International Accord strengthens ties between repository networks worldwide

Venice, Italy

On May 8, 2017, several regional and national repository networks and stakeholder groups formally endorsed an international accord that will lead to the greater alignment of repository networks around the world. The aim of the accord is to improve cooperation between national and regional repository networks by identifying common principles and areas of collaboration that will lead to the development of global services.

Repositories play a fundamental and expanding role in supporting open access and open science, and there are thousands of repositories deployed around the world that provide access to research articles, data and other types of content. Increasingly, these repositories are connected through regional and national repository networks that define standards for their communities and offer valuable services on top of repository content. However, given the international nature of research, it is critical that these repository networks work together to ensure they are interoperable, while also supporting the unique needs of their local communities.

The international accord, developed by COAR, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories, will foster closer relationships between the regional networks and act as a framework for undertaking specific activities including metadata exchange across networks, the adoption of common standards and APIs, and implementation of common functionalities. The accord was signed by network representatives from Australasia, Canada, China, Europe, Latin America, Japan, South Africa and the United States.

“We share a common vision of a distributed, community-based open science infrastructure around the world”, says Eloy Rodrigues, chairman of COAR. “But to achieve this vision, we need to work together.” Kathleen Shearer, COAR Executive Director says, “This accord brings us one step closer to our goal of transforming the system to make it more research-centric, open to and supportive of innovation, while also collectively managed by the scholarly community.”

In the coming weeks, COAR, along with the signatories, will work to define the various levels of collaboration, with the eventual aim of positioning repositories as the foundation of a global knowledge commons.

The accord is available here: https://www.coar-repositories.org/activities/advocacy-leadership/aligning-repository-networks-across-regions/

For more information, contact Kathleen Shearer, Executive Director, COAR

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