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April 23, 2014 / playforth

Open Repositories 2014

I’m very excited to be going to Helsinki in June for a few long days and short nights (sunrise at 4am, sunset at 11pm) at the Open Repositories 2014 conference. I’ll be presenting a short paper on Tuesday 10th June as part of the 24×7 track (24 slides in 7 minutes), abstract below:

Grey literature, green open access: the BLDS Digital Library

Grey literature is increasingly available online, but there are still problems with finding and using it. Although the primary function of institutional repositories has been to store and make accessible pre-publication versions of peer reviewed articles, our experience at the British Library for Development Studies shows that repositories can also be an effective way of archiving and disseminating previously offline, dispersed or hidden research outputs.

Since 2010 we have been running a digitisation project with the aim of raising the profile and accessibility of research produced in developing countries. So far we have collaborated with 17 research institutions in Africa and Asia to digitise publications which may only exist in hard copy and in limited print runs. This involves either BLDS working from copies in our physical holdings, or supporting in-country digitisation by providing equipment and training. The digital versions are preserved and disseminated with a Creative Commons license through the BLDS Digital Library – a DSpace repository.

In our presentation we will outline our collaborative approach, highlight the kinds of material made accessible, and share some impact stories and lessons learned.



Leave a Comment
  1. David Haden / Apr 23 2014 8:46 pm

    Thanks for this post. I just checked to see if BLDS Digital Library was indexed in the open access search tool. It was in, but I’ve now widened the scope of your URL – so that the whole of is now indexed. This reflects’s recent expansion from arts and humanities, toward being a more general academic search tool for open content.

    • playforth / Apr 28 2014 1:37 pm

      Thanks for the indexing David!

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