About COAR

1. What is the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR)?

COAR is a young association which unites organisations from across the world. Its core mission is to enhance greater visibility and application of research outputs through global networks of Open Access digital repositories. Moreover, COAR aims to enable every citizen in the world to get access to – and be able to benefit from – knowledge produced from publicly-funded research.

2. How was COAR started?

The idea of COAR dates back to the European DRIVER project (Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for Europe, http://www.driver-repository.eu), funded by the European Commission from 2005-2009. During the project, a consultation process revealed the need for an organisational model involving institutions and organisations representing the international repository community. Therefore, COAR was founded in September 2009 in order to facilitate a global repository Community of Practice and a world-wide virtual repository network.

3. What are the main objectives of COAR?

  • Enhance the visibility of research outputs through OA repositories.
  • Lobby for repositories, their networks, and repository-based e-Infrastructures at the national and international levels.
  • Identify and promote strategies to fill repositories with content and facilitate agreements with publishers.
  • Work closely with the repository community towards repository standardization and interoperability.
  • Provide professional advice and networking opportunities for repository managers and practitioners.

4. What are the main benefits of membership in COAR?

COAR offers many benefits to its members and partners,

  • Your institution will be part of the largest unique network of major institutions and organizations worldwide related to open access repositories. Members benefit from a stimulating community of international leaders in their field in an atmosphere of intense, close and fruitful exchange of expertise and sharing of best practice experiences.
  • The profile of your institution will be enhanced, and your events will be promoted, through the COAR Newsletter, COAR website and social network mechanisms, and the COAR members mailing list.
  • Advanced institutions will benefit from the COAR network to make their achievements, platforms, or services widely known to the global community.
  • Institutions in a set-up or consolidation phase will have access to practical advice both in technical and policy related issues.
  • COAR membership can bring significant time and cost savings because of reduced staff efforts at the institutional, national and regional level (e.g. for system & technology market analysis, implementation advice, etc.)
  • Institutions will stay up-to-date with future developments through the recently established COAR Repository Observatory, briefing papers, studies on best practices and roadmaps.
  • At the same time, institutions will be able to contribute to strategic developments in the repository community by participating in international groups with specific objectives like data management, usage data/metrics, interoperability with CRIS´s, persistent identifiers, and development of value added services on top of repositories.
  • COAR actively promotes the role of repositories within the broader scholarly ecosystem and works with other actors to ensure alignment of services and infrastructure globally. Find out more!

5. Where is COAR represented?

COAR represents over 100 institutions from 35 countries from throughout Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and North America.

6. How is COAR governed?

COAR is managed by an Executive Board, supported by the Executive Director and the COAR Office. Further information can be found in COAR’s statutes (https://www.coar-repositories.org/about-coar/articles-of-association/).

7. How is COAR financed?

COAR is financed through membership fees, grants, sponsorships and in-kind membership contributions.


COAR’s Activities

8. How can I contribute to the activities of COAR?

COAR is interested in collaboration with institutions and organizations which share its mission and goals. Please explore COAR’s website to learn more about current activities of our working groups and get in touch with us to discuss further opportunities for collaboration.

9. How do I join a working group?

Becoming a member of COAR’s working groups is restricted to members and partners. Of these, anyone who is interested and would like to commit some time is welcome and can join at any time. Please contact the COAR Office at office[at]coar-repositories[dot]org to volunteer to join a working group.

10. How can COAR help in regional, national or local advocacy?

COAR facilitates sharing of experiences with members and partners and provides further support measures depending on their needs and availability of resources.

11. What is COAR proposing to improve interoperability of repositories?

COAR’s current interoperability project aims at developing a Roadmap for Global Open Access Repository Interoperability. This roadmap will provide guidance for supporting services such as usage statistics, grant reporting, citation analysis through repository interoperability standards, protocols, and guidelines.


Joining COAR

12. How can my institution join COAR?

Full membership is open to any legal entity comprising not-for-profit institutions of higher education, research, infrastructure and technology. Full members are obliged to pay regular membership fees.

13. What membership types are available?

The Association has full single members, consortium members and partners. The basic principle is simply one institution = one full membership. If you want to join as consortium please contact the office about your possibilities.

All members and partners subscribe to the aims of the Association.
For further information please consult

14. What are the annual membership fees?

Please consult our Membership Fee Regulations https://www.coar-repositories.org/about/join/membership-fee-regulations/.

15. Who can become a partner of COAR?

Partnership is open to institutions engaged in activities that are to a notable extent related to the mission and aims of COAR. As membership is primarily  to non-for-profit organisations, private companies are invited to become partners of COAR.

16. Where can I get more information about membership/fees/services etc.?