Institutional repositories

An institutional repository contains one organisation's open access research outputs. For example, Brunel University's repository is called BURA (Brunel University Research Archive). It's possible to use general search engines to search for content in repositories,however, there are also several specific cross-repository search engines. These include: Base Bielefeld, OAIster and OpenDOAR.


BURA (Brunel University Research Archive) aims to showcase and provide wider access to Brunel research outputs, such as journal articles, conference papers and doctoral theses. You can search BURA by keyword or browse by research area or collection, eg by individual school or special research institute. If you have your own versions of journal article type documents, we would like to include them in BURA. For further information about depositing papers on BURA, please contact the BURA Manager.

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Base Bielefeld

Base Bielefeld is a multi-disciplinary academic search engine, created and developed by Bielefeld University Library. It sources high quality content from around 1,200 repositories. It enables deep searching of full text documents.

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OAIster, pronounced oyster, claims to “find the pearls”. The acronym OAI stands for Open Archives Initiative. OAIster provides access to millions of digital resources at around 1,100 institutions - the majority are US organisations but British universities are also represented. Its coverage is multidisciplinary but “academically orientated”. The search engine enables you to limit by resource type (text, image, audio, video and dataset) and to sort the results. New digital resources are harvested weekly from some institutional repositories, and monthly from others. OAIster is based a partnership between the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It was started with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories) is a global directory of open access academic repositories. It covers over 1,100 repositories, all of which have been checked for quality assurance. You can use OpenDOAR to find repositories that match particular criteria, e.g. subject, content type and country. You can also use OpenDOAR to search repository contents, list repositories by geographic area, and check repository usage statisitics. OpenDOAR is hosted at the University of Nottingham, with SHERPA partnership. It is funded by: the Open Societies Institute, JISC, CURL and SPARCEurope.

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Page last updated: Friday 19 February 2016