Many scholarly materials and research reports are not easily found by the big Web search engines. Google, even with Google Scholar, may not uncover the research and discussion that is available through a digital repository. There are thousands of these repositories created by universities, research centres, and other organizations to advance the work of their faculty, students, or members, and to offer the research to the public. Our challenge is to locate these.
HathiTrust is one (http://www.hathitrust.org). It partners with research institutions and librariesin the United States and internationally to provide smooth access to digital collections of books, serials and publications. Its metadata enables search by subject, author, language, date range, country, and format.
Many digital repositories are associated with the open access (OA) movement for providing scholarly resources that are digital, free of charge, and free of most restrictions in use. There are two major directories to open access repositories for academic research.
Directory of Open Access Repositories in the UK – OpenDOAR – http://opendoar.org. It has over 2,600 listings, searchable by country, subject, repository type, language and a couple of other parameters, as well as a keyword search on content.
The Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR – http://roar.eprints.org) reports on growth and status of repositories. It can be used to locate repositories in a country or subject which you would then search directly.
Repositories can also be found through directories to users of a particular platform. Two of the prominent platforms are:
- Dspace User Registry – http://registry.duraspace.org/registry/dspace
- Fedora User Registry – http://registry.duraspace.org/registry/fedora
The University of Toronto created TSpace to “preserve and disseminate” the “scholary record” of the university – and makes this freely available to all users. Repositories might also be a digital collection on a particular topic such as the ones listed on this University of Toronto page for “local digital special collections”.
This is just a small sampling. Whenever academic research may be applicable to your search quest, consider the repositories. Find more just by using repository as a search term together with your topic.