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Institutional repositories: assessing their value to the academic community

Rowena Cullen (Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)
Brenda Chawner (Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 6 July 2010




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the development of institutional repositories in New Zealand, exploring factors affecting the adoption and success of institutional repositories from the perspective of the library managers who established them, and from the perspective of the academic community.


Data from a series of interviews with library managers are compared with the findings from a randomised national survey of academics.


The responses of the library managers suggest that they are positive about the value of their institutional repository, and the progress made towards recruiting content for it. Data from the survey of academics indicate that academics have been slow to embrace the concept of institutional repositories, and show little interest in using repositories for increasing the accessibility of their own work, or to access the work of others. The number of deposits remains low, mirroring patterns throughout the world, and subject or disciplinary repositories appear to have greater value to the academic community.

Practical implications

The future long‐term sustainability of institutional repositories depends on gaining a stronger commitment from the academic community, or developing different goals, against which their success might be measured.


The study is the first random survey of academic staff across all disciplines, and an entire country, and the findings have a very high level of generalisability.



Cullen, R. and Chawner, B. (2010), "Institutional repositories: assessing their value to the academic community", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 131-147.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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