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Setting up an institutional repository based on the integrated library management system.

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Chalon PX, Hourlay L.  2012.  Setting up an institutional repository based on the integrated library management system. 13th EAHIL Conference "Health information without frontiers". [Poster]


INTRODUCTION: The Belgian Health Care Knowledge Centre (KCE) is a federal institution established in 2003. Its mission is to produce studies and reports to advise policy-makers about health care and health insurance; but also to ensure the extensive dissemination of those reports on the field.

Results of studies conducted at KCE are KCE reports, a PDF document published on the KCE web site. The PDF is also sent to the Belgian legal depot for archiving purpose.

A paper version of each KCE report is produced and placed at the library with a description in the library catalogue which act as a Z39.50 server. Records of the library catalogue are exported four times a year to the Belgian federal libraries catalogue:

Description of reports is then further disseminated to some specific databases like CRD HTA database for the HTA series. But this dissemination occurs manually and is thus difficult to extend in the context of a one person library.

Still, automation could be set up using other library standard, and more specifically the OAI-PMH interoperability standard. Institutional repositories are increasingly used by scientific community to disseminate their scientific production, but also to discover "grey literature" like KCE reports. Several dedicated document management systems exist for such a purpose, including Open Source software (no license cost).

Institutional repositories being a good way to automatically extend the dissemination of KCE reports , the KCE library decided in 2006 to evaluate the opportunity to set up such a repository at KCE.

OBJECTIVES: Identify the most efficient way to implement an institutional repository for a small institution (one person library).

METHODS: The different technical options to set up an Institutional repository were identified through several ways: learning from other by attending Conferences and workshops, keeping up to date through mailing lists, news and newsletter, professional journals, searching the Web, consulting the literature.

Setting up a specific Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) was compared to others identified options; the main criteria was the supplementary steps to add to the existing work-flow.

RESULTS: Three technical options were identified: Digital Assets Management Systems (DAMS, like GNU e-prints, DSpace,...), using the existing Integrated Library Management System (ILS), or the Website (Content Management System).

Creating an Institutional Repository (IR) based on a specific software (DAMS) was rejected: this option would imply to describe records one more time and to have a supplemental repository to manage.

Making use of the Website was not possible since the Content Management System in use a that time did not provide such a functionality.

Using the library workflow, based on the Integrated Library management System (ILS), was thus identified as most cost effective option since the roadmap of PMB, the ILS in use at KCE since 2006 (ref), listed this functionality. But the OAI-PMH server functionality of PMB not being already implemented, and without resources to develop this functionality or help to its development, it was decided to wait until this functionality was implemented by the community of developers.

In 2010, version 3.3.1 of PMB acquired the OAI-PMH server functionality, the Institutional Repository was thus activated. The records of the IR and the ILS are the same. Sets of the IR are based on the Collections and Sub Collections defined at the ILS level (KCE reports: Health Technology Assessment, Health services Research, Good Clinical Practice). The newly activated IR was then registered to ROAR, OpenDOAR, DRIVER and OAIster.

DISCUSSION: Setting up an institutional repository is very important for an organization where results of the publicly funded research are not systematically published in a peer reviewed international journals: it helps researcher from other institutions to be able to discover our reports.

IT aspects are of course important, but the human aspect turn to be the most important (1). In a small institution, with a one person library, using an existing work-flow is thus preferred to adding a supplemental information system. In this context, the ILS, where all publications of the institution are already described by a professional, appears to be the best option to host the Institutional repository: at KCE, adding a report to the IR requires only 4 supplemental clicks after the description in the ILS!

Setting up an institutional repository based on the integrated library management system is thus very cost efficient, especially when the ILS is open source. This approach also reinforce the role of the librarian in the dissemination process of the publication of the Institution.


Jakobsson A. Establishing an Institutional Repository: A Step by Step Approach, 10th European Conference of Medical and Health Libraries, Cluj (Romania), 14 septembre 2006.