When reporting collection statistics, how do research libraries treat Institutional Repository (IR) content? The ARL Statistics annual survey asks libraries to report the number of titles that are discoverable, specifically, “…the total number of titles catalogued and made ready for use”. However, many special collections and IR materials are available only through the IR environment and not as cataloged titles in the library catalog. Special collections and IR materials constitute resources of national/international distinction and the breadth and depth of these resources are key indicators tied to the mission of research libraries. How do we represent these growing collections of IR materials in the ARL Statistics? We invite libraries to provide their thoughts and suggestions on the following questions:
Given the state of development of institutional repositories, is it possible to capture title level counts of institutional repository content in a way that is consistent across internal institutional repositories, and among repositories across institutions? If so, how may we report and count titles of IR materials?
Do we understand what title-level access is for IR content and whether we can confidently start capturing titles across IRs? or in other words, Are there workflows in place to produce title counts for IR materials that libraries are comfortable with?
How should libraries count non-text electronic documents, such as photos, videos/audio recordings, musical scores and sheet music, and/or other non-text documents?
What about content by individual authors such as articles, PowerPoints, infographics, donations of scholarly papers from distinguished alumnae, class/college papers/projects (i.e. honors colleges, and other classes)? What recommendations should be in place for counting these resources, or not, in the ARL Statistics title count?
In the comments below, please share your experiences, observations, thoughts, policies and practices regarding these important questions. We want to understand what others recommend regarding inclusion of IR titles in the ARL Statistics. Additionally, for anyone planning to attend the ALA Midwinter Meeting, part of the agenda for the Survey Coordinators and SPEC Liaisons Meeting will be devoted to this topic. The Survey Coordinators and SPEC Liaisons Meeting is scheduled for Friday, January 8, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the W Hotel, 100 Stuart Street, Great Room C.