Call for action!

A new ecology for scholarly communications is emerging which involves openness and sharing of publications, data, research administrative information, and other research outputs.

Libraries and universities are already contributing to this ecology by hosting systems and platforms that provide access to content. But the time has come to increase our participation and bring back control of the system to the scholarly community. This will ensure that the system reflects the value of research as a public good that should be shared widely for the benefit of society, rather than driven and manipulated to support profit making by companies through locking up content and controlling scholarly workflows.

In order to ensure widespread access and participation in the system, scholarly services and platforms should be as open as possible. There are already thousands of repositories being managed by research institutions across the world, essentially representing a global knowledge commons. They have coalesced into networks and communities of practice at regional and national levels, and are working at the global level through COAR to ensure interoperability and improve repository platforms so they can expose content in more flexible ways and develop  services that support scholarly communication, such as peer review, metrics and researchers’ profiles. To prevent the further takeover of the knowledge commons by corporate interests, we must intensify and build on these early efforts to greatly improve the functionality of our systems, raise awareness of their value, and better support the needs of the research community.

Given our shared values and mission, we call on the scholarly community to work together to support and contribute to a system that is truly open, functional, and driven by the needs of the research community.

One of COAR’s major objectives for 2016-17 is to identify the core functionalities for the next generation of repositories, as well as the architectures and technologies required to implement them; and to work with the repository community to help adopt these functionalities. We also aim to create a global standard for repositories that establishes repositories as a central place for the daily research and dissemination activities of researchers.

Please let us know if you are interested in this activity. We are looking for ways to bring in broader participation.