So How Are Institutional Repositories Really Doing?

Have things improved for IRs since the doldrums years (2006-2010) that Dorothea Salo so eloquently described in her paper “Innkeeper at the Roach Motel”? Scholarly communications librarians who manage IRs seem to be, as a community, upbeat about their programs. From our perspective in our downtown Berkeley office, IRs seem to be growing in scope and importance and adding resources as they become more and more successful. There is a constant buzz as we share and ogle over incredibly cool collections from the Digital Commons community. But is our gut instinct right? Are IRs really doing better, or are we just too close to the action to see what is really going on? We decided to look at the data, starting by looking at the rate of deposits, to see what story it told about IR programs from 2010 through 2015.

The results of our research turned out even stronger than we suspected. Looking at the average rate of the deposits for the years 2010-2015, you see a clear trend. The trend is up! Uploads are up! Not only are repositories growing in size, but they’re experiencing growth on a yearly basis. This trend holds for five years running. Viewed as a whole, when looking at number of deposits or objects added, IR programs are finding greater and greater success every year. Pretty cool!


If you would like to see how your IR program performed relative to the community, please write to, and we will share with you how your IR program compared with others in 2015.