Addressing Objective 2: A Framework for Institutional Repository Development


There is growing need for networking and collaboration, which has espoused the establishment of an Inter-University Research and Innovation Community for Early Career Researchers in Uganda (IRIC-ECRU). This is intended to offset four barriers, namely: (1) inadequate capacity and perspectives of early career researchers (2) Narrow inter-university research networks (3) Limited and uncoordinated research and innovation-based solutions (4) Limited advances in modern research and innovation dissemination.

One of the objectives of the IRIC-ECRU is to establish an inter-university large-scale soft research data infrastructure—i.e.: repositories are tools to promote knowledge sharing activities and
cross-campus collaborations. The development of institutional repositories (IRs) at academic institutions worldwide has greatly increased with the growth of open source initiatives in scholarly communication and software development.[1] The need for IRs is driven by change in scholarly communication models and a growing desire to develop a clearinghouse for the scholarly output of faculties or schools or universities. For instance, Electronic communication tools allow authors to easily distribute and share information, articles and data. Crow (2002) observes that the growth and development of IRs is due to the following factors: technology, the increasing volume of research, “dissatisfaction” with current publishing models, and preservation concerns.[2] Campbell-Meier (2011) makes the point that information is aggregated and distributed through electronic institutional repositories, and in turn institutions gain visibility and prestige when scholars use these new publishing paradigms for scholarly communication. In and itself libraries are work with faculty to retain rights to self-archive and redistribute scholarly work. IRIC ECRU and its partners should be able to maintain the accessibility of the research by updating formats and/or providing a stable storage location and medium

An Institutional Repository (IR) is not just a library project; it involves the entire campus community. Crow (2002, p. 7) identifies four components provided by IR to support scholarly publishing: registration, certification, awareness, and archiving.

Building a soft infrastructure—institutional research repository and database support systems is a slow pace process and sometimes frustrating. The right foundation and engagements need to be taken care of at the initial stage of the process.

The IR serves as the warehouse for scholarly output of a campus and benefits all involved: faculty, with increased access to research; librarians, with alternative publishing models and means to access and preserve materials; students, by exposing theses and dissertations to a larger audience; and administration, by collecting and showcasing faculty and student research. Depositing items in a shared repository may increase opportunities for scholars to identify others within the institution for collaborative research.

The benefits of establishing an inter-university repository include:

  • It encourages access and sharing among disciplines and institutions
  • To preserve and disseminates a wide variety of content beyond traditional scholarly articles, including datasets, learning objects, electronic theses and dissertations, audiovisual content, and presentations.
  • To provide access to unpublished, but nevertheless valuable, research of faculty, research staff, and students.
  • To promote the principles of open access by providing opportunities for faculty self-archiving.
  • It helps to universities fulfill obligations to make research available on an open access basis.
  • It allows universities to capture e-learning courseware so they can expand on existing programs

Defining the outcome

The outcome of objective 2 is a large soft infrastructure develop as an organized collection of scholarly output of participating scholars and institutions. As an inter-institutional repository, it is identified as scholarly; cumulative; open and interoperable aided by new technology. The success of an inter-university repository would mean provision of the following:

  • Provide visibility for the author(s) and institution
  • Stable access to quality material
  • Multiple faculty/institutional involvement
  • Author awareness of rights with publishers
  • Routine self-archiving
  • Provide a safe home for the content
  • Sensible and feasible preservation practices in place
  • Increased faculty/institutional participation rate
  • Content representative of the universities and researchers

Motivations for building a repository

  • To provide open access to materials
  • To preserve scholarly material on campus
  • To participate in the scholarly communication process
  • To support the Archives
  • To develop collaborative workspace/file sharing space
  • To increase the visibility of the institution
  • Response to requests from faculty
  • Response to administrative interest

Types of research material in IR

There are three types of research materials in an Institutional repository, namely:Published Research Material, Unpublished Research Material and Supporting Research material.

How does IR work?

According to Chandran Velmurugan’s paper published in 2010 IR work in the following ways:

  • Research material is managed on an Institutional Repository Server, using appropriate IR software.
  • Accessible on the organizational LAN (intranet) + Internet/Private Scientists use a web browser to submit (deposit) research material and also search the repository.
  • Through OAI inter-operability protocol, a central search service network.
  • ‘Harvests” metadata from individual IR’s, builds a cross-index and provides single point cross-repository search service.
  • Security concerns could be handled at network, IR and publication level.

Software used for institutional repositories

Four commonly used systems are:

  • Digital Commons, commercial software,
  • DSpace, free open source software,
  • EPrints, free open source software,
  • Fedora, free open source software,

Features and functionality of IRs

According to Chandran Velmurugan’s paper published in 2010 IR function in the following ways:

  • Registration of institutional users (authors) includes for document submission and
  • other privileged use, User authentication and Profile set up.
  • Document submission includes Authentication, Assign Metadata, Upload Document and Grant license
  • Approval / moderation includes Submission approval etadata, format, affiliation, etc.) and Content approval (peer review)
  • Archiving includes Date stamping, Unique/persistent identifier assignment, Preservation support and Indexing and storage
  • Dissemination includes Search, browse, OAI registration and compliance (metadata exposure) and Rights management
  • Administration includes Administer communities, collections, users, groups, Document formats, metadata, Licenses, submission policies and Preservation

The IRIC ECRU anticipated that following users of institutional repository:

  • Senior administration
  • Graduate students
  • Lecturers and professors
  • University research departments
  • Institutes and Centers
  • Other research organisations

Appendix: forms

Appendix 1: Case assessment

University Students Repository Software (for example digital commons, Dspace, E-prints) Number of Items

Makerere University


Muteesa I Royal University


Uganda Christian University


Mbarara University of Science and Technology


Appendix 2: Library Goals and Values Associated with Repository Development

University Document (eg. Mission, vision, strategic plan) Goals and Values

Makerere University


Muteesa I Royal University


Uganda Christian University


Mbarara University of Science and Technology


Appendix 3: Faculty/School/faculty Goals and Values Associated with Repository Development

University Document (eg. Mission, vision, strategic plan) Goals and Values

Makerere University


Muteesa I Royal University


Uganda Christian University


Mbarara University of Science and Technology


Appendix 4: Requirements analysis

As with all pieces of software, it is important first to analyse the requirements: we plan to analyzed the following:

No. Question Response
1. Are they institutional policies established?  


Whom will to collect material?



What type of document are targeted for the IR – just research output, or other documents?


Will the IR publish items only, or grey literature as well?



Will the IR require full text or will you accept metadata only in some instances, as when an author does not have permission for reuse of an article from the publisher


What are the resources needed?


[1] Campbell-Meier, J. (2011). A Framework for Institutional Repository Development. Advances in Library Administration and Organization, 30, 151-185.

[2] Crow, R. (2002). The Case for Institutional Repositories: A SPARC Position Paper. Retrieved November 25, 2005, from

Featured Events

[powr-social-feed id="e4bafacd_1571728770"]

The best of NEMRA Africa, right in your inbox.

Subscribe to receive our quarterly email newsletter.