SPEC Kit 292 Institutional Repositories
The Institutional Repositories SPEC Kit is now available  from the Association of Research Libraries (ARL ). This document presents the results of a thirty-eight-question survey of 87 responding ARL members in early 2006 about their institutional repositories practices and plans. The survey response rate was 71% (87 out of 123 ARL members). The front matter and nine-page Executive Summary  are freely available.
The document also presents detailed question-by-question results, a list of respondent institutions, representative documents from institutions, and a bibliography. It is 176 pages long.
Here is the bibliographic information: University of Houston Libraries Institutional Repository Task Force. Institutional Repositories. SPEC Kit 292. Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, 2006. ISBN:
The members of the University of Houston Libraries  Institutional Repository Task Force who authored the document were Charles W. Bailey, Jr.; Karen Coombs; Jill Emery (now at UT Austin); Anne Mitchell; Chris Morris; Spencer Simons; and Robert Wright.
The creation of a SPEC Kit  is a highly collaborative process. SPEC Kit Editor Lee Anne George and other ARL staff worked with the authors to refine the survey questions, mounted the Web survey, analyzed the data in SPSS, created a preliminary summary of survey question responses, and edited and formatted the final document. Given the amount of data that the survey generated, this was no small task. The authors would like to thank the ARL team for their hard work on the SPEC Kit.
Although the Executive Summary is much longer than the typical one (over 5,100 words vs. about 1,500 words), it should not be mistaken for a highly analytic research article. Its goal was to try to describe the survey's main findings, which was quite challenging given the amount of survey data available. The full data is available in the "Survey Questions and Responses" section of the SPEC Kit.
Here are some quick survey results:
- Thirty-seven ARL institutions (43% of respondents) had an
operational IR (we called these respondents implementers), 31 (35%)
were planning one by 2007, and 19 (22%) had no IR plans.
- Looked at from the perspective of all 123 ARL members, 30%
had an operational IR and, by 2007, that figure may reach 55%.
- The mean cost of IR implementation was $182,550.
- The mean annual IR operation cost was $113,543.
- Most implementers did not have a dedicated budget for either
start-up costs (56%) or ongoing operations (52%).
- The vast majority of implementers identified first-level IR
support units that had a library reporting line vs. one that had a
campus IT or other campus unit reporting line.
- DSpace  was by far the most commonly used system: 20
implementers used it exclusively and 3 used it in combination with
- Proquest DigitalCommons  (or the Bepress software it is
based on) was the second choice of implementers: 7 implementers used
- While 28% of implementers have made no IR software
modifications to enhance its functionality, 22% have made frequent
changes to do so and 17% have made major modifications to the
- Only 41% of implementers had no review of deposited
documents. While review by designated departmental or unit officials
was the most common method (35%), IR staff reviewed documents 21% of
- In a check all that apply question, 60% of implementers said
that IR staff entered simple metadata for authorized users and 57%
said that they enhanced such data. Thirty-one percent said that they
cataloged IR materials completely using local standards.
- In another check all that apply question, implementers
clearly indicated that IR and library staff use a variety of
strategies to recruit content: 83% made presentations to faculty and
others, 78% identified and encouraged likely depositors, 78% had
library subject specialists act as advocates, 64% offered to deposit
materials for authors, and 50% offered to digitize materials and
- The most common digital preservation arrangement for
implementers (47%) was to accept any file type, but only preserve
specified file types using data migration and other techniques. The
next most common arrangement (26%) was to accept and preserve any
- The mean number of digital objects in implementers' IRs was
Charles W. Bailey, Karen Coombs, Jill Emery, Anne Mitchell, Chris Morris, Spencer Simons, and Robert Wright. SPEC Kit 292 Institutional Repositories. Association of Research Libraries, 2006.