The COAR Notify Initiative is developing and accelerating community adoption of a standard, interoperable, and decentralised approach to linking research outputs hosted in the distributed network of repositories with resources from external review services. COAR Notify was launched in 2021, and was awarded a significant grant from Arcadia, a charitable foundation that works to protect nature, preserve cultural heritage and promote open access to knowledge, in 2022. As of June 30, 2023, we marked the end of the first year of the Arcadia-funded project, which has significantly accelerated our progress on several fronts:

First Phase Implementation Partners

Much of the COAR Notify budget is being distributed to our implementation partners to undertake the developments required to use COAR Notify, and this work is well underway with several groups.

“For PCI, the Notify project has initially allowed for a more accurate definition of how to notify evaluations and recommendations of preprints in preprint servers and open archives. These notifications are now in place in the HAL archive and can easily be implemented in any other open archive or preprint server. Since then, the Notify project, in partnership with DIGITAL-CSIC, has enabled us to precisely define the workflow and necessary notifications for authors to submit a preprint directly from the open archive where they deposit it. The development of this workflow is ongoing.”

Peer Community In

Scaling beyond the first phase implementers

Our aim is to have COAR Notify widely available across numerous infrastructures and services in the scholarly ecosystem. A number of our implementing partners are using open source platforms and our aim is to have the COAR Notify technology adopted into the main source code of as many platforms as possible, so that it is widely available. Fortunately, there has been significant interest in adopting COAR Notify with several platforms including Dataverse, DSpace, Invenio, Kotahi, and Open Journals Systems. While timelines vary based on the technology roadmaps for each platform, it is expected that by the end of 2024 most of these systems will be COAR Notify-enabled, making the functionality available to all users of the latest versions of these open source platforms.

The Protocol

The COAR Notify Protocol defines the nature and type of notifications that will allow participating repositories and services to “speak the same language” when exchanging information. Over the last year, the protocol has been well documented, with all information publicly available on the website. In addition, an Editorial Board has been formed to manage the protocol, and an editorial process has been established.

The Validator

We decided to combine two early project deliverables, the validator and the Linked Data Notification (LDN) Inbox, into one implementation. We developed both components and made them openly available to implementation partners in support of their development efforts. The inbox provides a simple interface to which partners can send a notification and the incorporated validator provides real-time feedback on the compliance of the payload to the Notify protocol. With this setup in place,  COAR Notify adopters have a service at their disposal to check that their messages are using the Protocol in compliance with community conventions as defined through the initiative. The service implementation will naturally progress and its functionality will be refined over time with collected feedback from COAR Notify implementation partners. The validator is currently available to implementation partners and will be made public soon.

Next Steps

With our first phase partners, the COAR Notify team has been gaining experience about how best to deploy COAR Notify that will be used to assist with future implementations.  Following the success of the early implementations, we look forward to these first-phase platforms expanding the number and variety of services with whom they interact, as we launch development work with second-phase partners.