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Frequently Asked Questions

What is OpenDOAR?

OpenDOAR is a project to list and categorise academic open access research repositories. The aim is to provide a comprehensive and authoritative list of such repositories for end-users who wish to find particular archives or who wish to break down repositories by locale, content or other measures. OpenDOAR will also provide listings to third-party "service providers" - typically search services who wish to use the categorised lists within their service. This will increase the accessibility and use of the content of these repositories, which will benefit the authors of the research material and the researchers who wish to find it.

Why will OpenDOAR be useful?

At present there is no single comprehensive and authoritative list which records academic open access repositories. In a networked environment, Information Discovery and Retrieval are the keys to the successful delivery of services. By listing archives and their descriptions, OpenDOAR will support third party service providers - for example, search services - in developing new services for end-users. This will also work in return for repositories - if service providers need particular attributes to be recorded in a repository's description for harvesting, then OpenDOAR will allow the chance for a dialogue between service providers and the repository community to be established. It is foreseen that other innovative services based on repositories, like overlay journals, will also find categorised lists of repositories useful in providing their services.

What does OpenDOAR contain?

A descriptive list of open access repositories of relevance to academic research. The project is surveying the growing field of repositories and categorising them according to suitable and useful measures.

Is OpenDOAR a search service?

Yes. Although OpenDOAR was not originally intended to provide a search service for individual articles held in repositories, the advent of Google's Custom Search Engine has made this possible. You can therefore now both search for the full-text of material held in open access repositories listed in the Directory using 'Search Repository Contents', or use OpenDOAR to find repositories or groups of repositories that fit particular needs using our 'Find' facility.

Who is behind the project?

OpenDOAR is being developed and maintained by the University of Nottingham as part of a portfolio of work in Open Access and repositories under the SHERPA umbrella. OpenDOAR was started and initially developed by the University of Nottingham, UK, and the Lund University , Sweden.

The project is being funded by the Open Society Institute (OSI), the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), the Consortium of Research Libraries (CURL) and SPARCEurope.

How can I register with OpenDOAR?

Use the OpenDOAR registration service "Suggest a repository"

Why should a repository register with OpenDOAR?

A repository will be more visible, and its contents more used if it can be easily found by end-users and by search services. For search services to be able to harvest the metadata of a repository's contents, the repository itself must be known to the search service. A basic list or register helps service providers keep track of the number and location of repositories.

Beyond this basic role, OpenDOAR can help repository administrators in making their holdings visible through specific searches - by content type, for example: or facilitating material being used in data-mining or other services.

What is different from registering with OAI?

OpenDOAR is not in competition with OAI registration. OpenDOAR is intended to categorise repositories in ways which are not currently supported by normal OAI registration. In addition, the current registration for OAI requires complete repository details at a level which some find problematic. For this or other reasons, there are open access repositories which have not registered with OAI. We will be actively searching for repositories to list and hope to make our registration process straightforward enough to catch these resources.

Does OpenDOAR just list institutional repositories?

OpenDOAR will list open access research repositories whatever their basis - institutional, subject based, or run by a research funding body.

How long will OpenDOAR last?

The initial OpenDOAR project has received funding for 18 months to mid-2006. In that time we are establishing the list and setting up a long-term basis for OpenDOAR continuation as a service for the Open Access community for the foreseeable future.

What is OpenDOAR's relationship to DOAJ?

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is the sister project of OpenDOAR and together they offer two infrastructure supports for the growth of Open Access in research and scholarly communication.

Can I re-use OpenDOAR's data and charts?

Yes. OpenDOAR's data is available for re-use under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike license.

Further information is available from project staff - see Contact us

© 2006-2014, University of Nottingham, UK. Last updated: 24-Apr-2014