COAR Guidelines for Assessing Publisher Repository Services

November 2015

A number of journal publishers have begun to offer services to the repository community. These services may differ according to publisher, however they generally involve the automated transfer of content (metadata and/or articles) into repositories.

COAR has adopted the following guidelines to help our members make informed decisions about such services. These guidelines are based on the underlying values and aims of the repository community, which are to provide open access to research outputs via a sustainable network of open access repositories.

COAR recommends that repositories only enter into publisher agreements that fulfill the following conditions:

  1. Services should include the transfer of both full text and metadata into the repository, and the transfer should occur either before or at the time of publication. Metadata linking from repositories to pay-walled, full text articles does not improve their accessibility and simply serves to drive traffic to the publishers’ sites.
  2. Services should not impose embargo times of longer than 12 months (ideally, 6 months in the fields of Science, Technology, and Medicine) and existing publisher embargo periods should not be lengthened as a result of the adoption of the publishers’ repository services.

Repositories are also encouraged to seek licenses that enable the re-use and full-text mining of content once embargo periods are over.

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