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Building partnerships among social science researchers, institution‐based repositories and domain specific data archives

Ann G. Green (Digital Life Cycle Research and Consulting, New Haven, Connecticut, USA)
Myron P. Gutmann (Inter‐university Consortium for Political and Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA)

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives

ISSN: 1065-075X

Article publication date: 20 February 2007



In developing and debating digital repositories, the digital library world has devoted more attention to their missions and roles in supporting access to and stewardship of academic research output than to discussing discipline, or domain, specific digital repositories. This is especially interesting, given that in social science these domain‐specific repositories have been in existence for many decades. The goal of this paper is to juxtapose these two kinds of repositories and to suggest ways that they can help build partnerships between themselves and with the research community.


The approach taken in the paper is based on the fundamental idea that all the parties involved share important goals, and that by working together these goals can be advanced successfully.


The key message is that by visualizing the role of repositories explicitly in the life cycle of the social science research enterprise, the ways that the partnerships work will be clear. These workings can be seen as a sequence of reciprocal information flows between parties to the process, triggers that signal that one party or another has a task to perform, and hand‐offs of information from one party to another that take place at crucial moments. This approach envisions both cooperation and specialization.

Practical implications

If followed, the recommendations offered in the paper will allow those implementing various kinds of repositories to work together with others in new ways, thus both enhancing the amount of information preserved and its value for the community.


This is one of the first times that the mutual possibilities of institutional and domain‐specific repositories have been brought together.



Green, A.G. and Gutmann, M.P. (2007), "Building partnerships among social science researchers, institution‐based repositories and domain specific data archives", OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, Vol. 23 No. 1, pp. 35-53.



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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited