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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Basic Search Tools for Information Sciences Research: Difficult Topics

Introduces major reference tools and information search strategies for the information sciences.

Digital Repositories

Digital repositories archive and preserve online information, often including a significant amount of "grey literature", or hard to find items that don't appear in normal research resources. Often they include digital copies of journal articles, either in their final published form or in earlier drafts. Other kinds of documents that are often found in digital repositories are unpublished conference papers, slide sets, research reports, data sets, audio-visual files, and older print materials that have been scanned and digitized.

Several digital repositories focus on LIS and related fields. The two most relevant are:

In contrast to a discipline-focused repository, an institutional repository collects and preserves content from a single campus or organization. The UI's repository is IDEALS (Ilinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship). IDEALS includes several GSLIS publications, such as Library Trends, as well as the work of scholars at GSLIS and the University Library.

OpenDOAR is the Directory of Open Access Repositories, and you can use their search interface to search all repositories simultaneously.

A great many digital repositories can be searched at once though Worldcat's OAIster, although more difficult to use.

Follow these links to search OpenDOAR or OAIster:


For some hard-to-find topics, dissertations provide the only scholarly coverage. You can find University of Illinois Dissertations in our institutional repository, IDEALS. For other dissertations:

Subject Guide

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