Tag Archives: open access

The Institutional Repository Landscape in 2018

Choice teamed up with the Taylor and Francis Group to produce a white paper on the current landscape for institutional repositories (IR). While the report aims to survey the entire landscape, I should note that 93% of respondents were from academic institutions.

You can read the entire document HERE. Below, I’ve pulled some highlights from the report.

IR instances

there are at least 600 IRs in an estimated 500 organizations in North America.

Market Share

The Directory of Open Access Repositories (DOAR) indicates that DSpace and Digital Commons (bepress) are the most widely held in North America.

More than half the survey respondents had an instance of Digital Commons (58%), while more than a quarter had CONTENTdm (27%) and/or DSpace (26%).

Institutional Preferences

Larger libraries with technical staff prefer to customize software while smaller libraries depend on a service model (such as Digital Commons) that provides IR and publishing capabilities with less impact on staff requirements. Recent growth among smaller institutions favors a service model.


Although half of institutions indicate that faculty and students make deposits, it is clear that the majority of content is mediated or deposited by library staff. Nearly half of the institutions have one or less than one equivalent staff working on the IR. The average staff for an IR is one or two people.

University Presses

About 20% of university presses report to the library, and a larger number are developing partnerships with the library.


Academia.edu Premium

Most users of Google Scholar have been linked to a paper hosted on Academia.edu, a platform for sharing and finding research papers. However, Academia.edu (in addition to a slew of recent and controversial changes) has introduced what is essentially paid search. For example, you can still search papers by title, but to harvest the deeper and more broad results of full text search, you need to subscribe to the “premium” package (see below).

Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 8.36.47 AM

Screenshot from Academia.edu

These changes have proven unpopular. Here’s what one writer had to say about the new fee, “this means the end of that medium.” I think that companies, like Academia.edu, are often more flexible that he implies. However, their introduction of paid search may well prove to weaken what, in times past, has been robust user support.

Google and Library Websites

Like many folks who work at a smaller academic library, I wear lots of hats. One of those being the website manager. While the entire website is professionally managed by campus IT, I am responsible for minor tweaks and updates to the library page(s).

Like most folks, we use Google Analytics (GA) to track and monitor user behavior on our website. The information that can be gleaned from GA is extremely useful in the design and shaping of content. Here’s some free and recent scholarship, from the Journal of Web Librarianship, on tracking user behavior with Google Analytics on the academic library website.

Institutional Repositories (IR)

Does your institution have an institutional repository? If not, should you? Routledge has made some great new scholarship on institutional and subject repositories freely available until September 30, 2016. These articles provide a great look at many of the issues (practical and otherwise) surrounding institutional repositories in higher education.

Access for you, and access for you, and access for you…

On September 5th, 2011, Alexandra Elbakyan, a researcher from Kazakhstan, created Sci-Hub, a website that bypasses journal paywalls, illegally providing access to nearly every scientific paper ever published immediately to anyone who wants it. The website works in two stages, firstly by attempting to download a copy from the LibGen database of pirated content, which opened its doors to academic papers in 2012 and now contains over 48 million scientific papers. The ingenious part of the system is that if LibGen does not already have a copy of the paper, Sci-hub bypasses the journal paywall in real time by using access keys donated by academics lucky enough to study at institutions with an adequate range of subscriptions. This allows Sci-Hub to route the user straight to the paper through publishers such as JSTOR, Springer, Sage, and Elsevier. After delivering the paper to the user within seconds, Sci-Hub donates a copy of the paper to LibGen for good measure, where it will be stored forever, accessible by everyone and anyone. Read the rest.