ARL Digital Repositories Task Force Releases Final Report
Washington DC--The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Digital Repository Issues Task Force has released its final report. The task force was charged with evaluating trends, contextualizing repository activities among ARL libraries, and recommending leadership roles and activities for ARL.
The report, "The Research Library's Role in Digital Repository Services," identifies key issues surrounding repository development, explores common strategies that libraries are using, analyzes relevant environmental trends, discusses issues where ARL and its member libraries should focus attention, and recommends the following actions for research libraries to undertake:
- Build a range of new kinds of partnerships and alliances, both within institutions and between institutions.
- Base service-development strategies on substantive assessment of local needs rather than blindly replicating work done at another institution.
- Engage with key local policy issues and stakeholders to encourage institutional engagement with national and international policy issues.
- Develop outreach and marketing strategies that assist "early adopters" of repositories to connect with the developing repository-related service system.
- Define a scope of responsibility to guide the development of repository services for varied forms of content.
The report focuses on repository services generally, rather than concentrating on repository technologies or content. Repository services include services to authors, contributors, and users, particularly of university-created content. Some examples of repository services provided by research libraries include long-term archiving and migration of content, dissemination and access management, metadata and format management, search and discovery tools, publishing, data mining, etc. Illustrations drawn from a variety of digital repositories are used throughout the report.
The task force notes that, due to repository services' powerful potential to enable key work and enhance the effectiveness of functions across the research enterprise, research institutions cannot afford to do without such services, even in difficult economic times. Researchers and scholars with access to a spectrum of repository services possess a substantial advantage in conducting cutting-edge research, delivering high-quality teaching, and contributing valuable services to society. Libraries have key strengths and missions requiring them to undertake various roles in repository service development. This report presents a fresh perspective on the digital repository environment and is intended to inspire ARL member libraries and others to assess their views and plans for service development.
The report is freely available on the ARL Web site http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 123 research libraries in North America. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the Web at http://www.arl.org/.
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