For practical purposes, Vierkant et al. developed their own definition as to what a digital open access repository denotes within the context of their census project. “The Census "[...] definition of Open Access Repository includes repositories that are institutional, cross-institutional or disciplinary providing (in the majority of cases) full-text open access scientific publications together with descriptive metadata through a GUI (with search/browse functionality). The repositories are registered with a functioning and harvestable base URL in at least one of the following registries: ROAR, OpenDOAR, OAI, DINI and BASE." (Vierkant, 2013).
Repositories that host digital collections, open access journal aggregators and research data were not included in this snapshot survey as they are difficult to compare due to their significant differences in character, scope and content. The survey took place on 14th February 2012.
Repository sizes and amounts of content
Within the context of the above definition, 141 active open access repositories are operational in Germany to date.
|Size ranges of and software used for open access repositories in Germany (Source: Vierkant/D-Lib Magazine)|
In total, over 704,121 items are accessible through open access. The majority (57) of individual repositories contain ≤ 1,000 items. Nordrhein-Westfalen (the most populated Bundesland) hosts 27 repositories, followed by Baden-Württemberg (28) and Bayern (22).
The top five largest open access repositories are 1) elib Publikationen des DLR (46,136 items), 2) EconStor (45,268 items), 3) German Medical Science (41,753 items), PUP – Universität Bielefeld (32,695 items), 5) ePIC – AWI (29,480 items).
It is interesting to see that one third of Germany’s open access repositories avail of hosting services: the smaller the repository, the more likely it is that they are hosted off site.
German repositories offer the following basic services, but they are not collectively present in all instances. Bibliographic export is offered by 56%; usage statistics is offered by 24%; checksum provision is offered by 36%; RSS feed services is offered by 48%; Social bookmarking services are offered by 45%; Social bookmarking (such as Facebook, Twitter or AddThis button) is offered by 11%.
The reasons given why German repositories (don’t) offer value-added services are speculative in the report.
Repository software and metadata formats
Germany is considered to be “OPUS-country”: 77 out of 141 repositories use OPUS (open source).
|National distribution of repository software in Germany (Source: Vierkant/D-Lib Magazine)|
Only 9 repositories run DSpace, which is the biggest open source software platform for repository services. Simple Dublin Core is supported by 99% of all repository instances.
The full results of the survey can be accessed here.
As an aside, UKSG will be running a 45-minute webinar on 20th November: Managing Open Access in the Library (it offers a thorough introduction to open access and explains how open access advocacy and other related procedures can be integrated into libraries).