Preserving Things that Count: Exploring partnerships among domain specific repositories, institutional repositories, and social science researchers
Green, Ann; Gutmann, Myron
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 presentation 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. It 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. We will begin by characterizing the life cycle of social science research, before turning to key elements of the two different kinds of repositories, and then to our recommendation that researchers and the two different kinds of repositories can forge partnerships. 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. The researcher produces the scientific product, both data and publications; the institutional repository has specialized knowledge of campus conditions and the opportunity to interact frequently with the researcher; and the domain-specific repository has specialized knowledge of approaches to data in a specific scientific field, for example domain-specific metadata standards, as well as the ability to give high-impact exposure to research products.