COAR is committed to advancing the vision of next generation repositories and supporting the widespread adoption of these technologies and functionalities across the repository community. There is tremendous interest in the community related to the vision of next generation repositories. COAR is helping to advance this vision and also monitoring developments so that we avoid redundancy of efforts.
There are 4 areas of implementation:
1. Promotion and Awareness
COAR is working with members, regional groups and other stakeholders to promote the vision of next generation repositories at relevant conference, meetings and other events.
2. Adoption of NGR technologies into repository platforms
COAR is platform agnostic and encourages the adoption of NGR functionalities in as many repository platforms as possible. COAR’s efforts, however, are focused on supporting the open source community in adopting the NGR recommendations. To that end, COAR has been organizing a number of activities to help the platforms understand the benefits and use cases for the NGR vision, as well as finding resources to help with the implementation of technologies.
On June 6, 2018 COAR held a meeting of open source repository platforms to talk about the implementation of technical recommendations in the The meeting was attended by representatives from several of the open source repository platforms: Dataverse, DSpace, EPrints, Fedora, Invenio, Islandora, and Samvera, as well as members of the COAR Next Generation Repositories Working Group. The discussion focused on two of the technologies/protocols that support many of the behaviours outlined in the report: Resource Sync and Signposting. The meeting was very productive and COAR is following-up with a number of other activities to help the platforms move forward. of next generation repository functionalities.
3. Enhancing network services
There are a number of initiatives underway to pilot next generation repository functionalities. Hubs or networks that build services on top the collective resources in repositories will greatly increase their value. COAR aims to support the adoption of these types of services at the regional and national levels, enhancing existing aggregation and discovery services that already exit. To that end, in May 2018, COAR convened a meeting of repository networks at which NGR use cases and functionalities were presented. The value added services envisioned by NGR fall into 4 categories:
i. Improved discovery
COAR has been working with the major repository networks to promote recommendations and help them adopt NGR functionality at the level of the aggregator networks. One of the technologies recommended in the NGR report, called ResourceSync, will contribute to a number of use cases and promises to greatly improve harvesting functionality. Members of the NGR Editorial Group and several others are working to test and benchmark ResourceSync against OAI-PMH in a range of scenarios. The objective is to perform a quantitative evaluation that could then be used as evidence to convince data providers to adopt ResourceSync. For more information, please read the Petr Knoth’s (CORE) blog post.
ii. Social networking
The CORE recommender system is one example of the types of social networking functionalities envisioned in next generation repositories. According to the CORE blog, the recommender “tracks a user’s preferences when browsing a website and then filters the user’s choices suggesting similar or related items”.
iii. Peer review
In June 2018, a new journal in mathematics was launched by Timothy Gowers and Dan Kral. The journal, called ‘Advances in Combinatorics’, is an overlay journal, built entirely on articles contained in the arXiv repository. It is free to read and will not charge authors to publish. The relatively low costs of running the journal are being covered by Queen’s University Library in Ontario, Canada, which is also providing administrative support. COAR and Queen’s University Library are participating in the launch of this journal because it is a model for overlay services on top of repositories, services which could eventually be generalized beyond arXiv. COAR will be following and documenting the processes involved with this overlay service in order to define how this could be done in a more distributed manner, across a network of repositories.
iv. Standardized usage statistics
There are several regional initiatives looking at standardization of usage statistics including IRUS UK, OpenAIRE, and RAMP. The aim is to have a common approach to measuring usage statistics so that they are comparable for all resources in repositories. Our vision is to support and strengthen regional standardization at the national and regional level, and then work towards interoperability across regions.
4. Monitoring of new technologies
An Editorial Group, made up of a subset of members of the Next Generation Repositories Working Group, continues to monitor new and emerging technologies and will make recommendations when relevant protocols or technologies are considered stable and useful to advancing the NGR vision.