Friday, August 7, 2009

Institutional Repositories and Institutional Infrastructures

A video of a CNI session led by Clifford Lynch, “Revisiting Institutional Repositories,” is available here. Some interesting points:
  • They are here to stay (they have been around since the turn of the century!).
  • They are part of the infrastructure that supports scholarly communication and institutions.
  • There are different views of IRs. One view focuses on published material, which means that access (i.e., open) is more important than stewardship. The problem here is that an IR is not a scholarly journal. Another view focuses on institutional digital material and is more concerned with stewardship. The problem here is that it is difficult to articulate what an IR is. (The solution is to think of archival rather than library selection criteria.)
  • Measuring success for the latter, stewardship view of IRs is harder to measure and requires an understanding digital life cycles.
  • Stewardship is not necessarily a commitment to long-term preservation. IRs may be best for medium to long-term access.