The purpose of the framework is to assist repositories to evaluate and improve their current operations based on a set of applicable and achievable good practices.

Currently, there are a number of existing frameworks and evaluation criteria for repositories,  that were developed to assist repositories in improving certain facets of their operations (such as discovery, access, reuse, integrity, quality assurance, preservation, privacy, and sustainability), but these criteria are spread across different organizations and are often relevant for only one region or one type of repository.

The COAR Community Framework provides a global, multidimensional framework for good practices in repositories that can be applied to different types of repositories (publication, institutional, data, etc.) and in different geographical and thematic contexts.

The Framework was developed by the COAR Repository Assessment Working Group and with significant community input representing many different regions and a variety of repository types.

This is the second version of the COAR Community Framework. This version was published after a review of Version 1 by the Working Group, after a community consultation process.

Version 1 of the framework brought together existing criteria from other sources and was reviewed by the COAR Repository Assessment Working Group, which assessed them for feasibility, ease of implementation, and gaps.

Resource: This refers to the object or item that has been deposited / uploaded into the repository (e.g. manuscript, dataset, video)

Metadata record: This refers to the collection of metadata elements for a given resource

Landing page: This describes the repository page which represents a particular content resource in the repository

The COAR Repository Assessment Working Group is responsible for reviewing and validating the COAR Community Framework for Best Practices in Repositories

Version 1 is available in PDF and excel format

Version 1 of the framework was developed in English, and has been translated into eight languages. PDF copies of all versions are available below.

The COAR Community is in the process of translating version 2.










Translated versions of the COAR Community Framework for Good Practice Fin Repositories, Version 2 are available in the following languages:






COAR Community Framework for Good Practices in Repositories

Version 2 – updated on August 29, 2022

Essential Characteristic

Desired Characteristic


1. Discovery

1.1  The repository enables users to apply basic Dublin Core metadata to its records, as well as more granular elements (e.g. to support multilingualism, FAIR-compliance, discipline-based, and regional metadata schemas)

1.2  The repository supports harvesting of metadata using OAI-PMH

1.3  In cases where the resource has been withdrawn, the repository provides a tombstone page and the metadata record remains publicly available

1.4  The repository assigns persistent identifiers (PIDs) that point to the landing page of the resource

1.5  The repository offers a search facility

1.6  The metadata in the repository are indexed by external academic discovery services and aggregators

1.7  The repository is included in one or more disciplinary or general registry of repositories

1.8  The metadata in the repository are available in human-readable and machine-readable formats

1.9  The repository facilitates linking in the metadata record between related contents such as preprints, published articles, data, and software (e.g. including PIDs for related resources held elsewhere)

1.10  The repository supports PIDs for authors, funders, institutions, funding programmes and grants, and other relevant entities

1.11  The metadata in the repository are made available under a Creative Commons public domain dedication / waiver (CC0)

1.12  In the case of research data, the repository supports identifiers for data at multiple levels of granularity, where appropriate (for example, if there there is research using a subset of the full dataset and a citation of the data subset is needed)

1.13  The repository facilitates the use of controlled vocabularies in its metadata records

1.14  The metadata in the repository are available for download in a standard bibliographic format at no cost to the user





2. Access

2.1  The resources in the repository are available at no cost to the user

2.2  The landing page for each resource in the repository includes a link to the resource

2.3  The repository supports access to its documentation and metadata for persons with disabilities.

2.4  In cases where the repository is collecting sensitive research data, there are mechanisms that allow data owners to limit access to authorized users only


2.5  The repository supports a responsive, mobile-friendly user interface

2.6  The repository provides a mechanism to make very large files available to users outside of the normal user interface (in cases where the size of the file becomes unwieldy for the user)

2.7  In cases where there is restricted access to a resource, the repository facilitates an indirect way to access this resource (e.g. by contacting the author)

2.8  In cases where the repository collects sensitive data, it will recommend tools to anonymise them to enable data sharing

2.9  The repository adheres to the most recent version of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines


3. Reuse

3.1  The repository includes licensing information in the metadata record which stipulates reuse conditions for the resource







3.2  The landing pages in the repository include metadata required for citation of the resources and are in machine-readable format

3.3  The repository adopts Signposting to support machine access to the resources

3.4  The resources are stored in machine-readable, non-proprietary formats

3.5  When resources are received in proprietary or non-machine-readable formats, the repository attempts to create versions in open, standards-compliant and machine-readable formats.

3.6  The repository provides terms of use for the resources that do not have a standard reuse license, including any reuse terms agreed to at the time of deposit


4. Integrity and authenticity

4.1  The repository applies security practices to prevent unauthorised manipulation of resources

4.2  The repository supports revision of the metadata and versioning of the resources by depositor or administrator

4.3  The repository performs integrity checks of the resources on a regular basis, in order to detect unauthorized changes or accidental damage

5. Quality assurance

5.1  The repository undertakes lightweight review (and enhancement if needed) of basic metadata upon submission of the resource

5.2  The repository provides documentation or has a policy outlining what curation processes are applied to the resources and the metadata


6. Preservation

6.1  The repository has a digital preservation plan that states the duration of time the resources will be managed, identifies roles, and documents procedures for the preservation of different resource formats

6.2  The repository records the checksum when a resource is submitted or modified

6.3  The repository collects basic preservation metadata including provenance, date of upload, and file format

6.4  The agreement between depositor and repository provides for all actions necessary to meet preservation responsibilities – e.g. rights to copy, transform, and store the items

6.5  The metadata and the resources in the repository can be copied or migrated to other systems

6.6  At least one copy of the repository contents is stored in a different location than the original repository

6.7  The repository has a business continuity plan that details the response and procedures in case of natural disasters or cyber-attacks

6.8  The repository collects preservation metadata that complies with an appropriate metadata schema (e.g. PREMIS)












7. Sustainability and governance

7.1  The repository clearly indicates what organization is responsible for its management and the nature of its governance

7.2  The repository has a contact point to assist users and at least one staff member with the explicit responsibility of managing the services

7.3  The repository responds to queries within a reasonable time frame

7.4  The repository has a publicly available policy stating what will happen to resources if operations cease

7.5  The repository (or organization that manages the repository) has a long term plan for managing and funding the repository


8. Other characteristics

8.1  The repository provides public documentation that outlines the scope of the resources accepted in the repository





8.2 The repository supports mediated submission using standardised protocols such as SWORD

8.3  The repository’s submission system supports both individual uploads and bulk uploads.

8.4  The repository collects and shares usage information using a standard methodology (e.g. number of views, downloads)

8.5  The repository is built on well-supported, open source software