n. (abbr. IR)a digital repository used to manage and disseminate content on behalf of a corporate body or collaborative and its communityLynch 2003In my view, a university-based institutional repository is a set of services that a university offers to the members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community members. It is most essentially an organizational commitment to the stewardship of these digital materials, including long-term preservation where appropriate, as well as organization and access or distribution. While operational responsibility for these services may reasonably be situated in different organizational units at different universities, an effective institutional repository of necessity represents a collaboration among librarians, information technologists, archives and records mangers, faculty, and university administrators and policymakers.Gilliland 2014a, 232Digital repositories, and especially institutional repositories (IRs) maintained by academic and other scholarly institutions, are among the key components in the development of cyberinfrastructure and the kinds of scholarship it supports.Noonan and Chute 2014, 213What happens when an archivist accessions research data without taking “physical custody?” This may happen when research data is accessioned and then stored in an institutional repository (IR) that is not necessarily hierarchically part of the archives, thereby creating an issue of custody and/or conflict with the archives’ collection development policy. One purpose of placing research data into an IR or other digital preservation environment is to provide some minimum amount of preservation activity, at least preservation of the bit stream.
Originally envisioned as a means of digital dissemination of scholarly work, institutional repositories’ remit has grown to include other digital repository functions and their contents to include born-digital records and digitized content from archives and libraries. Institutional repositories are especially in use in higher education.