Sprouts, an open access Information Systems digital repository

Sprouts Working Papers on Information Systems (http://sprouts.aisnet.org), is an open access paper repository database designed to provide easy access to pre-published and work in progress research to the Information Systems (IS) community.  It is hosted on the Association of Information Systems’ (AIS) website, and was designed to supplement the use of traditional academic publishing venues such as academic journals and institutional repositories, by providing the most current and emerging research trends and ideas, while facilitating collaboration among the scholars it connects.  Its open access format enables anyone to access this database, with no subscription required. The site is searchable through Google Scholar, The Directory of Open Access Journals, The Index of Information Systems Journals, and many other search engines, enabling a wide distribution to a broad audience.  It has approximately thirty international affiliate institutions, including universities and professional organizations from the United States, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Africa.

Sprouts places no restrictions on the information submitted to its site, it is open to any author in the IS field and encourages interdisciplinary work between scholars in the many disciplines which can be defines as relating in some way to IS. The editorial board is comprised of a number of educational institutions who review each article, ensuring that a peer review process takes place, these editors act as a local editor and can accept or refute an article based on their standards.  Sprouts limits the materials posted to their database in only one aspect, namely that research submitted to the database must not be a published journal article.  Any other form of publication, pre-publication, or work in progress publication dealing with information systems, environments, or organizations is valid.  This includes conference proceedings, working papers, magazine articles, etc.

The database is easy to navigate, and accommodates users in multiple languages and disciplines.  You can browse by a number of different criteria, or use the advanced search option.  It also has an option to search by Tag, where the user can select a common tag from a tag cloud (as shown below) or create unique tags which can be saved in the users account for future searches.

A user can also save, organize, and label articles in their personal account, allowing them to customize their saved searches.  Some limits of the site are the inability to export citations and the lack of an RSS feed option to notify users of new articles.  The default search option does not search full text, only article titles.  Nonetheless this is a valuable new resource for scholars in the Information Systems field.