Things to Consider When Selecting Institutional Repository Software Package
Institutional Repository Open Access

Things to Consider When Selecting Institutional Repository Software Package


Institutional repositories are one of the most effective tools to maximize the visibility of your research output, increase your citation count and climb university rankings.

Research indicates that full-text research papers archived in repositories can lead to a 22-44% increase in citations. Moreover, out of 58 relevant studies conducted, 43 confirmed that Open Access articles tend to attract more citations than non-OA articles.

With citation count and research visibility being part of most university ranking methodologies, building be an open access institutional repository should be a top priority if you want to climb the rankings.

The question is, how do you select the right repository software package for your university?

Things to consider when selecting institutional repository software

Most institutions have an internal evaluation process to finalize a repository software package. But, before you issue the tender or start exploring different options, you must know what to look for in these packages.

Take some time to assess and ensure the software package you select offers these seven benefits.

1. Matches your goals

Why are you setting up an institutional repository? Is it to digitize old library collections, or is it to maximize the citation count of your research output, or is it to attract global attention to your institution?

Now, these are a few reasons why institutions build online repositories. Knowing the purpose and the objectives of your repository initiative is a must because it allows you to select a software package that matches those demands.

For instance, if you aim to gain global exposure, you should opt for a cloud-hosted package that can support traffic to your repository from across the world 24*7.

Institutional repository of IIT Madras

2. Offers access control

Typically, an institutional repository is used by many different stakeholders, including library staff, faculty, students, readers, and community members. Therefore, the software you select should have the provision to verify the credentials and grant them appropriate access privileges.

Contributors and the library staff should have the ability to change access settings of uploads at any time. This is especially important because of embargo dates, copyright violations, funding mandates, and faculty exits.

Institutional repository of VIT

3. Follows search optimization best practices

The easiest way to find information nowadays is to do a Google search. So, if you want the publications hosted on your repository to get more citations, you have to make sure the pages are search-optimized.

Selecting a repository software that takes SEO and research visibility seriously will make your job a lot easier. Look out for features such as custom excerpts, metadata tagging and enrichment, auto image extraction, and indexing, among other things.

Ultimately, if you can set up an institutional repository that follows guidelines and best practices prescribed by Google and other search engines, the chances of your publications appearing on top of search results will be much higher.

4. Simplifies deposit workflow

Contributors will be reluctant to upload their manuscripts if the deposit workflow is complicated. While everybody loves citations and new readers, faculty and students are less likely to bother if the submission process is a hassle. They may not have the time or energy to spare. More importantly, without new deposits, the readership and search rankings are more likely to decline.

Submission process in Typeset-powered repositories

Therefore, it is crucial that you deploy a repository software that has a simple deposit workflow. Contributors must be able to complete the process and publish it in a few clicks. Moreover, it should offer options, including bulk uploads, automatic data capture with Digital Object Identifier number, automatic extraction of images, and other visuals, among other things.

5. Promotes Open Access

The role of institutional repositories in promoting Open Access can't be understated. Since your repository is expected to host a considerable portion of your institution's scholarly output, it has to be at the forefront of your Open Access initiatives and in helping you meet Open Access goals.

Open Access Workflow in Typeset

Selecting an Open Access friendly repository software package will make your job a lot easier. For instance, think about an application that enables your faculty and researchers to legally open their publications in your repository in preprint or postprint format (based on the publisher's copyright rules).

Not only would it help you avoid copyright violations, but you also can make the entire permissible research corpus freely accessible. That too, without adding the extra workload on your library staff. In addition, since the process is automated, they won't have to track embargo dates or vet every submission manually.

6. Offers scalability

A well-run repository is bound to grow and flourish. But this growth will bring a set of new challenges. It could range from training support to new staff, increased deposits, traffic spikes, greater need for analytics, and requests for integrations with other platforms and software used in your institution.

Your repository vendor must be capable of delivering on these requirements. If the software fails to scale with the growing demands, managing the repository could be a nightmare. More importantly, its usage will also reduce over time, rendering the whole exercise pointless.

7. Provides advanced publishing options

An institutional repository is an excellent way for universities to take back some control from traditional publishers. It enables universities to give faculty and students an alternate Green Open Access option that they can always fall back on.

Typeset Powered Repositories come with advanced publishing options

Now, the key here is to choose an institutional repository software that makes the publishing process easy. It should offer text editing, thesis standardization tools, journal templates, and plagiarism checking, among other things. This way, students, faculty, and library staff won't have to rely on multiple solutions; everything from drafting, reviewing, publishing, to archiving can be performed on a single platform.

Final thoughts

There is no denying that institutional repositories play a crucial role in modern scholarly communication, no matter the size of your university or the scale of your research corpus.

Define the objectives, needs, and budget for your repository initiative, and keep an eye out for the above-listed qualities. It will help you select a robust and suitable repository software solution for your institution.

Since you are on the lookout for repository solutions, we suggest checking out Typeset's University Suite. It ticks all the boxes we covered in the blog post and many more.

You can host your institution's entire research output in one place, enable Open Access by legally opening up manuscripts locked behind paywalls, and maximize visibility and citations by making publications easily discoverable.

If you want to see the features in action, you can get a free, personalized demo.