Thursday, April 8, 2010

A definition of "subject repository"

A discussion on the JISC conference site prompted me to suggest a definition of "subject repository" which I hope might be useful in discussing the place of services like PhilPapers:
A subject repository is a repository of research outputs (and possibly metadata about such outputs) whose primary mission is to give end users access to all and only the research content available in a given subject.
For the purposes of this definition, a subject can be as vast as the mathematical sciences or as narrow as any dissertation topic.

Of course, some services we're inclined to label as subject repositories impose subject-independent constraints on their content (e.g. open access availability). That's why I inserted the "primary mission" qualification--this allows that some SRs have auxilarity requirements which impose some limitations on what content they aggregate.