July 12, 2007

What is eligible for deposit in a repository?

Filed under: Repositories — Neil Godfrey @ 11:19 pm

Having a clear idea of what materials we can expect to find in repositories is essential for understanding metadata and other requirements for interoperability and preservation factors.

I have made a quick comparison of 10 Australian university policy or guidelines statements. Some of the sites from which I gathered this information contain notes that the info is under review, so don’t take these as final or current — only as a general state of what policies or guidelines are or have been around in these early days of repositories.

The ones I compared (linked to their policy or guidelines pages– multiple entries if more than one page was used) are:

ARROW (Monash and UNSW)

Australian National University (collection guide)

Australian National University (faq) (corrected link – 13th July 07)

Curtin University (faq)

Queensland University of Technology (policy)

University of Melbourne (policy)

University of Queensland eSpace (about)

University of Queensland ePrints (faq)

University of Southern Queensland (faq)

University of Tasmania (faq)

Have linked a spreadsheet here that is a very crude and dirty copy and paste list of comparisons – – keep in mind the ephemeral or dated status of some of the info.

Preprints/Postprints & Refereed/Nonrefereed

One has “some pre-prints”.

One says “at the pre-peer review (preprint) stage, with corrigenda added following peer review if necessary”.

One repository accepts:

  • Enduring teaching material of a substantial nature, eg unpublished case studies, that form stand-alone pieces of scholarly value;


  • Other “grey” literature as determined by the . . . Management Committee.

Another is flexible enough to accept:

  • any academic output, . . . anything created by a researcher or other academic whether it is primary research, papers or teaching and learning resources
  • un-refereed research literature, conference contributions, chapters in proceedings, etc (the accepted draft).

Two others include newspaper or magazine articles — presumably these are not refereed

Another has:

  • Technical reports,
  • commissioned reports,
  • and other unrefereed research output.


Some accept

  • Drafts of works;
  • the accepted draft – also referred to as the postprint
  • draft or final conference papers

Some specifically exclude drafts

Resource Types Included

Books and book chapters

At least two do not mention books at all, but do include book chapters.

Conference material

Various again. All include conference papers, some add conference posters. Some specifically allow for either draft or final papers. One includes: Proceedings or papers of conferences held at the university if not otherwise published.


  • Data sets and other ancillary research material;
  • Data files associated the other material in the repository.
  • data sets
  • small-sized datasets accompanying papers/articles/reports

Journal articles

All include journal articles but one extends this to:

  • Articles in journals, magazines or newspapers

Another to:

  • Journal articles, communications and short papers

And one adds:

  • Newsletters of significant research groups.

Learning objects

A few list:

  • learning objects and course-related materials
  • teaching and learning resources


  • Inaugural lectures and Professorial lectures;

Literary and artistic works

  • Unpublished manuscripts of literary work or art work if accompanied by text material;


  • Manuals or documentation (if displaying scholarly content)

Non text media

  • images used for research
  • image
  • sound
  • film
  • rich media
  • multimedia objects


Not widely listed. Only in one, I think? — and that had to be a published patent.



  • Reports such as technical reports or project reports;
  • technical reports
  • Technical reports, commissioned reports, and other unrefereed research output.
  • departmental technical reports
  • Research papers/reports
  • Documents associated with the ePrint collection itself, such as policies, procedures, annual reports, etc.
  • Research reports forming a substantial part of an undergraduate degree (where submission is authorised by the Dean of the Faculty);

Some specifically exclude admin reports about policies etc.


One lists software; Another excludes software programs and websites


One has PhD theses only.

Another: Other student research work approved by the head of school (eg first class honours theses, coursework Masters theses of a high standard, etc.);

Another: Dissertations forming part of a coursework Masters or Doctorate degree (PhD and Research Masters dissertations should be submitted to the Australian Digital Theses archive, not USQ ePrints);

That’s probably changing now, however, with the current trend to add ADT theses to repositories.

Another had the contrary: theses as prepared for the Australian Digital Theses (ADT) process.

Another did not specifically mention theses at all.

USQ pioneered their Eprints repository with fourth year engineering projects — these were a special case and are maintained as a separate category within the repository. I understand they have been in high demand both within the university and beyond — their repository status has been well rewarded.


  • Other “grey” literature as determined by the [repository] Management Committee.
  • Material produced at the University or another acceptable institution (or published or funded by the University) and approved by the University Librarian;
  • any other form of research output which can be technically loaded to the repository. This would exclude software programs and websites, for example.
  • Other material produced by university staff and approved by the head of school or section.
  • Other student research work approved by the head of school (eg first class honours theses, coursework Masters theses of a high standard, etc.);
  • any academic output . . . . . anything created by a researcher or other academic
  • field notes

Working or Discussion papers

Most listed these, some just have working papers, others both working and discussion papers. None has discussion papers who do not also include working papers.

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