SPEC Kit 338: Library Management of Disciplinary Repositories · 25
The SPEC Survey on Library Management of Disciplinary Repositories was designed by Jessica Adamick,
Assistant to the Associate Director, and Rachel Lewellen, Assessment Librarian, at the University of
Massachusetts Amherst and Rebecca Reznik-Zellen, Head of Research and Scholarly Communication,
University of Massachusetts Medical School Lamar Soutter Library. These results are based on data
submitted by 49 of the 125 ARL member libraries (39%) by the deadline of September 3, 2013. The survey’s
introductory text and questions are reproduced below, followed by the response data and selected comments
from the respondents.
Disciplinary or subject repositories—such as arXiv or AgEcon Search—play an important role in scholarly communication, by
collecting and providing access to the research of a single subject or a set of related subjects. Some of the largest, oldest, and most
prestigious repositories are disciplinary repositories and they are often cited as highly successful scholarly communication initiatives,
particularly in relation to institutional repositories. There are hundreds of active disciplinary repositories worldwide, and they are
poised to become even more prominent in North America given increased governmental interest in public access to the output of
federally funded research. At the same time, disciplinary repositories are largely understudied they are under-represented in library
literature and they are virtually absent from commonly used tools for repository development, management, and content acquisition
(Adamick and Reznik-Zellen, 2010a).
A 2010 study of the ten largest disciplinary repositories found that eight of the ten repositories were hosted by a higher education
institution, and four were hosted by university libraries (Adamick and Reznik-Zellen, 2010b). Research libraries are increasingly
involved with the dissemination of scholarly output, but there are few broad-scoped studies on the management of disciplinary
repositories from a library perspective.
The purpose of this survey is to better understand the management and development of disciplinary repositories. It explores the
disciplinary scope of the repository, collection policies, funding models, assessment practices, and staffing, among other information.
For the purpose of this survey, a disciplinary repository:
is open access,
accepts deposits from national or international contributors,
hosts scholarly materials (i.e., pre-prints, post-prints, reports, and working papers, or data),
is a disciplinary, multidisciplinary, or interdisciplinary resource.
Institutional repositories, archives, and special collections are beyond the scope of this survey.
NOTE: Respondents whose libraries host a disciplinary repository will answer the majority of the questions. In those cases, this survey
may take 30 minutes to complete. If your institution manages more than one disciplinary repository, please submit separate surveys
to represent each one. You will need to use a different computer for each survey.
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