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Open Access Repositories: Revealing the Mother Lode of Research to the World
Volume 41, Number 6 - November/December 2017



BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine)

“One of the world’s most voluminous search engines especially for academic web resources … BASE facilitates effective and targeted searches and retrieves high quality, academically relevant results. Other than search engines like Google or Bing BASE searches the deep web as well. The sources which are included in BASE are intellectually selected and reviewed.”

COAR: Confederation of Open Access Repositories

This organization provides information and coordination at an international level providing “effective support to our University’s research and researchers increasing the impact of their research output, by increasing its visibility.”

Databib: A Directory of Research Data Repositories

“A collaborative, annotated directory of research data repositories” is international in scope and includes efforts to provide a level of indexing to enhance searching—including “title, URL and maintainer; a description of the repository, its use and deposit policies; Library of Congress Subject Headings; and annotations from other users.”

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD)

“An international organization dedicated to promoting the adoption, creation, use, dissemination, and preservation of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs),” the database is international in scope, and some dissertations include data from the studies.

OER Commons

“Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse at no cost, and without needing to ask permission.” The index allows you to “search, browse, and evaluate resources in OER Commons’ growing collection of over 50,000 high-quality OER” materials from K–12 to advanced academic materials and texts.”

Open Access Directory (OAD)

This searchable/browsable index housed at Simmons College provides a “compendium of simple factual lists about open access (OA) to science and scholarship, maintained by the OA community at large. By bringing many OA-related lists together in one place, OAD makes it easier for everyone to discover them, use them for reference, and update them. The easier they are to maintain and discover, the more effectively they can spread useful, accurate information about OA.”

 DOAR—Directory of Open Access Repositories

A searchable “quality-assured listing of open access repositories around the world … Open DOAR staff harvest and assign metadata to allow categorisation and analysis to assist the wider use and exploitation of repositories. Each of the repositories has been visited by Open DOAR staff to ensure a high degree of quality and consistency in the information provided: Open DOAR is maintained by SHERPA Services, based at … the University of Nottingham.” Open DOAR includes not only institutional and subject-based repositories, but provides the archives supported by funding agencies like the National Institutes for Health and the British Wellcome Trust. The site also provides statistics on the growth and nature of OA repositories on a monthly basis.

ROAR (Registry of Open Access Repositories)

A searchable, browsable directory maintained by the University of Southampton, ROAR also works to “promote the development of open access by providing timely information about the growth and status of repositories throughout the world.”

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Nancy K.Herther is the anthropology/sociology librarian at University of Minnesota Libraries, Twin Cities Campus.


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