Open science is ushering in a new paradigm for research; one in which all researchers have unprecedented access to the full corpus of research for analysis, text and data mining, and other novel research methods. A prerequisite for achieving this vision is a strong and well-functioning network of repositories that provides human and machine access to the wide range of valuable research outputs. Repositories also support much needed bibliodiversity in the system as they collect a diverse range of content types, domains and languages, and are fundamental for achieving Europe’s desired changes to research evaluation, whereby “assessment of research, researchers and research organisations recognises the diverse outputs, practices and activities that maximise the quality and impact of research”.
Currently, Europe has one of the most well-developed networks globally with hundreds of repositories hosted by universities, research centres, government departments, and not-for-profit organisations. However, there are significant variations across the European repository landscape with differing levels of support and funding; and, while some countries have strong national coordination, others do not. In a practical sense, this means that some repositories have access to the resources they need to provide a well-functioning service, while others find it a challenge to maintain up-to-date software platforms and suitable staffing levels.
For Europe to maintain its position as a global leader in open science, we must ensure there is a strong and sustainable network of open repositories.
To that end, today OpenAIRE, LIBER, SPARC Europe, and COAR are launching a joint strategy aimed at strengthening the European repository network. Through this strategy we are committed to working together – and with other relevant organisations – to develop and execute an action plan that will reinforce and enhance repositories in Europe. As a first step, we will undertake a survey that will enable us to have a better understanding of the current repository landscape and identify priority areas of action. The survey was undertaken in February / March 2023 and results will be available in fall 2023.