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Homepage / What are repositories and why are they useful?

What are repositories and why are they useful?


An open access repository is a digital repository where the content is freely available to download and reuse (sometimes with restrictions), where no login or subscription is required.

An institutional research repository is a digital repository for the storage of outputs from research undertaken at an organisation. They can be wholly open access repositories, closed access, or a mixture. Content that you might expect to find in an institutional research repository are: research papers, working papers, reports, datasets, and other digital objects resulting from research.

Collectively they store, preserve and provide access to a vast wealth of the world’s research output, and are free for us to use!

Examples of major repositories you might find useful:

The world’s largest collection of open access research papers.

European e-theses portal giving access to theses from 320 universities from 19 European countries.

The British Library’s Electronic Thesis Online Service.

Collection of 1.5 million open access theses and dissertations worldwide.

Theses and dissertations submitted to a number of universities in Africa, Australia, Europe, and North America.

Examples of subject-focused repositories:

An open-access archive for scholarly articles in the fields of physics, mathematics, computer science, quantitative biology, quantitative finance, statistics, electrical engineering and systems science, and economics.

Biological and biochemical sciences

Social Science Research Network (SSRN) 

Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) 

PubMed Central and Europe PMC – content in health and health-related sciences

To see an extensive list of open access repositories visit the global Directory of Open Access Repositories: OpenDOAR.

Don’t forget our own Cranfield repositories:

Photo by Tobias Fischer on Unsplash

Written By: Cranfield University

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