AgEcon Search: A case study of a subject repository

AgEcon Search: A case study on the differences between operating a subject repository and an institutional repository by Julie Kelly and Louise Letnes, Journal of Digital Information, 2010(Mar); 11(10) [Full text PDF][FriendFeed entry][In an issue on: Open Repositories 2009]. Abstract:

AgEcon Search is a subject repository containing the full text of working papers, conference papers and small press journals in agricultural and other areas of applied economics. In existence since 1995, it contains material from 170 organizations. Comparisons are made between the operations of a subject repository and those of an institutional repository, with each having easier and more challenging aspects. The field of economics has characteristics that contribute to the success of a subject repository, such as a pre-print culture and an interest in intellectual property and the economics of publishing.

Examples of excerpts from the full text:

[From page 3/9]: A number of factors have made creating and sustaining a subject repository an easier undertaking than doing the same for an institutional repository. An obvious one is the fact that AgEcon Search covers just one subdiscipline, although a variety of work is done under the umbrella of agricultural and applied economics.

[From page 4/9]: Much to the consternation of some college and university administrators, researchers often have more loyalty to their discipline than to their institution. In the repository world, this may translate into more interest in subject repositories than institutional ones.

[From page 8/9]: Including data sets in AgEcon Search is a topic that continues to come up, and possibilities in that area are being monitored. The current software platform, DSpace, was not designed with data as its main file type, so data-related issues will be carefully investigated before the migration to a new platform.

Comment: The full text is recommended. Some of the areas that may be more challenging for a subject repository than for an institutional one are discussed.

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