COAR has been making great progress in terms of aligning repository networks over the last several months. You will have likely seen some of the news items related to many of these activities coming over the COAR website.

Most recently came the landmark agreement between OpenAIRE and LA Referencia to adopt common guidelines for their repository networks. Beginning in 2016, the LA Referencia network, representing 8 national nodes of open access repositories in Latin America, will begin to implement the OpenAIRE guidelines. These guidelines define standardized metadata elements and vocabularies for repositories enabling them to expose their content in a common format.

OpenAIRE and LA Referencia represent the two largest and most well-developed regional repository networks, representing about half of the world’s open access repositories. Implementing common guidelines will ensure more seamless integration of those repositories and ultimately improve the discovery of content and allow for the adoption of other value added services across the two networks.

It’s worth noting that Latin America is one of the world’s most progressive regions in terms of open access. In this context, there are three countries that have passed national open access laws (Argentina, Mexico, and Peru) and several other countries that are pursuing legislation. To demonstrate their commitment towards international interoperability, the Mexican government’s science and technology agency, CONACYT (also a COAR member) has recently published a set of technical requirements for all Mexican repositories which include the adoption of the OpenAIRE guidelines.

LA Referencia, as a major adopter of the OpenAIRE guidelines, will become an important contributor to the ongoing development, ensuring that they remain relevant in the Latin American context. COAR is committed to the establishment of a set of truly international guidelines, and is prepared to play an active role in their ongoing maintenance and evolution.

COAR also continues to facilitate other bilateral and multilateral discussions between various national and regional networks to support information exchange and greater harmonization across practices and services. We welcome all communities and regions to participate in these discussions.

See the full report here.