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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Open Scholarship & Scholarly Publishing

Covering various elements of producing and sharing scholarship.

Overview: Why Use a Repository or Preprint Server?

A digital repository provides a platform to share your scholarly outputs - articles and manuscripts, books/book chapters, conference proceedings, data sets, protocols, software code, thesis or dissertation, working papers, etc. - openly across the internet. You may choose your institutional repository or an independent subject or content type repository. A repository may include scholarly works prior to publication (preprint) or after publication (accepted manuscript).

A preprint server includes only works that have not been independently published. It is a specific class of repository.

Some of the benefits of depositing your work in a repository include:

  • metadata and indexing, making the work widely discoverable by search engines;
  • stability and preservation of the work;
  • exposure and affiliation with similar works, either by subject, content type or organization;
  • usage statistics;
  • engagement with readers, reviewers and users.

As you choose which repository(ies) to use, consider:

  • governance, e.g. is it governed by users? might it be sold to a for-profit or less responsive provider?;
  • use in your field, e.g. will your works be seen, reviewed and used by colleagues in your intended community?;
  • requirements, e.g. file formats, size limits, software, rights and terms of use;
  • compliance with standards, e.g. unique identifiers (digital object, author, organization), metadata, data.

To learn more about repositories and preprint servers, follow related news from the OA Tracking Project.

ScholarWorks: UMass Amherst's Institutional Repository

Many universities, colleges, and research institutions have their own digital repositories meant to showcase the scholarly, research, and creative outputs of their community members.  These repositories are often referred to as institutional repositories.  Our campus’ institutional repository, ScholarWorks, was established in July 2006 and is managed by the University Libraries.

Most content in ScholarWorks is organized by academic departments or research centers or institutes. This allows these units to better showcase the kinds of work they do all in one easily browsable location.

What can you share in ScholarWorks?:

  • Scholarly articles
  • Working papers and reports
  • Podcasts
  • Data
  • Conference proceedings and presentations
  • Open access monographs
  • Open educational resources (syllabi and course materials)
  • Graduate student theses and dissertations

We also support the publication of open access journals and conference and event proceedings through ScholarWorks.

ScholarWorks provides authors with monthly readership reports, open licensing options, stable URLs, and Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs).

Contact the ScholarWorks team for more information!

Find a Repository: Directories and Examples

To find a repository of open access, scholarly content that could be a good match for your needs, search:

  • OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories) - search by country, content type, subject, repository type, software and/or name of repository or organization. Founded and managed by non-profit, open access advisory and service organizations.
  • Registry of Open Access Repositories (ROAR) - search by country, software, repository type, Library of Congress call number and institutional association. ROAR is hosted by the University of Southampton, UK.

Institutional repositories (IRs) collect the works of scholars and researchers affiliated with that organization.

Subject repositories collect works within a discipline as defined by its governance.

Content type repositories collect works of the same nature, such as data sets, learning/teaching object, patents, etc.

General purpose repositories have broad representation of different types of open access content they include.

Examples of different types of repositories
Name Coverage Type
arXiv scholarly articles in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics. Subject
bioRxiv unpublished preprints in the life sciences. Subject
Humanities Commons CORE articles, books, course materials, code, conference papers across humanities disciplines. Subject
medRxiv journal articles in health and medicine. Subject
OpenUCT multidisciplinary research outputs, open educational resources, theses and dissertations and more from the University of Cape Town. Institutional
OSF Preprints journal articles and bibliographic references across disciplines. Browse by subject or find partner repositories. Content type
ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst data sets, journal articles, proceedings, theses and dissertations and other research outputs from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Institutional
University of South Australia Research Outputs Repository scholarly articles and reports, book chapters, creative works and theses and dissertations from the University of South Australia. Institutional
Zenodo multidisciplinary repository of many content types. General purpose