Costa Rica launches national open access repository

From Central America comes good news for the whole community of open access repositories in Latin America. It was officially launched last March 8th, at the University of Costa Rica (UCR), the Costa Rican National Repository, called Kímuk, a tool promoted by the National Council of Rectors (CONARE) and supported by LA Referencia, which aims to provide online access to the academic and scientific production in that country.

 In its first stage, the Costa Rican repository gathers four state universities that are responsible for 70% of the academic and scientific production in the country. Kímuk, indigenous word that means cooperation, has 32.480 documents including articles, theses and reports. The goal, now, is to add other institutional repositories to further strengthen the platform.

 For M.Sc. Saray Córdoba Gonzalez, representative of the UCR in the Subcommittee for the Improvement of Scientific Journals and Repositories of Costa Rican public universities of CONARE, and one of the promoters of the project, the participation of researchers is as important as the inclusion of repositories of other institutions. “It is essential that each researcher send a copy of their work to their institutional repository; both to reflect their work at the national level through the Kímuk as well as to facilitate the integration of this information into other services in development, such as the national register of researchers and the resumes generated at the institutional level.”

 Meanwhile, Alberto Cabezas, executive secretary of LA Referencia, considered this step of Costa Rica as very important because it means advancing the regional cooperation in order to give visibility to the scientific production of the region. “It shows results of technology transfer and cooperation, following the interoperability agreements that this network has adopted, which derive from the OpenAIRE guidelines. This allows us to build a platform of repositories between Latin America and Europe to support free access to research results. “

 Currently, Costa Rica has the status of observer in the regional network and its entry is expected to be formalized in 2016. To reach it, “CONARE member universities have created the conditions of technological infrastructure, providing the qualified human resources and intellectual efforts that characterize them, to offer them to the country with interest in contributing to the development of national research”, concludes Saray Córdoba.

 As noted in the site, each institution undertakes to adapt the configuration of their institutional repository “so that it is consistent with the guidelines of the National Repository, Kímuk, which are based on the OpenAIRE guidelines for literature repositories” and the recommendations of LA Referencia.

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Promover el conocimiento abierto y la información abierta: estado actual de Repositorios

Este informe presenta una visión general del panorama internacional sobre acceso abierto y repositorios. El documento ha sido elaborado por COAR en nombre de Aligning Repository Networks Committee, un grupo de representantes de alto nivel de las redes de repositorios de todo el mundo. Durante los últimos 20 años, los repositorios de acceso abierto se han implementado en todo el mundo y están presentes en en todas las regiones. Los repositorios proporcionan acceso abierto (OA) para buscar y encontrar publicaciones y otros materiales, y de este modo permitir la gestión local y la preservación de los productos de la investigación. Son un componente fundamental de la infraestructura clave de apoyo al creciente número de políticas y leyes de acceso abierto, la mayoría de ellos recomiendan o exigen el depósito de los artículos en un repositorio OA. Los repositorios OA funcionan de una forma federada interconectándose a través de las redes temáticas, nacionales y regionales. A su vez, estas redes regionales y nacionales están alineando aún más sus prácticas a nivel mundial a través de la Iniciativa Aligning Repository Networks Initiative (COAR), haciendo sus colecciones más valiosas ya que permiten añadir más valor a las colecciones teniendo juntos sus contenidos. Estos servicios incluyen el seguimiento de los resultados de la investigación para los financiadores y administradores de investigación, permiten supervisar el uso de las publicaciones, facilitan el acceso al texto completo y la explotación de los datos, así como servicios alternativos de superposición a los procesos de revisión por pares. Fundamentalmente, los repositorios representan un modelo distribuido y participativo en el que las instituciones gestionan el contenido a nivel local lo que está contribuyendo a crear las bases del conocimiento global a través de la adopción de estándares abiertos comunes. Los sistemas distribuidos, tales como una red global de repositorios, tienen una sostenibilidad inherente, aumentan la resistencia de las infraestructuras y fomentan la innovación y la flexibilidad social e institucional. También permiten que la comunidad de investigación tenga cierta influencia sobre el sistema de comunicación científica. Con un número cada vez mayor de organismos de financiación, la adopción de políticas científicas abiertas en muchas ocasiones depende de la infraestructura de repositorio para la adhesión a las políticas de acceso abierto y, es fundamental que las comunidades de repositorio y organismos financiadores estrechen lazos y encuentren mecanismos para entablar un diálogo regular. Además, teniendo en cuenta que existen diferentes enfoques entre regiones en términos de políticas e infraestructuras, es importante que las perspectivas de diversidad sean considerados como colectivas. COAR, y sus miembros y socios, dan la bienvenida a un nuevo debate para trazar el rumbo hacia un futuro sostenible y dinámico de la comunicación académica.

