The COAR Annual Meeting 2022 took place from May 17-May 20 in hybrid format, with about 30 in-person attendees and over 100 online participants over the course of the three days. The meeting took place in Madrid and was hosted in Madrid by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).
The theme of the meeting was, “Radical Transformation of Scholarly Communications”, and therefore it was fitting that COAR announced significant funding from the Arcadia Fund for the COAR Notify project, which promises to have a transformative effect on repositories by connecting their contents with external peer review services.
The meeting was bookmarked by two sessions focusing on the Notify project, presenting the work to date and future plans. Several early adopters of the Notify protocol presented their use cases, including Peer Community In, CSIC and Open Scholar, Harvard University Library, and the Japanese National Institute of Informatics. In terms of the open source repository platforms, interest was expressed by DSpace, Invenio and Samvera, with development already underway in DSpace 5, 6 and 7.
The keynote speaker Bjoern Brembs, underscored the failings of the current scholarly communications system, emphasizing significant problems with reproducibility and pointing out that there is no correlation between article quality and journal impact factor, noting that “high impact” journals actually attract the most unreliable research. He also highlighted the exorbitant prices of APCs, while publishing costs represent only a small portion of the price. Brembs’ concluded that we need a “system of interoperable research objects” that are dynamic and version controlled, can be searched and text mined, are available immediately, support different types of post publication review, recognize diverse contributions, and are open to everyone. His recommendation is to defund journals, and use those funds to support other infrastructures and research outputs that will advance this vision, and which are in dire need of financial support.
The keynote set the stage for a number of discussions about strategic directions for repositories and their collective strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Collectively, repositories offer a community-based option for preserving and providing access to a range of research outputs, andl the Notify Project, which will connect repository resources to connect to external peer reviews, presents an innovative and low cost alternative to traditional scholarly publishing. However, repositories need to break down silos across institutions, be better resourced, and we need to improve our messaging to other stakeholders about the value proposition for repositories. COAR has been working with national and regional partners to modernize repositories across the world, and we heard presentations from
There was a workshop to elicit feedback on the second draft of the COAR Community Framework for Good Practices in Repositories. This was the last opportunity for COAR members to provide input into version 2, which will be published at the end of June 2022. COAR also launched a task group on managing non-English languages in repositories, an important issue for many COAR members and the broader repository community. The aim is too develop recommendations for repositories that will optimize the discovery and interoperability of non-English content in repositories.
All presentations and recordings are now available via the meeting webpage.