Thursday, September 04, 2008

Report: The International Survey of Institutional Digital Repositories

The company Research and Markets Ltd. has issued a reported entitled "The International Survey of Institutional Digital Repositories (cost EUR 96). The report description says:
The study presents data from 56 institutional digital repositories from eleven countries, including the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, South Africa, India, Turkey and other countries. The 121-page study presents more than 200 tables of data and commentary and is based on data from higher education libraries and other institutions involved in institutional digital repository development.

In more than 300 tables and associated commentary the report describes norms and benchmarks for budgets, software use, manpower needs and deployment, financing, usage, marketing and other facets of the management of international digital repositories.

The report helps to answer questions such as: who contributes to the repositories and on what terms? Who uses the repositories? What do they contain and how fast are they growing, in terms of content and end use? What measures have repositories used to gain faculty and other researcher participation? How successful have these methods been? How has the repository been marketed and cataloged? What has been the financial impact? Data is broken out by size and type of institution for easier benchmarking.
The web site gives a table of contents and a short sample.

If you've never ordered a professional report before, you're first question will be "is it worth it?" Good question. EUR 96 ($
138) may not be a lot of money for some organizations. And it might be what some are willing to pay for specific pieces of data. Experience has taught me that if you are willing to pay the report's cost for a few key data points, then it's worth it. For example, are they specific pages in the table of contents that you view as being "must haves"? If the answer is "yes" and you can bear the cost, then do it. If you can't see any data that you need or the cost is too much, then don't order the report. It could be that the data is actually available elsewhere (sometimes that's true) or that you can use other -- more readily available data -- as a substitute.

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