Institutional Repository Access Patterns of Nontraditionally Published Academic Content: What Types of Content are Accessed the Most?
Poster image and abstract as presented at the May 2009 Medical Library Association Meeting in Honolulu, HI.
TITLE: Institutional Repository Access Patterns of Nontraditionally Published Academic Content: What Types of Content are Accessed the Most? OBJECTIVE: To determine the value of posting nontraditionally published academic content, such as materials supplementary to peer-reviewed publications, poster images, graduate course research papers, and presentation slides to an institutional repository (IR). SETTING: A major, state-run universitys IR that has been operational since 2005 and that is actively supported by the institution's library. METHODS: Using the 'Statistics' functionality of the open-source IR software, DSpace, the monthly access rates were collected and analyzed for the following academic content types: 1) materials supplementary to journal articles published in traditional peer-reviewed journals, 2) slide images from presentations given at national or regional meetings, 3) research papers from a graduate student course in biomedical informatics in a Master of Science in Clinical Research program, and 4) poster images with or without the associated abstracts that were accepted for presentation at national or regional professional meetings. The analysis focused on both the access rates over time as well as comparing overall access rates between content types. RESULTS: The most frequently posted content type was poster images (24 items), followed by slide images (16), papers from the CTSC course (6) and supplementary materials (3). The most accessed content type during the first year after IR posting was supplementary materials to peer reviewed articles, papers from the CTSC informatics course, slide images then poster images. The average first year access rates were similar (from 17.3 to 25.7). After the first year, access rates decreased but did not completely stop. CONCLUSIONS: The average first year access rates were similar across content types, illustrating the utility of using IRs for the posting of nontraditional academic material. This is academic output that would not likely be otherwise captured and made freely available were it not for publication in an IR. Authors should be encouraged to post nontraditional content to IRs because it will likely be accessed for years to come.'