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 group talked about the use cases related to these two technologies, which include improved discovery of repository content, resource transfer, and notifications. Participants exchanged information about progress implementing these technologies, and discussed some of the technical challenges involved, especially with ResourceSync. It is clear that both additional resources, as well as greater community awareness, would help to increase the speed with which the recommendations can be adopted into repository software platforms.
We also talked about how to move forward in developing more robust notification systems across repositories, allowing us to build social networking functionalities into a distributed, global network. This scenario requires the use of interoperable hubs that will collect and push notifications to and from the repositories. It was suggested we could already start with a pilot to test the technologies and begin defining the conceptual model.
There were several outcomes for COAR resulting from these discussions:
- Work with the platforms to raise awareness of the vision for next generation repositories and expand on the use cases to ensure greater community understanding and buy-in
- Provide more information to the platforms about the specific technologies that are recommended in the report
- Help to match funds from interested organizations towards NGR technological developments in the different platforms.
- Maintain a registry of the implementation of NGR technologies by the different platforms
- Follow-up on next steps for piloting social networking functionalities
The meeting was very productive and COAR will follow-up on to support the adoption of next generation repository functionalities.