Institutional repositories (IRs) are digital archives of university-owned and-created content. They are a solution that librarians have proposed to address the high costs and limited library control of much published digital scholarship. IRs are one facet of the open access movement, designed to make it easier for libraries to obtain, organize, and preserve their universities ’ digital assets, and offer them freely on the internet. The long-term goal is to create an alternative to traditional publishing. Despite significant developments in creating software and crafting metadata and preservation standards, the institutional repositories opened so far have not attracted significant amounts of content. This paper suggests that institutional repositories will more successfully challenge the current system of scholarly communication if they first address the needs of local stakeholders: not only the library, but also the university archives, the faculty, students, information technology department, university press, and the campus administration. After describing the contexts of IR emergence, the paper examines the vision for and current deployment of institutional repositories. Finally, it explores the needs of each stakeholder group in relation to digital material, and outlines how an IR might benefit each of them. The thesis is that institutional repositories will become a strong part of the campus infrastructure only if they solve problems for stakeholders beyond the library. Once that is accomplished, we may begin to see how IRs can influence the wider system of scholarly communications. Headings: Institutional repositorie
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