Key Challenges Associated with Institutional Repositories

Key Challenges Associated with Institutional Repositories

Sucheth
Sucheth

Setting up an institutional repository and archiving your research corpus on it is only half the job. The other half is to ensure that it acts as a catalyst for improved research visibility. Now that's a daunting task, but not unachievable.

There are a few critical challenges you might face along your path to building a successful institutional repository. You will need to address them head-on, and that's precisely what this blog post will help you do.

We will highlight critical institutional repository challenges and elaborate on addressing them.

Institutional repository challenges

1. Resource constraints

While a locally-hosted repository solution offers greater flexibility and control, it is more demanding in terms of resources, and you cannot scale up or down at will. You will have to set aside a certain amount from your budget for physical safekeeping and maintenance. Moreover, you will need to appoint full-time staff to keep the data secure, make sure it is backed up regularly, and support users with troubleshooting.

How do you overcome this challenge?

With cloud-hosted repository solutions! These allow you to scale your storage without any hassle and ensure your research corpus is accessible 24*7 worldwide uninterrupted. Most importantly, you don’t have to worry about its upkeep or maintenance since the data is stored in best-in-class servers in secure locations.

A look at the server information of IIT Madras' institutional repository.
A look at the server information of IIT Madras' institutional repository.

2. Lack of technical expertise

In most cases, institutions run their repositories with a combination of repurposed staff and volunteers. Leaving them to deal with the nitty-gritty of complex software may not be a good idea. This is especially true if you opt for an Open Source solution. These solutions usually don't come with dedicated support, ready-made integrations, training support, and security upgrades. Ultimately, the lack of technical expertise could pose a massive challenge to the initiative's success.

How do you overcome this challenge?

Opt for proprietary software. Most proprietary repository solutions come with installation support, educational resources, an ecosystem of integrations and plugins, and 24*7 customer support. When you are short on staff with the necessary expertise, relying on a trustworthy software provider makes more sense.

Typeset's repository solution integrates with Crossref and Scopus databases.
Typeset's repository solution integrates with Crossref and Scopus databases.

3. Low adoption rates

Many of the platforms available in the market are outdated and only help preserve the research output. Not only does it make your institutional repository less discoverable, but the workflows will also be more complicated and rigid, making the reader’s and the depositor’s experience less than satisfactory.

How do you overcome this challenge?

So, if you want your institutional repository to be advanced and comprehensive, you should look for a platform with advantages such as:

  • Seamless approval/rejection workflow
  • Ability to manage Open Access workflows effectively
  • Automated data harvesting from citation databases
  • Create and manage researcher profiles and publications
  • Offers integrations and interoperability with your existing tools and software
  • Supports and effectively renders all the different types of assets (and content formats) — preprint journal articles, electronic theses and dissertations, podcasts, video presentations, etc.
  • Powerful analytics and SEO tools
  • Ability to discover copyright information of all the publications
Typeset-powered repositories offer simple deposit workflows
Typeset-powered repositories offer simple deposit workflows

Nobody likes a copyright notice, including researchers. The fear of being hit with one stops a lot of scholars from depositing their papers to repositories. Moreover, publisher policies are complex and vary from one to another. Tracking embargoes and negotiating with publishers may not be for everyone. They may not have the bandwidth or energy to deal with the whole ordeal.

How do you overcome this challenge?

Implement a repository solution that has inbuilt Copyright Detection technology that allows faculty and scholarly communication staff to determine which version of a manuscript (postprint, preprint, and published) can be made freely available. This way, they can open up full-text PDFs without worrying about copyright violations.

Typeset enables users to check copyright status of their publication by simply entering the DOI.

Final thoughts

Building a successful institutional repository isn't as easy as installing a repository solution and forgetting about it. You need to develop an Open Access policy and create awareness among students and scholars on its importance and institutional repository's role in achieving Open Access objectives.

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.

Before You Go,