The potential to create a unified body of scholarly materials is reliant on interoperability – specifically, that repositories follow consistent guidelines, protocols, and standards that allow them to communicate with each other and with other systems in order to transfer information, metadata, and digital objects.

Although automation will enable us to reduce our reliance of certain types of metadata (especially as we expand our use of persistent identifiers), there will still be the need for the adoption of some common vocabularies and metadata, especially to support transactional metadata between the networks and the resources.

There has been lots of discussion lately in the community about the adoption of different metadata elements, including some of the COAR Next Generation Repository recommendations, Plan S implementation guidelines, FAIR data recommendations, and a number of discovery/aggregator guidelines (e.g. OpenAIRE, JPCOAR, RIOXX, etc).

COAR wants to help you make sense of these various initiatives; to understand how these requirements align (or differ), and provide guidance to help you determining your priorities for improving the quality of metadata in your repository.

In the coming months, COAR will undertake several activities that will contribute to improving the quality, comprehensiveness and alignment of metadata in repositories internationally. While there are other efforts to improve scholarly metadata, such as metadata2020 and the RDA Metadata Directory, COAR’s activities will specifically target the repository community by working with our members, and regional networks and associations.

As a start, we will identify the existing metadata requirements for repositories currently, compare use cases and elements, and develop materials that will assist you in making decisions about what is right for your repository.

Stay tuned for more information about this activity soon!