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Statement of Principles (PDF)

Executive Summary (PDF)

Faculty Conference on Scholarly Publishing - UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley > The Library > Faculty Conference on Scholarly Publishing > Handouts > What is a Repository?

What is a Repository?

A repository is a place where scholars can deposit digital content they have created. These open access repositories accept all types of scholarly materials, including pre-publication materials, journals and peer-reviewed series, seminar series papers, post-prints, and more. Repositories ensure the dissemination and preservation of that content in way that a departmental or faculty website cannot.

Examples of institutional repositories:

  • eScholarship: Sponsored by the University of California, almost 200 UC departments and research unit use eScholarship to host a range of scholarly communication, from pre-publication materials to peer-reviewed content. Recent data on eScholarship:

    Number of papers deposited 6,460
    Number of full-text downloads to date 1,154,900
    Number of full-text downloads week of 3/13/05 27,017
    Number of departments, ORUs, MRUs participating 194
    % of referrals that come from Google over 60
    % of non-UC usage over 95
    Number of countries from which users link 106
    Top five countries from with users link (in descending order): UK, Sweden, Mexico, Canada, India

  • MIT's DSpace: MIT research in digital form, including preprints, technical reports, working papers, conference papers, images, and more. Based on open-source software developed as a collaboration between MIT and Hewlett Packard. MIT faculty are required to post their digital content to DSpace.

Disciplinary repositories include but are not limited to:

  • CogPrints: An electronic self-archive for papers in psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, computer science, philosophy, biology, medicine, anthropology, and areas in the physical, social, and mathematical sciences that relate to the study of cognition. Developed by the University of Southampton, England.

  • PubMed Central: A digital archive of life sciences journal literature deposited by publishers. Developed and managed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

  • ArXiv: For physics, mathematics, non-linear science, computer science, and quantitative biology. Operated by Cornell University.

Monthly submission rate for arXiv.org (1991-2003)

monthly submission rate for arxiv.org

Recent Developments in Postprints

Depositing your work in a postprint server is an easy way for scholars to take back control of their output and take a positive step towards finding solutions to the crisis in scholarly communciation. By submitting your output to a postprint server, you are are ensuring that

  • Your work can be discovered by doing a simple Google search.
  • Your articles can be read by anyone, not just those individuals who have access to the subscribed journal. With more readers, your work will have greater potential impact.

UC Launches Postprint Service

The eScholarship Postprint Service provides a central online location for UC faculty and researchers to showcase and provide free, open access to previously published journal articles. Through the less-restrictive copyright policies of a number of publishers*, many authors are now able to increase the use and impact of their own scholarly output by depositing articles into repositories like the eScholarship Postprint Service.

Here are additional reasons to post your scholarly output on the postprint server:

  • Posting your article in the eScholarship Postprint Service ensures archival access to the digital version of your work for years to come.
  • eScholarships will monitor the number of "hits" your article has had (via the post-print server) and will notify you on a regular basis.
  • When posting your article in the eScholarship Postprint Service, you can also post associated files and other support material that may not have been available in the regularly-published version of your article.

As of March 22, 2005, more than 700 papers have been submitted to the eScholarship Postprint Server. Many articles, however, cannot be posted because of publisher restrictions.

NIH Calls on Scientists to Speed Public Release of Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy, which goes into effect in May, requests that NIH investigators submit an electronic version of their final manuscripts to the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) PubMed Central for release up to 12 months after publication. This policy was developed to:

  • make the published results of NIH-funded research more readily accessible to the public, health care providers, educators, and scientists;
  • and to ensure the permanent preservation of this vital published research.

NIH recommends that investigators exercise their right to specify in copyright transfer agreements that the author or institution retains the right to provide their manuscripts to PubMed Central for public accessibility.


  • What is the best way to populate an institutional repository?
  • Should the University of California require all faculty to submit their articles to the postprint server?

* CDL estimates that about 70% of publishers currently allow authors to post on institutional repositories. Among them are: American Institute of Physics, American Mathematical Society, American Physical Society, Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), Blackwell Publishing, BMJ Publishing Group, Cambridge University Press, Johns Hopkins University Press, National Academy of Sciences, Royal Society, SAGE Publications, Springer Verlag.

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