A repository is a collection of digital objects. It is distinctive from a directory, calalogue or database in that its content can be deposited by its creator, owner or third party. Digital repositories are often institutional and subject based. They can usually be searched and browsed and can be organized by discipline. A main driver for establishing institutional and subject based repositories is enhanced access to scholarly communications, however not all repositories support open access.
An institutional repository usually includes a variety of materials produced by scholars from a range of units, such as eprints, technical reports, theses and dissertations, data sets and teaching materials. Some institutional repositories are also being used to publish ebooks and ejournals. Typically, repositories do not perform peer review, however, deposit may be limited to pieces in the right discipline or authors from the right institution.