Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

CEU Library, Central European University

Open Access Primer

Institutional Repositories

Institutional repositories implemented at educational and research institutions allow authors to deposit the content they produce while at that institution into a repository based on open standards so their content is interoperable and widely disseminated on the web. Most are committed to sustainability and long-term access to their content.  

  • Repositories may host articles, books, conference presentations, research data, theses and dissertations, working papers, blog posts, posters, videos, images, and more.  
  • The free and open-source repository software movement was instrumental in the move to change the existing scholarly ecosystem. DSpace and EPrints were two early examples, 2002 and 2000 respectively, with widespread adoption and robust user groups, but there are many others.
  • ROARMAPRegistry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies:  over 760 policies are registered in ROARMAP
  • OpenDOAR: The Directory of Open Access Repositories is a mega-, award-winning directory of repositories worldwide. The growth in numbers is impressive. OpenDOAR was launched in 2005 with 89 repositories. As of September 2018, there were 3777.

Examples of long-standing institutional repositories: 


Subject Repositories


Subject, or disciplinary repositories, and specialized repositories also have a long history.  Merits of these subject-based or specialized repositories are that they are tailor-made by experts in a field and are targeted for a specialized group of users so features can be developed accordingly.  Some repositories are format based like Dataverse (Harvard), an open source research data repository. They are generally open to authors with any or no institutional affiliation, examples:

  •, founded in 1991 and hosted by Cornell University (e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance, Statistics, Electrical Engineering and Systems Science, and Economics)
  • Humanities Commons, an open-access to scholarship and teaching materials, and its CORE Repository, sponsored by the Modern Language Association (MLA) created for humanists, by humanists.
  • PhilArchive, largest open access repository in Philosophy, formerly part of PhilPapers, founded in 2009
  • SSRN (Social Science Research Network, founded in 1994 (recently bought by Elsevier)
  • Dataverse Project, an open source research data repository (developed by Harvard but software freely available) 
  • Figshare, originally designed for nontraditional research outputs: datasets, figures, images, and videos, but just changed there scope March 2018 to handle all types of materials


What version can I deposit?

SHERPA/RoMEO  (Publisher copyright policies & self-archiving)  

  • "Aggregates and analyses publisher open access policies from around the world and provides summaries of self-archiving permissions and conditions of rights given to authors on a journal-by-journal basis."
  • Use this source to see what version you can deposit in an institutional or subject repository, i.e., pre-print (pre-refereed), post-print (final draft, post-refereed), publisher version/PDF).
CEU Library, Budapest, Vienna
This website is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License, unless otherwise noted.