Institutional Repositories

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An institutional repository (IR) is a digital collection of an organization’s intellectual output. Institutional repositories centralize, preserve, and make accessible the knowledge generated by academic institutions. IRs also form part of a larger global system of repositories, which are indexed in a standardized way, and searchable using one interface, providing the foundation for a new and innovative services.

Institutional repositories benefit both the institution and its scholars by raising the institutional profile while also bringing broader dissemination, increased use, and enhanced professional visibility of scholarly research. A growing number of research institutions around the world are implementing institutional repositories.

Greater Reach for Your Research:
Expanding Readership
Through Digital Repositories


List of Canadian Institutional Repositories
Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications (CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC)

SPARC Canadian Author Addendum

Open Access in CARL libraries

IR visibility in popular search engines

For more information about the program please contact CARL at

The CARL Institutional Repositories Program: Vision, Priorities, and Projects

The Vision

Canada has a network of trusted digital repositories that are interoperable with international repositories. The repositories provide open access to a rich array of research output created at our institutions. The content contained in the digital repositories is the starting point for a number of value-added services that enable the use and re-use of materials in many contexts.

Priorities for the CARL Institutional Repositories Program

Institutional repositories represent one of the best opportunities for libraries to partner closely with faculty and to help shape the future of scholarly communications. They are an important strategy for attaining open access, and they provide a key infrastructure for the long-term preservation of digital materials. The priorities for the CARL Institutional Repositories Program are:

1. To articulate the importance of institutional repositories and the value of the CARL IR Program. To date, the vision of IRs put forward by proponents has not been compelling enough to acheive widespread adoption. The CARL IR Program will raise awareness of IRs and illustrate their important role in the future of scholarly communications.

2. To improve content recruitment at institutional repositories in Canada. Institutional repository collections have grown more slowly than anticipated. The CARL IR Program will engage in activities that assist member institutions in populating their repositories.

3. To demonstrate the value of overlay services for Canadian institutional repositories. To attract users, the CARL IR Program will guide the development of more sophisticated services that enable users to access and use IR content in innovative ways.

CARL Institutional Repositories Position Statement: The Canadian Association of Research Libraries supports the systematic archiving of, and access to digital research output of Canadian academic organizations into institutional repositories [more...]

A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up an Institutional Repository: by Kathleen Shearer, September 2002. This guide, which is based on the experiences of a number of other institutions, takes the reader through the major steps necessary to implement an institutional archives. It discusses issues surrounding pre-implementation, implementation and post-implementation stages and provides links to policies and procedures of existing e-prints and institutional repositories. [more...]

Project Listserv

The REPOS-L listserv is an important forum for project participants to share their experiences and keep up-to-date with the pilot project activities. Listserv membership is restricted to CARL members only. Please contact for information on how to sign-up.

Back to the CARL Institutional Repositories Program main page

Copyright Issues

  • The SHERPA Project. This site lists the permissions that are normally given as part of each publisher's copyright transfer agreement. A large percentage of journals now allow authors to deposit there articles in institutional repositories. more...
  • Creative Commons License, Canadian Edition. The Canadian Creative Commons (CC-CA) license enables Canadian digital creators to independently construct and attach copyright licenses to their works. CARL has incorporated the CC-CA directly into the institutional repository depositing process. more...