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[Chinese Year of the Ox]

Institutional Repository : About the IR

The HKUST Institutional Repository collects, makes available, and preserves in digital format the scholarly output created by the HKUST community. Its interface provides for easy self-archiving by faculty, and organizes the documents in logical, easily retrieved fashion.

The Repository uses DSpace, a software developed at MIT, which complies with the Open Archives Initiative (OAI); thus allowing articles to be easily discovered by web search engines, services, and indexing tools, such as Google Scholar, Elsevier's Scirus and OAIster.

The Repository, launched in February 2003, was the first of its kind in Hong Kong. Its developments were documented in this 2007 article.

Benefits for the University community

The IR not only provides barrier-free access to researchers worldwide, it also brings advantages to the University and the contributing authors:

  • Provides open and perpetual residence for research output, using a robust, standard compliant infrastructure.
  • Enhance access to and visibility of HKUST research; research has demonstrated that open access articles have appreciably higher citation rates than traditionally published articles.1.
  • Enhance communication and exchange by providing simple and persistent links to individual items as well as authors' research portfolio.
  • Serves to establish priority of ideas and intellectual property by registering the work with a date stamp.

Contents and Organization

Any faculty, academic equivalent staff, Ph.D student, or research assistant working at HKUST may submit documents to the Repository. Material must be research in nature; popular works or feature articles for newspapers will be excluded. Check the policy on content for document types the Repository accepts.

Items are organized in a hierachy of "communities" (based upon academic departments and units at HKUST) and "collections" (document types).

Systems Features

Searching and Harvesting Protocols

The HKUST Institutional Repository can be accessed via standard searching and harvesting protocols, including the Open Archives Initiative (OAI-PMH) and Search/Retrieve Web/URL Service (SRW/U).

  • OAI Base URL:
  • SRW/U Base URL:

Persistent Identifiers

The CNRI Handle System assigns persistent identifiers to all material posted to the repository. These identifiers are resolvable in perpetuity, and will remain valid even if the content is migrated to a new system. This allows documents in the Repository to be properly and effectively cited in other research.

Scripted Author Links

Researchers may use a script in the following format to access all their scholarly works posted in the Repository:



This script serves as a key to open the scholar's research portfolio, directly and quickly accessing the full-text of one's scholarly works. As we attempt to standardize UST authors' names, you may first check the format by browsing authors before constructing the script.

Links to Published Versions

Many journal articles in the repository are archived in their pre-published version. The IR provides links to the corresponding published copies via an OpenURL linking mechanism, which dynamically direct users to the subscribed library resources. For example, a HKUST user will see a WebBridge link at a record of a journal article.

Version Marking

"Pre-published" version of a published article is marked as such both at the record display and the first page of the document.

Full-text Searching on Scirus

With the collaboration with Scirus, the Elsevier's free search engine, the IR offers full-text searching capability external to DSpace.

Development of Institutional Repositories Worldwide

Institutional repositories emerged as one of many strategies for achieving open access to research output. "Open Access" (OA) is a movement advocating free online access to scholarly works. Discussion and development of scholarly communication, IR and OA can be found at these sites:

Other Institutional Repositories

The Directory of Open Access Repositories lists over 1,000 institutional repositories. A few prominent projects are:

Presentations on HKUST IR and Open Access

  • Emerging Developments in Open Access: A Presentation for School of Business [26 & 27 April 2005 - ppt]
  • Open Access and HKUST Institutional Repository: A Presentation for HUMA and SOSC [14 March 2005 - ppt]
  • Open Access and the HKUST Institutional Repository: A Presentation for School of Science [4-5 May 2005 - ppt]
  • Emerging Developments in Open Access: A Presentation for the School of Engineering [10 May 2005 - ppt]

1Steve Lawrence. 2001. "Online or invisible?" Nature 411 (6837):521. Available at: <>

last modified 12 August 2010
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