About Institutional Repositories

Institutional Repositories (IRs) can bring together all of a University's research under one umbrella, in order to preserve and provide permanent access to that institution's published research.

IRs are an excellent vehicle for working papers or copies of published articles and conference papers. Presentations, senior theses, and other works not published elsewhere can also be published in the IR.

Copyright Issues

Inclusion of published journal articles in the institutional repository is an extension of the author's copyright to the work. Authors depositing their published work in DigitalCommons@ TMC should double check to ensure that they are allowed to do so. Two resources can help:

SHERPA keeps an updating list of publishers' copyright and self-archiving policies

RoMEO allows you to search a specific journal title to discover its copyright and self-archiving policies

Checking these resources will help authors discover the policies of publishers and journals regarding self-archiving. In many cases, permission is explicitly granted and you can deposit your work in DigitalCommons@ TMC without having to contact anyone. It is the author's responsibility to discover what is and what is not permissible.

For more information on institutional repositories and adding material to DigitalCommons@ The Texas Medical Center, please contact:

Laurel Sanders
Institutional Repository Coordinator
HAM-TMC Library
(713) 799-7114

Related Links

Crow, Raym, SPARC Senior Consultant: "The Case for Institutional Repositories: A SPARC Position Paper" [PDF] (August 2002)
Institutional repositories - digital collections that capture and preserve the intellectual output of university communities—respond to two strategic issues facing academic institutions: 1) they provide a central component in reforming scholarly communication by stimulating innovation in a disaggregated publishing structure; and 2) they serve as tangible indicators of an institution’s quality, thus increasing its visibility, prestige, and public value. This paper examines institutional repositories from these complementary perspectives, describing their potential role and exploring their impact on major stakeholders in the scholarly communication process.

Lynch, Clifford A.: "Institutional Repositories: Essential Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital Age" ARL no. 226 (February 2003): 1-7.
A university-based institutional repository is a set of services that a university offers to the members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community members. It is most essentially an organizational commitment to the stewardship of these digital materials, including long-term preservation where appropriate, as well as organization and access or distribution.

OAIster: a union catalog of digital resources. Provides access to these digital resources by "harvesting" their descriptive metadata (records) using OAI-PMH (the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting).

Peter Suber's Open Access News Blog: News from the Open Access Movement

Gateway to all DigitalCommons Repositories: search and browse through all of the institutional repositories, journals, and personal researcher pages hosted by Digital Commons.

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ): This service covers free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals. Aims to cover all subjects and languages.