Those who don't look don't find: Disciplinary considerations in repository advocacy

Danny Kingsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose - By describing some of the often-ignored aspects of repository advocacy, such as disciplinary differences and how these might affect the adoption of a particular institutional repository, this paper aims to offer practical guidance to repository managers and those responsible for open access and repository policy. Design/methodology/approach - The argument uses examples from an empirical study of 43 in-depth interviews of academic staff in three disciplines, Chemistry, Computer Science and Sociology, at two Australian universities. The interviewees discussed their interaction with the literature as an author, a reader and a reviewer. Findings - The study finds that disciplines are markedly different from one another, in terms of their subject matter, the speed of publication, information-seeking behaviour and social norms. These all have bearing on the likelihood a given group will adopt deposit into an institutional repository as part of their regular work practice. Practical implications - It is important to decide the purpose of the institutional repository before embarking on an advocacy program. By mapping empirical findings against both diffusion of innovations theory and writings on disciplinary differences, this paper shows that repository advocacy addressing the university academic population as a single unit is unlikely to be successful. Rather, advocacy and implementation of a repository must consider the information seeking behaviour and social norms of each discipline in question. Originality/value - The consideration of disciplinary differences in relation to repository advocacy has only begun to be explored in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-218
Number of pages15
JournalOCLC Systems and Services
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Advocacy
  • Australia
  • Digital storage
  • Information services
  • User studies


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