Digital Repositories: Fertile Ground for Tracking the Impact of Non-Traditional Research?

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Worldwide, an increasing number of institutions, funding agencies, and publishers have committed to supporting the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which recommends improvements to the ways in which researchers and the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated. One of DORA’s explicit recommendations for institutions is to consider the value and impact of all research outputs, not just peer-reviewed publications, and to consider a broad range of impact measures in research assessment exercises (Declaration on Research Assessment, 2005). Academic libraries, many of which maintain Open Access repositories, are well positioned to support the institutional adoption of DORA. Openly accessible digital repositories have the functionality to manage, preserve, and make available a wide variety of outputs, including grey literature, research data, and other “non traditional” outputs that may not find a home with conventional academic publishers. Some repositories mint persistent identifiers (PIDS), and integrate usage metrics such as downloads and altmetrics, which have the potential to help capture a variety of research impacts beyond traditional citations. This presentation will share preliminary results from a research project that is collecting data from digital repositories at academic libraries whose parent institutions are already signatories to DORA. The research is gathering information about technical features, personnel supports, and outreach and engagement strategies used to promote repositories as a way to showcase and/or measure the impact of diverse research outputs. Attendees will be encouraged to consider ways that research repositories can “branch out” to more actively support the collection and measurement of a wide range of research outputs.
Hurrell, C. (June 8, 2023). Digital Repositories: Fertile Ground for Tracking the Impact of Non-Traditional Research? [Presentation]. Bibliometrics and Research Impact Community Conference, St. Paul University, Ottawa