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Re: Why Cornell's Institutional Repository Is Near-Empty

Stevan Harnad wrote:

The only thing Cornell needs to do if it wants its IR filled with Cornell's own research output is to mandate it.
It sounds simple enough. Make one's faculty do what they don't see as necessary themselves. This can the solution to every institution's ills, as long as we have a Philosopher King running our universities, and a naive belief that the ignorant faculty masses can be ruled by a strong, wise, and benevolent leader.

The goal of our paper was not to demonstrate that IRs are a failure. It was to find out why they are not serving the purpose(s) we intended them to serve. This is why we focused on non-use, and why our subtitle reads: "Evaluating the Reasons for Non-use of Cornell University's Installation of DSpace."

If we are to work at an institution where our researchers have the freedom to chose how they disseminate and archive their work, then it is important to understand the beliefs and motivations behind their behaviors. These results may lead to building better services around repositories, actively harvesting documents on personal and laboratory websites rather than waiting passively for individuals to deposit them, educating faculty on copyright law, repurposing library staff to deposit the work of faculty, and even enlisting publishers to become part of the repository chain.

These solutions are much more difficult than a simple mandate, yet ultimately, their effects may be more lasting. --Phil Davis

Institutional Repositories: Evaluating the Reasons for Non-use of Cornell
University's Installation of DSpace
D-Lib Magazine
March/April 2007
Volume 13 Number 3/4