Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln



Itani 0000-0002-8481-0849

Östlundh 0000-0001-5091-604X

Date of this Version


Document Type



Itani, Amina and Linda Östlundh. 2021. The Role of Institutional Repositories in Advancing Open Scholarship: A Case Study from the United Arab Emirates University. Journal of Electronic Theses and Dissertations, Volume 1, Article 3


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Copyright 2021, the authors. Open access material

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 International


The digitization of theses and dissertations at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) began five years ago with the Digital Commons institutional repository (IR) platform, ScholarWorks, employed for the purpose. The project, initiated by the University Library, exemplifies how academic libraries can take the lead in advocating for digital preservation and open access publishing of institutional research materials. This case study describes how the library’s Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) initiative has provided an excellent model to the UAEU for it to start disseminating its research output and how the library’s copyright and open access policies have been crucial for the project’s success. We summarize the UAEU’s IR objectives, including future expansion of publication types beyond the current ETD and journal collections. We identified opportunities for improvements to the repository, such as enhanced workflows, librarians’ capabilities, system performance, and increased discoverability and metadata. Our study highlights the successes and technical challenges of developing the UAEU IR and its central role in supporting open scholarship at the university.