The institutional repository landscape in medical schools and academic health centers: a 2018 snapshot view and analysis




Institutional Repositories, Medical Schools, Academic Health Centers, Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries, AAHSL, Survey


Objective: This study uses survey research methods to gain a deeper understanding of the institutional repository (IR) landscape in medical schools and academic health centers.

Methods: Members of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) were surveyed about their IRs. The authors used a mixed-methods approach of a survey and qualitative content analysis to identify common themes.

Results: Survey results indicate that a large majority of responding medical schools and academic health centers have or are implementing an IR (35 out of 50, 70%). Of these, 60% (21 institutions) participate in an institution-wide IR rather than administer their own repositories. Much of the archived content is grey literature that has not already been published, but the percentage of original content varies greatly among institutions. The majority (57.1%) of respondent institutions are not considering an open access policy or mandate. Most institutions (71.4%) reported that repository staff are depositing materials on behalf of users. dSPACE and bepress Digital Commons are the most popular repository platforms in this community. The planned enhancements that were most frequently reported were implementing a discovery layer and ORCID integration. The majority of respondents (54.3%) do not plan to migrate to a different platform in the foreseeable future. Analysis of respondent comments identified the following themes: integration, redundancy, and reporting; alternatives and exploration; uniqueness; participation; and funding and operations.

Conclusions: The study results capture a view of the IR landscape in medical schools and academic health centers and help readers understand what services their peers have in place as well as their plans for future developments.

 This article has been approved for the Medical Library Association’s Independent Reading Program.


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Original Investigation