The NLM Technical Bulletin recently published a post describing how PubMed now includes links to full text of articles available through institutional repositories. This is fantastic news, since this feature expands the possible open access resources for locating full text of indexed articles on PubMed beyond PubMed Central and publisher websites. Institutional repositories are often overlooked treasures brimming with open access resources, including full-text journal articles (often preprint), theses, and other research output published by students and faculty at the institutions.
OpenScholarship.org defines institutional repositories as:
Digital collections of the outputs created within a university or research institution. Whilst the purposes of repositories may vary (for example, some universities have teaching/learning repositories for educational materials), in most cases they are established to provide Open Access to the institution’s research output.
So how can you find institutional repositories? My two favorite resources are:
- OpenDOAR – The Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR), created by the University of Nottingham, UK, allows users to search for repositories (using criteria like subject area, country, and language), browse repositories by country and region, or search across contents of the repositories listed on OpenDOAR through a Custom Google Search form. OpenDOAR currently includes about 3,339 repositories in its directory (ignore the “OpenDOAR has over 2600 listing!” banner on the front page, that appears to be out-of-date).
- ROAR – The Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR), created by the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, allows users to browse through information on 4,446 repositories. Users can browse repositories (by country/year/repository type/repository software/institutional association), search for repositories (using criteria like repository type, software, country, or subject), and search across content in the repositories using a Google Custom Search form.
OpenDOAR and ROAR have similar search and browsing features, but ROAR seems to have a larger collection of repository listings to search through. I also prefer ROAR because it uses Library of Congress Classification to categorize repositories in its collection by subject.
If you want to learn more about open access repositories, check out the academic LibGuide Open Access Repositories – UC Santa Barbara Library. Repository66.org also has a neat visualization of repositories on a global map. If anyone knows any additional useful institutional repository resources, please share!