The COAR Annual Meeting and General Assembly took place last week virtually from September 29 – October 1, 2021. It was attended by over 160 people and offered a great opportunity to consult  and discuss current COAR initiatives and priorities with members and partners.

The meeting began with a presentation from Dr. Ana Peršić, who introduced the UNESCO draft Open Science Recommendations, explained how they were developed, and presented UNESCO’s plans for their dissemination. COAR strongly supports the recommendations and has been an active partner in their development. An important next step after they are ratified in November will be to translate these very high level recommendations into concrete actions related to policy adoption and infrastructure development, something COAR is eager to assist with.

Other sessions included a round table of representatives from Latin America, Africa, United States, Canada, Asia, Europe who presented their activities related to the COAR Strategy for Modernizing Repositories. The strategy involves working with regional and national groups to develop specialized plans to strengthen repository operations in each jurisdiction and help position them to play a more expansive role in the scholarly communications landscape, as outlined in the Next Generation Repository vision.

Additionally, Paul Walk and Martin Klein gave an update on the progress of the Notify Project; there was an in depth discussion about repository assessment and best practices frameworks and their current relevance and value for the COAR community; and two new COAR resources were presented: COAR Resource Type Vocabulary, Version 3 and COAR/FECYT Aggregator Profiles dashboard.

The General Assembly, which was held on Friday, October 8, elected a new Executive Board for the 2021-2024 term. Martha Whitehead, Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian was elected as Chairperson taking the place of Eloy Rodrigues, who stepped down after 6 years in the position. Other members of the new Executive Board are Kazu Yamaji, (Vice-Chairperson), William Nixon, (Treasurer), Bianca Amaro, Virginia Barbour, Isabel Bernal, Iryna Kuchma, and Omo Oaiya. With members from Africa, Australia, Europe, Japan, Latin America, the United Kingdom and the United States, this will be the most geographically diverse Executive Board to date, reflecting the international nature of the COAR membership.

“As we continue to advance the COAR vision of a global knowledge commons and enhance the role of repositories, I am delighted to be working with such knowledgeable colleagues, each of whom will bring their unique perspectives to the organization”, says Martha Whitehead.

Along with Eloy, Wolfram Horstmann, Oya Rieger, and Daisy Selematsela also completed their terms on the board and were thanked for their significant contributions over the last six years.

“It has been a pleasure to serve as Chairperson of COAR. Over the last several years, we have seen significant growth in COAR membership and witnessed great progress towards COAR’s objectives”, says Eloy Rodrigues, “I am confident that we are leaving COAR in good hands with Martha and this new Executive Board”

At the closing of the meeting, there was a tribute to Eloy and he was presented with a COAR Recipe book, “Flavours from around the World”, which contains the favourite recipes of many of the COAR members.

“Eloy has been an excellent Chairperson and has taken COAR to the next level”, says Kathleen Shearer, COAR Executive Director, “Over these six years, I have greatly appreciated his wisdom and insights. But equally important, he has also been a great friend and generous colleague.

Big thanks to all the speakers and the COAR member participants. The videos and presentations from the Annual Meeting are now available on the COAR website.

COAR Executive Board 2021-2024