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Editor’s Choice: The Types, Frequencies, and Findability of Disciplinary Grey Literature within Prominent Subject Databases and Academic Institutional Repositories

Source: Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 

There are many known issues with the structure, implementation, and support of IRs that may impact inclusion and findability of grey literature. The first is that the time required for dedicated repository work can be substantial; librarians can invest a significant amount of time acquiring or soliciting grey literature from various content creators throughout their institution, whether it is eventually self-deposited or uploaded by IR staff (Childress, 2003).

For some institutions these time requirements can be a significant challenge. In the Liberal Arts Scholarly Repository (LASR), a shared repository for several small liberal arts institutions,staff sizes are small, and repository duties are in addition to their current responsibilities (Costanza et al., 2009). Examples like this could explain why some repositories used several broad categories instead of allowing users to search by document type. This could also explain the variation we saw in how the same repository software was utilized in different ways by different institutions. Another factor at many institutions is technology support. Server space or the support of a digital assets management system may not be among the top priorities for some institutions (Costanza et al., 2009).

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