AM Posters 2009 START Conference Manager    

Institutional Repositories: What's the Use?

Beth St. Jean, Soo Young Rieh, Elizabeth Yakel, Karen Markey and Raya Samet

(Submission #15)


Although the earliest institutional repositories (IRs), such as the University of California’s eScholarship and MIT’s DSpace, have now been operational for nearly 7 years, very little research has focused on IR end-users – the people who search and retrieve digital content from these systems. This poster describes a study that attempts to fill this gap in the IR literature, much of which focuses on contributors rather than end-users. This study involves interviews with IR end-users in order to investigate the following research questions: (1) How do end-users characterize IRs?; (2) What approaches do end-users take to accessing and using IRs?; (3) For what purposes do end-users use IRs?; (4) To what extent do end-users perceive the information from IRs to be trustworthy, relative to information from other sources?; and (5) To what extent are end-users willing to return to the IR and/or to recommend the IR to their peers? This study is part of the IMLS-funded MIRACLE (Making Institutional Repositories A Collaborative Learning Environment) Project (, which aims to identify best practices and success factors associated with the administration, infrastructure, access, and use of IRs.


[Additional materials, author bios (PDF)]  

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