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Institutional Repositories: Home

This guide was created and maintained by the Atla Scholarly Communication and Digital Initiatives Committee.

An institutional repository (IR) is a “digital collection capturing and preserving the intellectual output of a single university or a multiple institution community of colleges and universities,” SPARC.

Although Atla member libraries can provide benefits to their institutions through institutional repositories, many are unable to simply imitate the work of larger universities because of their smaller size and lack of access to resources, such as a Scholarly Communications officer.


Institutional repositories can:

  • Open an institution's scholarly output to the world
  • Increase the reach of scholarly works
  • Increase visibility of scholars
  • Provide usage statistics for scholars
  • Help faculty and students create reference lists
  • Showcase student work
  • Provide a space for works-in-progress



Potential difficulties may include:

  • Needing support from the top-down and bottom-up
  • Costs may be high, with limited functionality
  • Faculty often lack motivation or knowledge about using the IR
  • Faculty may be confused about copyright
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