PolicyArchive, an online archive of public-policy research was recently launched by Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis University Library and the Center for Governmental Studies, a nonprofit group that encourages civic engagement.
PolicyArchive now holds more than 12,000 policy documents from about 220 think tanks and research groups. The archive’s developers say it will house up to 20,000 documents by the end of 2008. They want it to become the largest online repository of public-policy research in the world.
The archive documents are freely available, and publishers are encouraged to upload their documents to the site.
From Policy Archive at IUPUI University Library (Indiana University-Purdue University):
PolicyArchive is an innovative, new digital archive of global, non-partisan public policy research. It makes use of the power, efficiency, and economy of modern Internet technology to collect and disseminate summaries and full texts, videos, reports, briefs, and multimedia material of think tank, university, government, and foundation-funded policy research. It offers a subject index, an internal search engine, useful abstracts, email notifications of newly added research, and will soon expand to offer information on researchers and funders, and even user-generated publication reviews. Over time, it will grow to include policy content from international and corporate organizations.
Problem: American philanthropic foundations spend over $1.5 billion a year on research. Spread out across the nation among diverse libraries, institutions, databases, and websites, this valuable research can be difficult or impossible to identify and obtain once it has been published. Research organizations have no central place to distribute or archive their content, and search engines cannot easily locate much policy research. Research is not optimized to appear at the top of search engine results. Existing policy websites are focused on single issues or available only upon payment of substantial fees.
Solution: PolicyArchive simplifies this complex research landscape by providing a universal, easy-to-use, free, and open digital archive of foundation-funded and other public policy research. The PolicyArchive solution provides public interest organizations a low-cost electronic system for distributing, publicizing, and archiving their research. It allows research users, policy makers, the media, and the public to quickly access the depth and breadth of research in various subject matters. It also provides a direct line of communication between research providers and end-users, thus increasing public awareness of an organization’s work and adding significant value to their research investment. Ultimately, PolicyArchive will indefinitely preserve the life of public policy research, substantially increase its impact, and provide society at large with long-term access to the benefits of that important research.