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The Librarian's Role in Institutional Repositories: A Content Analysis of the Literature
Reference Services Review (2005)
  • Suzie Allard, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
  • Thura Mack
  • Melanie Feltner-Reichert, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Purpose – This paper aims to identify topics that are being addressed in the institutional repository (IR) literature, and to determine what the role of the librarian will be in IR projects. Design/methodology/approach – A thorough search was conducted to identify literature that has been published about IRs. A conceptual content analysis was conducted on the literature using eight category coding steps and a multicoder process including a review of intercoder agreement. Findings – The analysis of the 30 articles revealed that concepts found in the IR literature can be grouped into five major themes – definition, implementation, management, outcomes, and librarian's role. The analysis also indicated that there is only a limited discussion of the librarian's role particularly with regard to the relationship with self-archiving authors, which is a key characteristic of IRs. Research limitations/implications – The paper identifies areas in the literature that have not been addressed and suggests areas for future research. Its limitations are that: the cut-off date for literature was October 30, 2004; the literature review was comprehensive but not exhaustive; nine articles had a single coder but were included because of high levels of coder agreement; and coding was on general concepts at the most elemental level. Practical implications – The paper identifies six roles that are the responsibilities of librarians in the IR environment: understanding software, project planning and management, collection definition, metadata guidance, submission review, and author training. Originality/value – This paper makes an original contribution by identifying what is missing in the literature and by offering recommendations about the role of librarians in the IR environment.
  • academic libraries,
  • archiving,
  • collections management,
  • electronic publishing,
  • knowledge management,
  • librarians
Publication Date
Citation Information
Suzie Allard, Thura Mack and Melanie Feltner-Reichert. "The Librarian's Role in Institutional Repositories: A Content Analysis of the Literature" Reference Services Review Vol. 33 Iss. 3 (2005)
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