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Institutional repositories

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Where are institutional repositories?

IRs are one of the biggest and fastest growing developments in scholarly communications, a worldwide movement. The project OpenDOAR seeks to provide a directory of repositories, and its database has greatly increased in the past couple of years, from approximately 1,000 at the end of 2007 to over 1,400 currently (July 2009).

Figure 1 below shows the distribution of IRs by continent. Almost half are in Europe; North America accounts for just over a quarter; while Asia is the largest of the other regions. In Europe, the country with the largest number of repositories is the UK, followed by Germany; in Asia, Japan has the most, followed by India; China has only seven, most of which are in Hong Kong (figures taken from the OpenDOAR website, July 2009)

Image: Figure 1. IRs by continent.

Figure 1. IRs by continent


According to Chen and Hsiang (2009), and quoting research from 2005, over 90 per cent of universities in the US have either taken steps or are contemplating steps to construct a repository system, while almost every university in Germany, the Netherlands and Norway has some sort of IR.