These expenses can be extensive at larger institutions
and enterprises. The institutional repositories established to date
have been at major research institutions. Does this solution scale
down to less complex institutions? Indeed, it is unlikely that institutional
repositories will be affordable by any institutions until the costs
of entry are driven down substantially. This can be accomplished
by providing model practices, policies, protocols, routines, and
guidance on how to manage the cost of knowledge asset management.
Professional societies serving the higher education industry should
accept this challenge. In North America, the energies of the National
Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO),
EDUCAUSE, Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the National
Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), and the
American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) would be most
welcome in this effort.
Institutional repositories, by capturing,
preserving, and disseminating a universitys collective intellectual
capital, serve as meaningful indicators of an institutions
academic quality. Under the traditional system of scholarly communication,
much of the intellectual output and value of an institutions
intellectual property is diffused through thousands of scholarly
journals. An institutional repository concentrates the intellectual
product created by a universitys researcher, making it easier
to demonstrate its social and financial value . . . While institutional
repositories centralize, preserve, and make accessible an institutions
intellectual capital, at the same time they form part of a global
system of decentralized, distributed repositories. This attribute
is central to the role repositories can play in a disaggregated
model of scholarly publishing.
Raym Crow. SPARC, 2002
A searchable and responsive marketplace that draws
content, context, and narrative from many sources and repositories
is one of the fundamental elements of an e-Knowledge Industry. For
this to happen, technologies and standards must be developed that
enable true interoperability for learning objects and practices.
Groups like the Learning Objects Network, MERLOT, SMETE, and the
Australian Le@rning Federation are developing shareable repositories
of learning content. The MIT-created Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI)
is building a scalable, sustainable open-source reference framework
for all the online processes that support e-learning. This framework
will help streamline the processes for assembling, delivering, and
accessing educational resources. Such initiatives are the precursors
of meta-marketplaces that will span industry verticals
education, publishing, learning management providers, associations,
and professional societies to create broad-based exchange
of e-content and tacit knowledge through communities of practice.
Standards, processes, and marketplaces for e-content
are essential, but they will be incomplete without advances in public
and private infrastructures for exchanging and deploying content.
Association of Research Libraries Scholars
Portal. Announced in mid-2002, this three-year project aims
to deliver software tools that provide integrated Web access to
open, high quality (library-based) information services.
It brings together a group of ARL members (University of Southern
California, University of California-San Diego, Dartmouth College,
University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Iowa State University,
and the University of Utah) with Fretwell-Downing, Inc.