Discussion Topics and Trends

COAR aims to help its members identify trends and discuss issues of importance for the community. In the summer of 2016, COAR will be launching a series of webinars and discussion forums for members only.

COAR Annual Meeting Presentations

Repository Observatory

Open Access Repositories Vision Statements (2013):

Open Access Repositories have the potential to become a backbone of human culture. Already today, repositories offer millions of scientific articles, billions of digitized cultural heritage images and zillions of data points, from weather sensors to brain scans. All are freely available to humans for intellectual use and to computers for machine processing. Already today, these open resources have massively changed the way we learn and we conduct research. But the infinite combinatorics of text, images and data have only just started to be exploited: we will see further revolutionary change in the way we generate, process and store knowledge resources. The role of Open Access Repositories is to provide a durable and persistent source of these knowledge resources. This implies also to harmonize technologies and vocabularies and thereby build the syntax and semantics for a joint language we can use on the internet when we address knowledge resources. This can build a true knowledge commons for mankind, for future generations.


— Dr. Wolfram Horstmann is director of Göttingen State and University Library, Germany. Until 2014 he was associate director of Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, UK. He is part of several steering groups and advisory panels, such as LIBER or the European Commission. He is also involved in open access projects, e.g. OpenAIRE.


“Interpretive flexibility” is the term that sociologists use to describe the human capacity to adapt the tools that they are offered to achieve the ends that they desire. The Web, for example, was designed as a technology for exchanging information, but it has come to be used as a means to share social experiences. Similarly, repositories were designed to extend the Web’s support for the long-term accessibility of scholarly information, but now we are starting to see them being used to support scientific data gathering, data analysis, and the management and evaluation of the research process itself. As research challenges drive research institutions to become less siloed and more interdisciplinary, I predict that in the in the future we will see research institutions being reconstituted around the social sharing of knowledge and the hubs of their knowledge generating practices: their repositories.

— Leslie Carr is a senior lecturer in the Web and Internet Science research group at the University of Southampton and the director of its Web Science Doctoral Training Centre. He leads the EPrints Repository software team and is the director of EPrints Services. He blogs about the his repository management experience at RepositoryMan.blogspot.com.


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