Pickton, M. and McKnight, C. (2007) Is there a role for research students in an institutional repository? Some repository managers' views. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science.39(3), pp. 153-161. 0961-0006.
Although a number of studies have investigated the attitudes of published academic authors with respect to open access (OA) publishing and institutional repositories (IRs), none have considered the views of other institutional stakeholders. Research students, in particular, are a group that could make a major contribution to an IR, both currently and in their future careers. But how acceptable is their work to those responsible for IRs? The project described here investigates the views of repository managers. A short email survey was carried out, comprising questions about student use of the repository, advocacy undertaken and attitudes toward research student content. Responses were received from representatives of 35 universities in the UK and abroad. Repository managers were overwhelmingly in favour of permitting the deposit of research student work, albeit under specified conditions. One half of the respondents mentioned allowing, or even encouraging, the deposit of theses and dissertations. The relative newness of many repositories meant that advocacy to student authors was limited, although a number of managers were including the repository as an information source in routine research training sessions. The paper concludes that there is a need for clear guidance on the quality of repository content; that evidence of use should be sought; and that IR policy should accommodate the needs of all stakeholders.