1. Article on copyright status

Hirtle, Peter B. 2008. Copyright renewal, copyright restoration, and the difficulty of determining copyright status. D-Lib Magazine 14 (July/August). http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july08/hirtle/07hirtle.html (accessed 4 September 2008).

This article is a little tangential to the topic of institutional repositories, but since such repositories may ultimately digitize and include previously-published works, it’s worth a look. Hirtle considers the problems of figuring out the copyright status of items published between 1923 and 1964 in the US, which may or may not be in the public domain, depending on whether and when they were also published in foreign countries.

2. The Knowledge Bank

The Knowledge Bank at Ohio State (https://kb.osu.edu/dspace/index.jsp) has at the moment over 31,000 items and over 22,000 authors. It is a useful example of a currently-operating institutional repository, although an outsider cannot see the submission process (since contributions are limited to OSU users). The software used to run the repository is DSpace.

3. Aladin Research Commons

The Aladin Research Commons (http://aladinrc.wrlc.org/) at the Washington Research Library Consortium is another example of an institutional repository, this one maintained by a consortium. It is significantly smaller than the Knowledge Bank, having right now just under 3500 titles and just over 600 authors. It is also run with DSpace.

4. Publisher copyright policies

SHERPA/RoMEO has a useful summary of permissions that are typically given with various publishers’ copyright transfer agreements: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/index.html

Salo in her article (2008) points out that there are several drawbacks to this site. Coverage is uneven and smaller publishers are not well represented. There is now an API (Application Programmers’ Interface) that potentially permits semi-automatic checking of permissions by repositories, but some manual intervention is still necessary.

Nevertheless a good first place to check for whether a given publisher objects to items being placed in repositories, and/or what restrictions may be in place.


Salo, Dorothea. 2008. Innkeeper at the roach motel. Library Trends. In press: preprint available at: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1793/22088 (accessed 4 September 2008).

5. The Hathi Trust

The Hathi Trust (http://www.hathitrust.org/) is a collaborative effort between the University of California system and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (13 universities) to create an archive of their digitized holdings. As of October 2008, they already have over 2 million volumes, of which over 330,000 (about 16%) are in the public domain and are accessible to anyone.

This is a fascinating project and it’s good to see it being done by a consortium of research libraries, nearly all public universities, rather than a for-profit corporation. Even if much of the material ends up being restricted because of copyright concerns, simply having it preserved in an archive is still beneficial.

6. Article on choosing metadata schema

Kennedy, Marie R. 2008. Nine questions to guide you in choosing a metadata schema. Journal of Digital Information 9 (26). http://journals.tdl.org/jodi/article/view/226/205 (accessed October 26, 2008).

Kennedy doesn’t so much promote specific extant metadata schemes (like Dublin Core or others), as she instead encourages developers to pay attention to the needs inherent in their own situation. This is a very useful checklist for someone developing any collection, but particularly for someone working on academic or institutional collections and repositories.  I’ve listed the nine questions here.

7. Article on repositories and copyright

Greig, Morag. 2007. Repositories and copyright: Major hurdle or minor obstacle? ALISS Quarterly 3 (1): 16-9.

This article looks at issues of copyright connected to the institutional repository at the University of Glasgow, specifically at that part of the repository which holds published materials (unpublished materials not usually being subject to copyright problems). I have summarized the article at more length here.

8. SPARC Repository Resources

SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition) has a page for repository resources (http://www.arl.org/sparc/repositories/index.shtml) which has links to readings online; meetings and events; a list of indices and repository collections; software such as DSpace, Fedora, GNU EPrints Archive Software, and OCLC Research Software; and related/supporting organizations. Of particular interest is “The Case for Institutional Repositories: A SPARC Position Paper” (http://www.arl.org/sparc/bm%7Edoc/ir_final_release_102.pdf) which, although now a few years old (published 2002), examines repositories from the perspectives of their utility in “reforming scholarly communication” and also serving as “tangible indicators of an institution’s quality.”

9. Library Success Wiki

Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki (http://www.libsuccess.org/) is a wiki that is intended to collect technology-related ideas and information about innovative and successful programs at all kinds of libraries. Typical entries have several subsections for the topic, including success stories, tips/successful models, blogs/websites to watch, and specific blog posts/articles to check out. The Institutional Repositories page (http://www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=Institutional_Repositories) also includes links to repositories in LIS and to various software sites. The page shows the usual hazard of a wiki, which is that updates occur only if someone happens to be interested; the IR page was last updated in May 2007, though other pages on the wiki have been updated in the last few days. Nevertheless there is still some good useful information here.

10. Article on creating an institutional repository

Foster, Nancy Fried, Susan Gibbons, Suzanne Bell, and Lindahl, David. 2007. Institutional repositories, policies, and disruption. http://digilib.bu.edu/dspace/handle/2144/919 (accessed December 2, 2008).

This article describes the creation of an institutional repository at the University of Rochester. The authors consider the policies that were initially in place, the ways that the project was hindered by those policies, and some changes that were and are being made in order to make the repository more used and useful.

It’s worthwhile to read this article (it isn’t very long) because it talks about the problems that one library encountered in trying to set up an institutional repository. Seeing how time was unnecessarily wasted there might help other groups avoid the same problems.