Perpetual Beta: Assessing the Institutional Repository

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  • The institutional repository (IR) is more than an end product that holds content. It is a complex system with a variety of participants and a development course that can most accurately be described as “perpetual beta.” As a software system with both commercial and open-source iterations, an institutional repository undergoes continuous change in functionality and development. Predictions in the early 2000s were that the IR would stimulate a radical change in scholarly publishing. That initial formative vision has not yet been fully realized. The literature on institutionally focused IRs, as opposed to discipline-focused repositories, is starting to recognize that the reductionist lenses through which librarians view the institutional repository are too limited for the systems that have been built and the support required from academia.<br> Although librarians may promote IRs as the solution to the crisis in scholarly publishing, other areas of academia have different objectives for the IR and do not necessarily share that restrictive view. This chapter reviews some of the major assessment options librarians have for measuring the value and success of the institutional repository.

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    © American Library Association. This is an open access version of this article and can be downloaded and shared. The authors must be cited.
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    • Sivak, A. & Vanderjagt, L. (2013). Perpetual Beta: Assessing the Institutional Repository. In Bluh, P. and Hepfer, C. (Eds), <i>The Institutional Repository: Benefits and Challenges</i> (pp.51-64). Chicago, IL: American Library Association.