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Scholarly Communication & Institutional Repository: Digital Repositories

Scholarly communication(SC) is the process by which academics, scholars, and researchers share and publish their research findings so that they are available to the wider academic community and beyond.

Repositories and its Benefits


Institutional repositories: Online archives created and maintained by educational or research institutions to collect and showcase their intellectual outputs.
Disciplinary repositories: Subject-based online archives that expedite communication among the members of an academic community, e.g., PubMed etc.


IRs are an excellent resource for:

  • Copies of published articles and conference papers
  • Presentations
  • Honors and master's theses and doctoral dissertations
  • Scholarly projects/capstone projects
  • Enhancement of profile as research institution
  • institutional records in born-digital formats
  • Other works not published elsewhere
  • Digital collections selected for specific courses
  • Potentially more recognition in academic community and outside of academia

Directories of Digital Repository


Digital Library Directory is an online cataloged resource that serves as a digital registry of the best digital library, digital collection and digitized archive resources.

OpenDOAR  (Directory of Open Access Repositories) Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) 

ROAR (Registry of Open Access Repositories)

Showcase undergraduate capstones, senior projects, and honors theses Digital Commons: A Showcase for Undergraduate Work

Learn how Digital Commons can help researchers store, manage, and share data. Digital Commons for Data

Posters, videos and handouts for general information and promotion. Digital Commons Promotional Materials

Digital Commons offers resources to help you get the most out of the platform. Research on Institutional Repositories: Articles and Presentations




Preservation is done at the completion of a project. Ideally the preservation strategy reflects long term thinking and should not be the same as how the data were stored during the project. Things to consider when developing a plan for preservation include:

  • What do you need to keep?
  • What are the funder or journal requirements?
  • How long does the data need to be preserved?
  • Who is responsible for the data at the end of the project?
  • Does the funder or journal specify a repository?
  • Is there sufficient documentation that anyone can use your data without your assistance, including software needed and file structures?
  • Are file formats open and sustainable?
  • If you are not depositing in to a repository, what is the shelf-life of the hardware and when will data need to be migrated.
  • Per U.S. Office of Management and Budget Circular A-110, data must be retained at least 3 years post-project (But >6 years is better)

Additional Resources

Digital Libraries in Dissertations and Theses


Provides access to full text of over 360,000 dissertations from over 500 European universities. DART-Europe is endorsed by LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche), and it is the European Working Group of the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD).

Digital Commons Networks (Bepress)
Open access to peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, 
dissertations, working papers, conference proceedings, and other original scholarly work from hundreds of universities and colleges. 

Electronic Dissertations and Theses Collection (University of North Carolina)
The Graduate School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill began to accept dissertations and theses electronically for graduation in the spring of 2006.

Access to dissertations produced by participating higher education institutions in UK. Login or register to access dissertations.| 
About |

DukeSpace: Electronic Theses and Dissertations (Duke University)
Provides access to recent Duke dissertations and theses as well as access to university records and other related digital content.

IDEALS: Dissertation and Theses  (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Contains the collections for dissertations and theses produced at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) 
NDLTD is an international organization that, through leadership and innovation, promotes the adoption, creation, use, dissemination and preservation of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs).

Penn Dissertations  (University of Pennsylvania) 
Publicly accessible University of Pennsylvania dissertations.

Hamburg University Press (University of Hamburg)
Content is from the Thesis Server of the State and University Library of Hamburg.  

Data Sharing Vs. Open Data


Many funders and journals have data sharing requirements and others call for open data. Managing your research data throughout the project can help ensure that either of these goals can be met.

If you are working with a specific funder or journal it is important to check their exact requirements.

Data Sharing:

Data Sharing encompasses the spectrum from making data available upon specific request to depositing data in an open and publicly accessible repository. It is important to know specifically what is required by a funder, journal, or institution. For example the Department of Energy's Statement on Digital Data Management defines Data Sharing as "...making data available to people other than those who have generated them. Examples of data sharing range from bilateral communications with colleagues, to providing, free unrestricted access to the public through, for example, a web-based platform."

Open Data:

In general, Open Data is data that is deposited in an open, publicly accessible repository. Specifically, the Open Knowledge Foundation summarizes Open Data as "A piece of data or content is open if anyone is free to use, reuse, and redistribute it- subject only to the requirement to attribute and/or share-alike". The full definition includes eleven detailed points that address issues such as access, reuse, redistribution, licensing, technological restrictions and more.

The Panton Principles are a set of recommendations for making research data open. To support the position on open data, the Panton Principles declare:

Science is based on building on, reusing and openly criticisng the published body of scientific knowledge. For science to effectively function, and for society to reap the full benefits from scientific endeavours, it is crucial that science data be made open.

By open data in science we mean that it is freely available on the public internet permitting any user to download, copy, analyse, re-process, pass them to software or use them for any other purpose without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. To this end data related to published science should be explicitly placed in the public domain.

Additional Resources

John B. Coleman Library
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 519, MS 1040, Prairie View, Texas 77446
Physical Address: L.W. Minor St. / University Drive, Prairie View, Texas 77446
Reference: (936) 261-1535, Circulation: (936) 261-1542

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