Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version


Document Type



Luther, Judy. “The Evolving Institutional Repository Landscape.” ACRL/Choice, publisher. 2018. librarianship/whitepaper


© Copyright 2018 American Library Association. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Advances in technology affecting content creation and digital dissemination continue to reshape the role of academic libraries. The impact of these changes requires reimagining a strategy for the library built around digital collections–not only those acquired from publishers but the growing variety of files created in the development of scholarship and learning. Institutional Repositories (IRs) are emerging as a vehicle for new directions in how libraries can support the academic community both locally and globally.

To gain insights and gather data on IR operations, we conducted interviews, an open survey, and web research to obtain a snapshot of the current perspective and potential role of IRs in a changing landscape. Relevant data and comments in italics from the survey are included throughout this report to provide examples and a better understanding of the variety of applications of IRs and the complexity of the broader environment. Of 151 survey participants, 93% are academic and 85% are academic institutions in North America. Worldwide institutions are scattered across Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Further analysis reflects a market pattern of widespread participation that is greatest in larger institutions in each academic category, but also includes community colleges, hospitals, corporations, government, not-for-profits, a funder, and a national park. A full summary of survey results is included as an appendix to this white paper.