. . . opening access to research  

Repositories and Service Providers

SHERPA Repositories  |  Other UK Institutional Repositories  | All UK RepositoriesWorld Repositories  |  SHERPA Search  |  Other Service Providers


SHERPA Repositories


Affliate Partners

Other UK Institutional Repositories

A list of UK Insitutional Repositories and primary contacts for use by academic authors is also available.

All UK repositories

A complete list of UK repositories is available from the OpenDOAR site.

These include over 40 Disciplinary Repositories, 6 Aggregating Repositories and 5 Governmental Repositories.

Distribution of UK Higher Education Repositories - This web page is an analysis of available UK HE institutional repositories current at February 2012, broken down by existing groupings - the Russell Group, the 1994 Group and the top universities by research grant funding.

The World's repositories

A complete list of the World's repositories (currently over 2100 of them) is available from the OpenDOAR site.

There are a number of open access repository lists available.


To search within repositories and find open access content, SHERPA runs a set of simple full-text search facilities for SHERPA partner repositories and for all UK Open Access Repositories.

OpenDOAR, a global SHERPA Service, runs a full-text search service which searches all of the world-wide quality-assessed repositories that it lists in the OpenDOAR Directory

Other Service Providers

Given the ready availability of open access full-text items spread in repositories around the world, "service providers" can grow up which give access to this information. These service providers can take different forms, but could be a subject-based gateway for example, which only draws from eprints or materials in a specific subject. This idea of service providers demonstrates one of the underlying concepts of open access repositories: for the purposes of using the material, it does not matter whether it is stored in a subject-based repository, an institutional repository or as part of the collection of an open access journal. What is of interest to the user is how they can discover it.

A good example of such a themed gateway is the Alexander Street Press resource In the First Person which gives access to diaries and other personal reflections. In this case, although this draws from a majority of open access materials, there are also some closed documents, but the principle is well demonstrated.

Other services are being built to analyse open access materials either individually or en masse - in citation analyses for example, or text-mining, data-mining and other innovations.

The fundamental service for repositories is of course search. The original concept of open access repositories was for services like search to be based on the metadata that describes each item. However, the success and power of Google and similar search engines means that there is now an alternative way of searching repositories through the use of the full text. Developments are being pursued using metadata descriptions to provide more powerful and sophisticated search services, with value-added features like subject-specification, filter by version or material type, personalisation, etc.

A list of "Service Providers" that search OAI repositories using metadata through the OIA-PMH standard is available from Such search services include:

Many repositories can also be searched as full-text through standard general search services such as Google, Yahoo and MSN Search. The Google Scholar service provides access to contents which have been filtered for "academic" content. This service operates using a different algorithym from Google and delivers different results. The Elsevier service Scirus searches both closed and open access databases for scientific information.

OpenDOAR provides a full-text search service using a freely available Google derivative to define searches by the quality-assured repositories listed by OpenDOAR . This means that the results are more tightly focussed than Google or Google Scholar, as the repositories which are used have been assessed for academic value and for open access to their contents by OpenDOAR staff.

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