Embedding Repositories Self-Assessment Tool

The Self-Assessment Tool is comprised of a series of questions designed to quantify the degree that a digital repository is ‘embedded’ within its institution – the extent to which both the organisation’s research and its administrative culture recognise the repository’s value and take full advantage of its capacity.  Simultaneously, it prompts the repository to prioritise the actions they wish to take to become more embedded within their institution.  The Tool consists of a web-based interface that allows a lead assessor to assign areas of inquiry to separate contributors, keeping track of each contributor’s progress and compiling a final summary of the responses.


The JISC Repositories Support Project

Licensing and cost

Service is free – no licensing information is available for the tool itself, although the website is licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Development activity

The Tool was launched in December 2011.

The Repositories Support Project was funded as part of the JISC Information Environment Programme, which ran from 2009-2011.  No information is available about future support.

Platform and interoperability

The Self-Assessment Tool is a web-based application.  Notwithstanding the possibility of browser incompatibility problems (none were identified during brief tests), this renders it to some extent platform agnostic. No details of supported browsers are available on the Tool's website.

Functional notes

The Self-Assessment Tool asks contributors to provide information in six areas about the repository: Institutional Strategy; User Requirements; Current Repository Implementation; Status of Other Relevant Systems; and Resources.  Each element of each area is rated 0-4, both in terms of its current status, and its level of priority in the repository’s overall strategy. 

One lead assessor takes responsibility for completion of the exercise, and may identify other individuals as contributors to complete sections separately and at their own pace.  The assessment can be saved at any stage and forwarded on to others; each section includes space for the person who has completed it to sign off.  Any information given and answers supplied are anonymous and are not viewable except by the lead assessor and those other contributors with which the lead shares their login details. The Tool will also summarise results and highlight action areas.

Documentation and user support

No formal documentation is available for the Tool; however, it is part of a larger Embedding Repositories Guide, which provides background and explains the concepts underlying the assessment elements.  No user support contact information is provided.


The Tool is extremely simple and easy to use, and includes a detailed explanation of its ratings system.

Expertise required

Assessors must have intimate knowledge of both the repository and its host organisation. 

Standards compliance

The tool does not advertise compliance with any standards; in fact, it states that the intent is to help institutions reach their own goals and priorities, “rather than any abstract external standard.” 

Influence and take-up

No information available.

Last reviewed: 
8 July, 2013