COAR is an international association with over 130 members and partners from around the world representing libraries, universities, research institutions, government funders and others. COAR brings together individual repositories and repository networks in order to build capacity, align policies and practices, and act as a global voice for the repository community.

“Focus on leadership, community, and innovation”

COAR Strategy and Workplan 2024

Our Vision

A sustainable, inclusive and trusted global knowledge commons based on a network of open access digital repositories

Our Mission

To enhance the visibility and application of research outputs through collaboration across the global repository network

Our History

Building a truly global network

COAR evolved out of a project to connect European repositories called DRIVER. This project revealed the need for a more international approach that would support the networking of all repositories from around the world. The COAR e.V. was founded in September 2009 with 28 members. In 2023, Stichting COAR (Foundation) was established to continue the aims of the COAR e.V. in 2025.

Executive Board

Martha Whitehead, Chairperson

Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian

United States

Kazu Yamaji, Vice-chairperson

Professor and Director of Research Center for Open Science and Data Platform, NII


William Nixon, Treasurer

Deputy Executive Director, Research Libraries UK

United Kingdom

General Board Members

Executive Director

Kathleen Shearer has been the Executive Director of COAR since 2013 and has been working in the area of open access, open science, scholarly communications, and research data management for over 15 years. She is based in Montreal, Canada and participates in numerous other organizations to advance open science around the world. She is the author of numerous publications and delivered many presentations at international events. Most recently, she was the lead author of the paper Fostering Bibliodiversity in Scholarly Communications: A Call for Action (April 2020) and presented the keynote speech at the Open Repositories Conference in June 2020. Shearer is also a Research Associate with the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and has been instrumental in many of CARL’s activities related to open science, including the launch of the Portage Initiative in Canada, a national research data management network.

Kathleen Shearer, COAR Executive Director

Annual Reports

Each year, COAR publishes an Annual Report that contains information about all the associations’ activities and accomplishments.

COAR Annual Report 2022-2023

COAR Annual Report 2021-2022

COAR Annual Report 2020-2021

COAR Annual Meeting 2018

Benefit from our global network and enhance the profile of your institution