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Towards a global knowledge commons

COAR Annual Report 2016/17 published

The public version of the association’s Annual Report of the year 2016/17 is available now. The report contains information about strategy and outreach, annual meetings, activities of the Executive Board, Executve Director and Office as well as working and interest group accomplishments. Moreover, the report covers themes like marketing and communications, membership, publications and representation of COAR at major international and regional conferences. An internal version is available for members and partners only. The public version can be found here.

COAR Member-Only Webinar: DSpace-CRIS: How to Bring Repositories and CRIS/RIMS Together

COAR Member-Only webinar: DSpace-CRIS: How to Bring Repositories and CRIS/RIMS Together will take place on July 10th at 9:30am CEST. Please register by July 7th, Friday.

CRIS/RIMS (Current Research Information Systems / Research Information Management Systems) are becoming more and more relevant to monitor research activities and outputs, highlighting strengths and weaknesses of institutional performance and providing insight for budget allocation, collaboration and funding opportunities, etc.

Susanna Mornati, COO of 4Science, will introduce challenges and opportunities of CRIS/RIMS from the perspective of the repository managers. DSpace-CRIS, its main functionalities and its added value for institutions, including the integration with ORCiD and the new add-on modules for viewing images and documents, video/audio streaming and data management will be presented.

Andrea Bollini, CTIO of 4Science, will present the open source technologies and the international standards adopted for DSpace-CRIS (e.g.: IIIF and CKAN), the interoperability with external systems and the new enhancements that came with the latest releases. The evolution from traditional IRs to components of a VRE (Virtual Research Environment) will be explored.

Please see the event page for more details.

Asia Open Access Regional Survey

COAR has just published a new report, Asia Open Access Regional Survey

The report presents the results of a survey of open access activities in Asia undertaken in early 2017.

“The continent of Asia is rapidly increasing in prominence on the world stage, both in terms of R&D as well as scientific production. According to the UNESCO World Science Report (2015), the region encompasses “close to half of global economic output (45%) and expenditure on research and development (R&D, 42%) and is home to both some of the world’s most dynamic technological powerhouses”. In terms of research outputs, the Asian continent is already prolific and is growing quickly, with China poised to become the world’s leading country in terms of number of published research articles.

As with other continents, open access policies and practices are being adopted in Asia, although progress varies greatly across the different jurisdictions and locations. This report provides an account of the current state of open access in 16 regions of Asia. It is expected that the survey results will contribute to the wider implementation of open access and help various regions make the case for greater investment in open access, both in terms of policies, as well as national and local infrastructure.”

Highlights from Controlled Vocabularies Workshop in #COAR2017 Annual Meeting

COAR Controlled Vocabularies Workshop took place on 8 May 2017 at COAR 2017 Annual Meeting. Around 40+ participants joined in the half day open session. The session was organized to introduce COAR vocabularies to the members including what has been done so far, a discussion environment for the existing vocabularies, and next agenda items of the Controlled Vocabularies Interest Group for the coming year. Large part of the discussions was focused on the challenges with the vocabularies in implementing them into repositories and expanding their adoption more widely.

The Access Mode Vocabulary has been released just before the COAR Annual Meeting and the Working Group will seek feedback from the global community shortly. The workshop offered an introduction to the Access Mode Vocabulary, as well as having discussions around the next version 2.0 of the Resource Type Vocabulary and pending issues to be undertaken by the Editorial Board. One of the next items on the agenda is the Version Type Vocabulary and it is planned to be finalised after the summer of 2017. A vocabulary on Resource Date Types will follow suit.  

The use cases presented on the implementation of the Resource Type Vocabulary in the DSpace repository of University of Minho and in the Phaidra Classification Server of University of Vienna will light the way for many other repositories. Implementations of COAR Vocabularies at national and international level in the case of RCAAP in Portugal, JPCOAR Consortium in Japan and LA Referencia in Latin America proved the need for and the benefit of COAR vocabularies. However, they also reflected challenging points in geographical diversity such as language, hierarchical structure in concepts etc. Using COAR vocabularies will be recommended in OpenAIRE Literature Repository Guidelines and CRIS-CERIF Guidelines which will be released shortly. Next possible recommendation of use is expected from LA Referencia using OpenAIRE Guidelines.

The presentations from the workshop can be found below:

Summary of COAR Annual Meeting

On May 8-10, 2017, the COAR meeting took place at the Università Ca’ Foscari in Venice, Italy

80 international delegates attended the three day meeting, which focused on fostering closer collaboration across countries and regions, and facilitating dialogue about issues of common concern.

As open access and open science become more widespread, repositories play an increasingly important role in the ecosystem, acting as the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication, on top of which layers of value added services will be built. COAR aims to ensure that the repository community is aligned around common goals, and collectively makes progress towards this vision.

One of the major highlights of the meeting was the launch of an International Accord for Repository Networks. The accord, which was signed by 8 regional organizations, will lead to greater alignment of repository networks, and strengthen the distributed, community-based open access infrastructure around the world. By working together, the regional networks will ensure their services are interoperable, providing a more seamless, global view of research results. They will also work together to support the regional adoption of common technologies and services.

During the meeting, participants learned about recent developments in the area of open access around the world. Significant progress has been made in terms of the adoption of services and infrastructure in many regions, and most countries now have policies and laws that require open access to research articles through repositories. The delegates also discussed other strategic issues such as how to support research data sharing, the future of libraries, and improving the visibility and impact of research results.

A good portion of the meeting was devoted to a discussion about the work that COAR is doing to define new functionalities for the next generation of repositories. The widespread deployment of repository systems in higher education and research institutions provides the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication. However, to remain relevant, there is a need to update repository systems with new technologies and implement a wider range of functionalities. The COAR Next Generation Repositories Working Group presented a number of scenarios for the future of repositories,  including peer review and commenting on top of repository content, social networking functionalities, and better workflows for users. These scenarios will guide technological recommendations of the working group, that are expected to be published in the summer 2017.

In addition to the stimulating discussions and presentations about the future of research communications, conference delegates were highly impressed by the beautiful architecture of the Università Ca’ Foscari, and the wonderful views from the venue of the canals of Venice. The meeting closed with great appreciation and thanks to the hosts at the Library System of the Università Ca’ Foscari for their hospitality.

The meeting presentations are available on the programme page, and videos of some of the sessions will also be available in the coming weeks.

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:

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

Survey about the value and benefits of COAR

Dear COAR Members and Partners,

Please take the time to give us your input so we can serve you better.

This is a short, 5-minute survey designed to get members’ feedback about the value of COAR and how the organization can better support members needs in the future. The outcomes will be used to help plan our future activities.

The link to the survey is here and it will be open until April 28, 2017.

The results of the survey will be made available through the members mailing list and at the General Assembly on May 10, 2017.