COAR is committed to advancing the vision of next generation repositories and supporting the widespread adoption of these technologies and functionalities across the repository community.
In order to align developments in different regions and to avoid redundancy of efforts, COAR will monitor and support initiatives that are working towards the adoption of NGR technologies and demonstrating related use cases.
There are three areas of implementation.
1. Adoption of NGR technologies into repository platforms
On June 6, 2018 COAR held a meeting of open source repository platforms to talk about the implementation of technical recommendations in the COAR Next Generation Repositories Report. The meeting was held in conjunction with the Open Repositories Conference in Bozeman, Montana and was attended by representatives from several of the open source repository platforms: Dataverse, DSpace, EPrints, Fedora, Invenio, Islandora, and Samvera, as well as members of the COAR Next Generation Repositories Working Group. The discussion focused on two of the technologies/protocols that support many of the behaviours outlined in the report: Resource Sync and Signposting. The meeting was very productive and COAR will follow-up on to support the adoption of next generation repository functionalities. See the news item for more information.
2. Value-added network services
There are a number of initiatives underway that will test and pilot the next generation repository functionalities. Hubs or network services built on top of repositories is a critical aspect of this vision. The pilot projects are organized according to four major use cases: discovery, social networking, peer review, common metrics.
i. Improved discovery
COAR has been working with the major repository networks to promote recommendations and help them adopt NGR functionality at the level of the aggregator networks. One of the technologies recommended in the NGR report, called ResourceSync, will contribute to a number of use cases and promises to greatly improve harvesting functionality. Members of the NGR Editorial Group and several others are working to test and benchmark ResourceSync against OAI-PMH in a range of scenarios. The objective is to perform a quantitative evaluation that could then be used as evidence to convince data providers to adopt ResourceSync. For more information, please read the Petr Knoth’s (CORE) blog post.
ii. Social networking
The CORE recommender system provides one example of social networking functionalities envisioned for the global network of next generation repositories. According to the CORE blog, the recommender “tracks a user’s preferences when browsing a website and then filters the user’s choices suggesting similar or related items”.
iii. Peer review
In June 2018, a new journal in mathematics was launched by Timothy Gowers and Dan Kral. The journal, called ‘Advances in Combinatorics’, is an overlay journal, built entirely on articles contained in the arXiv repository. It is free to read and will not charge authors to publish. The relatively low costs of running the journal are being covered by Queen’s University Library in Ontario, Canada, which is also providing administrative support.
COAR and Queen’s University Library were interested in participating in the launch of this journal because it offers a model of overlay services on top of repositories, a model that could eventually be generalized beyond arXiv. COAR will be following and documenting the processes involved with this overlay service in order to define how this could be done in a more distributed manner, across a network of repositories.
iv. Standardized usage statistics
There are several regional initiatives looking at standardization of usage statistics. Please also see the regional and national initiatives.
3. Ongoing monitoring of new technologies
An Editorial Group, made up of a subset of members of the Next Generation Repositories Working Group, continues to monitor new and emerging technologies and will make further recommendations when relevant protocols or technologies are considered stable and useful.