (IRs) centralize the digital collection of university documents such as faculty papers and e-publications, student work, institutional archives, and university publications (H. R. Tibbo, R. G. Clemns, & C. Hank, 2008).  The repository serves as a “system for dissemination and stewardship of the intellectual life and scholarship of an institution” (Giesecke, 2011, p. 530).

Reference List

Reference List

Case, M. M. (2008). Partners in Knowledge Creation: An Expanded Role for Research Libraries in the Digital Future. Journal of Library Administration, 48(2), 141-156.  

Earnest, J., Hughes, G., & Kellogg, B. (Eds.). (2008, 2013). Collection development policy. Available from:

Giesecke, J. (2011). Institutional repositories: Keys to success. Journal of Library Administration, 51(5/6), 529-542. doi:10.1080/01930826.2011.589340 

Markey, K., Rieh, S. Y., St. Jean, B., Kim, J., & Yakel, E. (2007, February). Census of institutional repositories in the United States: MIRACLE Project research findings. Council on Library and Information Resources. Available from

Mercer, H., Koenig, J., McGeachin, R. B., & Tucker, S. L. (2011). Structure, features, and faculty content in ARL member repositories. Journal Of Academic Librarianship, 37(4), 333-342.  

National University Graduate Council Ad Hoc Committee on Doctoral Culture. (2013). Progress report to Graduate Council, June 2013.

National University Library System. (2008, 2013). National University theses housed in the library & sample masters thesis approval form (Appendix I). In Earnest, J., Hughes, G., & Kellogg, B. (Eds.). Collection development policy (p. 41). Available from:

National University Library System. (2013). Thesis binding (flyer). Available from:

Registry of Open Access Repositories (database).  (n.d.). Available from

Sebetan, I. M. (2013, May 19). Capstone-thesis report, updated draft (submitted to the Committee for review prior to final submission to National University Graduate Council and the Ad Hoc Committee on Doctoral Culture).

Tibbo, H. R., Clemens, R. G., & Hank, C. (2008, April/May). Institutional repositories: The great debate. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 35(4), 11-31.

Walters, T. O. (2007). Reinventing the library--How repositories are causing librarians to rethink their professional roles. Portal: Libraries and The Academy, 7(2), 213-225.  

For additional resources, search:  institutional repositories AND library role (selected EBSCO databases)

How Many Universities Have IRs?

In 2013, according to the Registry of Open Access Repositories, there were 561 repositories in the United States.  This is up from 300 in 2010 (Giesecke, 2011).  The tables below shows the software used and types of repositories.  DSpace (open source) and Digital Commons by Bepress (commercial) dominate the market.    Of the latter group, research universities outnumber other types of universities. 

Open Source Software or Service:

     Any Software

Types of Repositories:

     Any Repository Type

Bepress (145) Research Insitutional or Department (350)
ContentDM by OCLC (4) Research Multi-institution Repository (1)
DSpace (141) Research Cross-Institutional (55)
DigiTools (2) eJournal/Publication (11)
EPrints (63) Theses (35)
ETD-db (14) Database/A&I Index (9)
Equella (1) Open and Linked Data (3)
Fedora (9) Learning and Teaching Objects (7)
Fedora > Fez (3) Demonstration (11)
Greenstone (1) Other (79)
OPUS (Open Publications System (2)
Other softwares (various) (70)
Results: Registry of Open Access Repositories

In January 2014, Bepress has over 300 participating institutions.