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SPARC position paper: Institutional Repositories  Peter Suber
 Jul 29, 2002 08:12 PDT 
For Immediate Release
July 29, 2002

For more information, contact:
Alison Buckholtz ali-@arl.org


Position paper outlines viability and long-term impact of university-based
digital collections which preserve faculty research, scholarship

Washington, DC - SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources
Coalition) today released a major white paper, "The Case for Institutional
Repositories: A SPARC Position Paper," which examines the strategic roles
institutional repositories serve for colleges and universities. The paper
asserts that institutional repositories are a natural extension of an
academic institution's role as a generator of primary research, and
envisions such repositories as critical components in the evolving
structure of scholarly communication. It is available at
http://www.arl.org/sparc/IR/ir.html and

Institutional repositories -- digital collections that capture and preserve
the intellectual output of university communities -- answer two challenges
currently facing academic institutions. First, institutional repositories
reform scholarly communication by stimulating innovation in a disaggregated
publishing structure. Second, they serve as tangible indicators of an
institution's quality, thus increasing its visibility, prestige, and public

SPARC's white paper describes institutional repositories' role as catalyst
for change and explores their impact on major stakeholders in the scholarly
communication process. Stakeholders include individual scholars and
researchers, academic institutions and librarians, scholarly and scientific
society publishers, commercial publishers, government institutions and others.

"A growing number of authors are already self-posting their work, and
institutional repositories channel and refine this trend, building a
stable, sustainable infrastructure to support global communication of
faculty research," said Herbert Van de Sompel, coordinator of Digital
Library Research at the Research Library of the Los Alamos National
Laboratory and co-founder of the Open Archives Initiative. "Institutional
repositories provide a logical component in a global network of
interoperable research repositories. Fundamental components of the
technical and standards infrastructure to support the proliferation of such
repositories are already in place today. SPARC's white paper is an
invaluable aid to institutions considering concrete actions to optimize
scholarly communication."

"Institutional repositories are a practical, cost-effective, and strategic
means for institutions to build partnerships with their faculty to advance
scholarly communication, said Rick Johnson, SPARC Enterprise Director.
"SPARC's paper guides higher education administrators interested in
learning why institutional repositories make sense and how they affect key
stakeholders. It demonstrates that institutional repositories offer an
immediate complement to the existing scholarly publishing model while
stimulating the emergence of new structures that will evolve over time,
offering expanded benefits to institutions and scholars alike."

The white paper finds that the enabling technologies, standards, and
protocols to support institutional repositories already exist; therefore,
institutional repositories can be implemented immediately. Moreover,
colleges and universities need not act alone, because library and
institutional consortia will often provide economies of scale for technical
development and support.
Two upcoming workshops on institutional repositories may be of interest to
those considering implementation. For more information:

SPARC and SPARC Europe are coalitions of research universities and
libraries supporting increased competition in scholarly publishing.
Membership currently numbers approximately 240 institutions and library
consortia in North America, the U.K. and Europe, Australia, New Zealand and
Asia. SPARC is also affiliated with major library organizations in Canada,
the U.K. and Ireland, Denmark, Australia and the USA. SPARC is located on
the web at http://www.arl.org/sparc; SPARC Europe is located on the web at



Alison Buckholtz
Associate Enterprise Director
SPARC -- The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition
21 Dupont Circle, Ste. 800, Washington, DC 20036 USA
T: 202 296 2296 x115 * F: 202 872 0884 * E: ali-@arl.org
http://www.arl.org/sparc    http://www.sparceurope.org
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