IDS publishes 47 years of key titles into its digital repository

23 October 2013

As part of the next phase of development of its digital repository IDS is publishing its entire Series Titles collection onto its open access repository.

OpenDocs - IDS Digital Repository

During Open Access Week 2013, IDS is pleased to announce that we are in the process of digitising and publishing onto OpenDocs, our open access repository, our entire back catalogue of almost 2000 research reports, working papers, practice papers, and other Series Titles. A key aspect of our approach to supporting open access to research is building on the existing open access availability of our research knowledge through the continued expansion and improvement of OpenDocs. Our research and policy outputs including reports, papers and briefings as well as many journal articles and book chapters are now routinely published onto the repository. 

Open Access literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. OpenDocs significantly extends the reach of our and our partners’ research and evidence. It hosts collections from our key research centres and research consortia as well as the BLDS Digital Library containing over 2000 full-text publications from 15 different research organisations in Africa and Asia. 

Unlike many traditional websites OpenDocs is built on a software platform that is used internationally and is highly compatible with other systems facilitating data exchange and re-use. The full text of each archived document is rapidly indexed by search engines and securely stored for the long term. In this way OpenDocs, working alongside IDS’ website, is hugely increasing the discoverability of IDS research both inside and outside academic circles.

Lawrence Haddad, IDS Director said: ‘OpenDocs is set to become one of the go to resources for development research and knowledge. Free access to knowledge and learning sits at the very core of our values and approach. The repository will help maintain IDS’ position as a global knowledge hub ensuring that the evidence and perspectives of our members and our partners continues to influence and improve global policies and programmes that accelerate global development.’ 

How OpenDocs is already having an impact

Last year IDS launched our new Strengthening Evidence Based Policy Programme funded by DFID. This cross institutional programme focuses on seven themes spanning energy, gender, impact evaluation, innovation, nutrition, rising powers, sexuality and rights and mitigating violence. Over the next three years the programme will provide policy solutions to emerging areas of development and almost 400 reports, policy briefings and other publications. OpenDocs provides an ideal repository for these outputs as not only does it profile them in a series of thematic collections that are easily navigated but it ensures that the full text of each of the documents is indexed by search engines and securely stored for the future. In practice, this means that far more policy actors, for whom this programme was designed, will find and use this evidence. Already documents from the programmes’ rapidly growing collections have been downloaded over 3000 times by users all over the world.

To read about why IDS believes digital repositories are essential if you are serious about open access publishing and research uptake see the Impact and Learning Team blog written as part of open access week.

Collection now available on OpenDocs include:


BLDS Digital Library

The Robert Chambers Archive


Future Agricultures Consortium

International Centre for Tax and Development

Strengthening Evidence Based Policy