Evaluation of institutional repositories of South Asia

Publication Date20 December 2019
Date20 December 2019
AuthorSumeer Gul,Shazia Bashir,Shabir Ahmad Ganaie
SubjectLibrary & information science,Information behaviour & retrieval,Collection building & management,Bibliometrics,Databases,Information & knowledge management,Information & communications technology,Internet,Records management & preservation,Document management
Evaluation of institutional
repositories of South Asia
Sumeer Gul
Department of Library and Information Science,
University of Kashmir, Srinagar, India
Shazia Bashir
Central Library, Jammu & Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture & Languages,
Srinagar, India, and
Shabir Ahmad Ganaie
Department of Library and Information Science,
University of Kashmir, Srinagar, India
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the status of institutional repositories (IRs) in the
South Asian region. The various characteristic features of IRs are studied.
Design/methodology/approach Open directory of open access repositories (DOAR) as a data-gathering
tool was consulted for extracting the desired data.
Findings India, SriLanka and Bangladesh lead otherSouth Asian nations in terms of IRscount. Majority of
the IRs are operational in nature with higher number of operational IRs from India.In terms of record count,
India leadsthe list. Journal articlesoutscoreother content typeand majority of the IRs have OAI-PMH as their
base URL. DSpace stays a prioritized software for content management in IRs. Majority of the IRs have not
definedtheir content management policies.English stays a prioritizedlanguage of the content dottingthe South
Asian IRs andmajority of the IRs not providingusage statistics. A good score ofIRs has incorporated Web 2.0
tools in themwith RSS as the preferredWeb 2.0 tool. A good count of the IRshas not customized their interface.
Majority of the IRs have interface in two languages.
Research limitations/implications The main limitation of the study is that the findings of the research
are based on the data collected through the repositories indexed by Open DOAR.
Originality/value The study triesto explore the characteristicfeatures of IRs from the South Asianregion.
Keywords Open access, Institutional repositories, Green road to open access,
Institutional repositories-content management policies, Institutional repositories-South Asia,
Open access repositories
Paper type Research paper
Scholarly communication has always received a prime importance all across the globe right
from the times scholars began to emancipate their ideas. Formation of the rst scientic
society and the introduction of scientic journals in the 1660s together mark the birth of the
formal scientic scholarly communication system(De Silva and Vance, 2017). The history
of scholarly publishing traces back to the times when the invention of moveable type copier
by Gutenberg in 1439, revolutionized the philosophy of creating multiple copies of
literature with the debut of religious and liturgical manuscripts. But the real foundation of
scholarly literature was laid in the year 1665 with the debut of first scholarly journals,
Journal Des Scavans(later spelled Journal des savants) established by Denis de Sallo
and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.”“The formal scientic scholarly
communication system has changed at a slow pace, until the last few decades when we have
witnessed a tremendous state of transformation over a relatively short period and till date,
the race has never stopped and will always be on a move. Scholarly communication is
shaped by economic factors, geopolitical events, and technological advances that are taking
Online Information Review
Vol. 44 No. 1, 2020
pp. 192-212
© Emerald PublishingLimited
DOI 10.1108/OIR-03-2019-0087
Received 19 April 2019
Revised 28 July 2019
Accepted 25 November 2019
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
place at an unprecedented pace(De Silva and Vance, 2017). The publishing process of
peer-reviewedjournals continued since thenand the race has now become unstoppable with a
high wave of scholarly journals making their debut every year in the scholarly world. The
most formal and systematic subset within the array of scholarly communication mechanisms
encompassesthe peer-reviewed journalsand conference proceeding,the content of which form
the official information of record in most of the cases. Until 1990s scholarly journals were
published mostly in print form. Pioneering journals appeared in the electronic form as a
supplementto the hardcopy form through the1990s and, as resistance to electronicpublishing
dissipated, electronic-only journals were launched(Jacobs, 20 06, p. 5). Disseminat ion of
scholarly output has been made more prompt and the digital technology in the form of open
access (OA) phenomenon has done wondersfor a wider coverage and impact of the same.OA
has given a new democratic voice tothe scholarly content where thebarriers prevalent earlier
have been removed thus resulting in wider visibility and a higher impact (Antelman, 2004;
Jayakanth et al., 2008; Lawrence, 2001; Norris et al., 2008). OA to scientic articles means
online access without charge to readers or libraries. Committing to open access means
dispensing with the nancial, technicaland legal barriers that are designed tolimit access to
scientic research articles to paying customers(Suber, 2002). Association of Research
Libraries(2004) defines OA as a cost-effective way to disseminateand use information.It is an
alternative to the traditional subscription-based publishing model made possible by new
digital technologies and networked communication. OA to scholarly literature has received
increasing attention in the academic, research and publishing circles over the last few years
and has been a hot topic for debates and discussions (Zhang, 2007).
OA manifests itself in two domains, OA journals (Golden Road) and OA repositories
(Green Road) (Budapest Open Access Initiative, 2002). A wide variety of OA repositories
(OARs) have grown with the passage of time. A repository may be defined as a set of
systems and services that facilitates the ingest, storage, management, retrieval, display and
re-use of digital objects. Repositories may be set up by institutions, subject communities,
research funders or other groups. They may provide access to a variety of digital objects,
including peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, theses, data sets, learning objects or
rich media files (Pinfield, 2009). OARs of academic and research outputs are a signicant
development in the twenty first century global research information environment
(Pinfield et al., 2014).
Repositories are predominantly institutional (managed by academic or research
institutions), disciplinary ( formed by subject communities), aggregating (content harvested
from other sources) or governmental (managed by national governments and government-
sponsored agencies) (Pinfield et al., 2014).
The OA movement and institutional repositories (IRs) developed by universities and
academic libraries as a part of that movement openly challenge the traditional scholarly
communication system (Cullen and Chawner, 2011). Yeates (2003) defines IRs as the
collective intellectual output of an institution recorded in a form that can be preserved and
exploited.Lynch (2003) defines IR as an accessible collection of scholarly work that
represents the intellectual capital of the university.However, Johnson (2002) defines IR
more vividly as a digital archive of the intellectual product created by the faculty,
research staff, and students of an institution and accessible to end users both within and
outside the institution with few if any barriers to access.Shearer (2003) defines IRs as
digital collections that capture and preserve the intellectual output of a single or
multi-university community. Their aim is to provide access to scholarly material without
the economic barriers that currently exist in scholarly publishing.Adewumi and
Ikhu-Omoregbe (2011) visualize an IR as a specialization of digital libraries, both having a
common goal of collecting and preserving the content in digital formats with IRs
tailored toward intellectual output of a university community or research institution.
Evaluation of
IRs of
South Asia

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