Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln



Paul Royster

Date of this Version



An unsuccessful proposal for Open Repositories 2015 meeting in Indianapolis, June 2015.


The announced program for OR2015 looks very impressive, despite my personal disappointment. If my experience in 2014 in Helsinki is any guide, it will be a very valuable and interesting several days for those able to attend.


Some day, in 5 or 25 years, someone probably attending the Open Repositories 2015 meeting will have participated in developing the future perfect or near-perfect repository. Spoiler alert: It will not be me. I am far too technically challenged, having last studied computer science in 1970, when we programmed on punch cards in the newest language—Fortran IV. Still, I believe I can comment productively on what the future perfect repository will look like and how it will behave. I have managed a successful institutional repository for more than 10 years, and I have visited, browsed, searched, downloaded from, and crash-landed on most of the existing scholarly and other resource repository platforms. I have monitored activity, studied usage patterns, and compared various platforms for friendliness and human-interface issues. I am prepared to offer some informed speculations concerning the shape and character of the future—if not perfect, then successful—repository. Who will build it? What will be its features? What will be its contents? Who will be its users? Who will be its depositors? What will be its “business plan”? What are some promising models? Is there a software design pattern?