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Electronic resources and institutional repositories in informal scholarly communication and publishing

Galina Russell, I.; (2009) Electronic resources and institutional repositories in informal scholarly communication and publishing. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

The aim of institutional repositories is to aid the management and dissemination of the increasingly copious amount of scholarly electronic resources produced by academics. To date most research has focused on the impact for formal scholarly publishing. The purpose of this exploratory study is to discover the impact of IRs on the visibility and use of digital resources with particular focus on resources outside the formal publishing framework. An online survey and interviews with repository managers were conducted. A link analysis study was undertaken to determine what types of web resources were linking to items within repositories. The findings show that a wide range of non-formal e-resources are accepted and repository managers’ attitudes are positive towards their importance. In practice the range of resources is limited and mainly text based. The development of typologies for non-formal resources is done in an ad hoc manner. Workflow processes for content acquisition in repositories vary considerably and are quite complex in particular for non-formal e-resources. The findings show a lack of cohesive discourse between repository objectives and collection policies and actual work flow processes. Repository managers consider usage data important and its most popular uses are for advocacy and securing funding. Interpretation of usage data focuses on formal resources but evidence suggests that non-formal resources play an important part in repository visibility. Blogs, academic pages and discussion forums are important web sources that link to items within repositories. The study demonstrates that institutional repositories are not particularly successful at handling resources outside the framework of formal publishing. The system caters largely towards eprints, in particular postprints. A fundamental challenge, if scholarly communication is to move towards new forms of communication and publishing enabled by digital technologies, is to find ways to effectively name, manage and integrate non-formal electronic resources into the institutional repository.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Electronic resources and institutional repositories in informal scholarly communication and publishing
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Information Studies

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