The impact of institutional repositories: a systematic review




Institutional Repositories, Scholarly Communication, Open Access, Publishing


Objective: Institutional repositories are platforms for presenting and publicizing scholarly output that might not be suitable to publish in a peer-reviewed journal or that must meet open access requirements. However, there are many challenges associated with their launch and up-keep. The objective of this systematic review was to define the impacts of institutional repositories (IRs) on an academic institution, thus justifying their implementation and/or maintenance.

Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed in the following databases: Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid EMBASE, the Cochrane Library (Wiley), ERIC (ProQuest), Web of Science (Core Collection), Scopus (Elsevier), and Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (EBSCO). A total of 6,593 citations were screened against predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Results: Thirteen included studies were divided into 3 areas of impact: citation count, exposure or presence, and administrative impact. Those focusing on citation count (n=5) and exposure or presence (n=7) demonstrated positive impacts of IRs on institutions and researchers. One study focusing on administrative benefit demonstrated the utility of IRs in automated population of ORCID profiles.

Conclusion: Based on the available literature, IRs appear to have a positive impact on citation count, exposure or presence, and administrative burden. To draw stronger conclusions, more and higher-quality studies are needed.


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