Next generation repositories – now open for public comments!

COAR is pleased to announce the publication of the initial outcomes of the COAR Next Generation Repositories Working Group for public comment.

In April 2016, COAR launched a working group to help identify new functionalities and technologies for repositories and develop a road map for their adoption. For the past several months, the group has been working to define a vision for repositories and sketch out the priority user stories and scenarios that will help guide the development of new functionalities.

The vision is to position repositories as the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication, on top of which layers of value added services will be deployed, thereby transforming the system, making it more research-centric, open to and supportive of innovation, while also collectively managed by the scholarly community.

Underlying this vision is the idea that a distributed network of repositories can and should be a powerful tool to promote the transformation of the scholarly communication ecosystem. In this context, repositories will provide access to published articles as well as a broad range of artifacts beyond traditional publications such as datasets, pre-prints, working papers, images, software, and so on.

The working group presents 12 user stories that outline priority functionalities for repositories. The document, to which you can provide public comments directly, is available here:

We very much welcome your input, and also encourage you to share this message with your colleagues. We hope to have widespread feedback from the community.

Public comments are open from February 7 – March 3, 2017

NRF hosts first African DSpace-CRIS Repository Workshop

The NRF hosted a successful DSpace-CRIS workshop at its National Facility the iThemba Labs, in Cape Town from 04 to 05 December 2016. It was attended by 38 participants including IT administrators, librarians and repository practitioners, drawn from various universities and research councils.

The University of Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology Libraries supported the hosting of this pre-conference workshop as part of the Open Access Symposium 2016 week at UCT.

The workshop was facilitated by Andrea Bollini, Chief Technology Innovation Officer at 4Science, Italy, and DSpace-CRIS developer. DSpace-CRIS is an additional open-source module for the DSpace platform and is used extensively in Europe. It extends the DSpace data model, providing the ability to manage, collect and expose data about any entities of the research domain such as people, organisational units, projects, grants, awards, patents, publications etc. A follow-up workshop is planned for 2017

The NRF appreciates the support from COAR which is an international association with over 100 members and partners from around the world representing libraries, universities, research institutions, government funders and others. COAR brings together the repository community and major repository networks in order build capacity, align policies and practices, and act as a global voice for the repository community.

Participants from ARC, CPUT, DUT, HSRC, NRF, SABINET, SANSA, UCT, UNISA, UNIVEN, UniZulu, National University of Science & Technology (Zimbabwe), University of Dar el Salaam, and University of Namibia.

Results of the COAR survey on research data management

Research data management is wide ranging and there are already many organizations active in this area. In December 2016, COAR conducted a survey in order to get a better understanding of the needs of our members in the area of research data management.

There were 43 responses to the survey from around the world. Just over half of respondents are already collecting research data, and about 80% of those who are not yet collecting data indicated that they intend to do so in the coming year.

Based on the results of this survey, COAR will organize a series of webinars on research data management, initially focusing on the topics of engaging researchers, repository case studies, and metadata schemas for research data management in repositories. These webinars will take place in the first six months of 2017.

In addition to the information above, survey respondents provided links to their favorite research data management resources. COAR will post these links on the research data management webpage to support capacity building in the area of research data management.

The full results of the survey are now available in a report posted on the COAR website.


Europe and Latin America expand their collaboration for open science

Photo credit: FAO 2016

Over a million records of open access publications from Latin America are now discoverable through the OpenAIRE platform. In December 2016, OpenAIRE began harvesting records from LA Referencia, the large regional repository network that aggregates metadata of open access publications. LA Referencia contains over 1.2 million records of open access content from nine countries in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, and Peru. The records provide access to the peer-reviewed journal articles and theses and dissertations in these countries across all research disciplines. This effort integrates the research outputs of the two regions and will significantly raise the visibility of Latin American publications outside the region.

OpenAIRE and LA Referencia are two of the largest and most well-developed regional repository networks in the world. Together the two regions represent about half of the world’s open access repositories and a large portion of the world’s research output. Both regions are also well progressed in terms of open access, with strong open access policy environments and comprehensive repository coverage.

Regional and national networks, such as OpenAIRE and LA Referencia, play a critical role in supporting open access because they create communities of practice, define standards, and maintain services that reflect the needs of their regions. Yet, the research enterprise is increasingly global, and regional networks must also give users a comprehensive international view. Sharing metadata allows networks to focus on their local communities, while still representing a fuller picture of research outputs.

This activity builds on earlier collaborative efforts of the two networks, in partnership with COAR, to adopt common guidelines, technology transfer, and capacity building that helps to enable cost efficiencies across networks and ensure more seamless discovery and integration of content. COAR, OpenAIRE and LA Referencia have also been working with other regions to promote greater alignment and are working towards greater connectivity of research across the world.


LA Referencia is the network of open access repositories from nine Latin American countries. It supports national open access strategies in Latin America through shared standards and a single discovery platform. LA Referencia harvests scholarly articles and theses & dissertations from national nodes, which, in turn, harvest from repositories at universities and research institutions. This initiative is based on technical and organizational agreements between public science and technology organizations (National Ministries and Science & Technology Departments) and RedCLARA.

OpenAIRE, funded by the European Commission under H2020, is the Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe, based on  the network of open access repositories and open access journals. OpenAIRE aims to promote open scholarship and substantially improve the discoverability and reusability of research publications and data.

COAR is an international association with over 100 members and partners from around the world representing libraries, universities, research institutions, government funders and others. COAR brings together the repository community and major repository networks in order build capacity, align policies and practices, and act as a global voice for the repository community.

Argentine open access and repository law

Last week, the Argentine government published a law entitled “Creación de Repositorios Digitales Institucionales de Acceso Abierto”.

The law establishes that all institutions which are part of the National Science and Technology System that receive funding from the Argentine federal government must create an “institutional digital repository” that provides free and open access to all publications (including technical-scientific works, academic theses, journal articles, etc.) In addition, it will be mandatory to publish the primary research data up to 5 years after collection so that they can be used by other researchers.

With this law, Argentina aims to ensure greater equity in access to research results and scientific knowledge, as well as accelerate the process of scientific discoveries.

Argentina already has a strong national system of repositories to support this law, which are centralized through the national digital repository system based at the Ministry of Science Technology and innovation (MINCyT). This law will go a long way to strengthen and legitimatize this network as key infrastructure for research communications in the country.

The announcement of the law is available here and the full law is available here both in Spanish.

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