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Major international associations reaffirm their support for immediate open access to research articles

On the occasion of Open Access Week, COAR and other international associations are reaffirming their support for immediate open access to research results.

As organizations committed to the principle that access to information advances discovery, accelerates innovation and improves education, we endorse the policies and practices that enable Open Access – immediate, barrier free access to and reuse of scholarly articles.

Policies that promote Open Access are increasingly being adopted world wide by research funders, academic institutions and national governments in order to improve the use and value of scholarly research. We fully support such policies and the dual avenues for implementing them: open access repositories and open access journals. These policies play an important role in creating an environment where our collective investments in research can be maximized for the benefit of the public, and for society at large.

Many policies have employed the use of embargo periods – delayed access to research articles for a short period of time to help protect publishers’ subscription revenue as they shift to new business models. We consider the use of embargo periods as an acceptable transitional mechanism to help facilitate a wholesale shift towards Open Access. However, embargo periods dilute the benefits of open access policies and we believe that, if they are adopted, they should be no more than 6 months for the life and physical sciences, 12 months for social sciences and humanities.  We further believe that mechanisms for reducing – or eliminating – embargo periods should be included in any Open Access policy.

Any delay in the open availability of research articles curtails scientific progress and stifles innovation, and places unnecessary constraints in delivering the benefits of research back to the public.

We urge all organizations and individuals that support immediate open access to endorse the statement available here.

Numerous associations and institutions from around the world have already lent their support to this statement.

Current signatories are:

  • COAR: Confederation of Open Access Repositories
  • EIFL: Electronic Information for Libraries
  • LIBER: Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries
  • National Science Library, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • OpenAIRE: Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe
  • SPARC: Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation, USA
  • Research Libraries of the United Kingdom
  • Coaliton for Action “Copyright for Education and Research” (Aktionsbündnis “Urheberrecht für Bildung und Wissenschaft”), Germany
  • Australian National University
  • AOASG: Australian Open Access Support Group
  • INRIA: Institut national de recherche en informatique et en automatique, France
  • NEREUS: Network of European Libraries in Economics and Social Sciences
  • Carnegie Mellon University, USA
  • Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, USA
  • SPARC Europe
  • CLASCO: Latin America Council of Social Sciences

For more information, please contact:

Kathleen Shearer
Executive Director, COAR
Skype: kathleen.shearer2
+1 514 847 9068

COAR, CASRAI and regional repository networks launch international group to improve interoperability

Open access (OA) repositories are key components of the research infrastructure. They provide open access to the products of research and reflect an emerging commitment by research institutions towards the stewardship of the research outputs. Repositories are also becoming an important source of administrative information for governments, funding agencies and for tracking research outputs and assessing the impact of the research they support.

Science is an increasingly global, distributed and cross-disciplinary endeavor. Repository infrastructures, therefore, should mirror the needs of the research community and enable researchers, regardless of location or disciplinary practice, to access research outputs worldwide. All efforts should be made to avoid silos, which act as barriers to the usability of content.

Over the past several years, a number of regional and national OA repository networks have emerged. These networks have been developed to fulfill different requirements and they have adopted a variety of metadata standards and vocabularies. Greater interoperability across networks will improve discovery and enable the development of more sophisticated cross-repository services such as usage statistics or content analysis by text mining. In addition, a shared understanding and common approaches to vocabularies and metadata will provide uniform information to governments and funding agencies about the products of funded research, and build confidence with users and stakeholders.

This international, multi-stakeholder working group will develop a strategy to ensure greater interoperability across repository networks and other platforms. The Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) will be the convener of the working group, and CASRAI will facilitate the process of developing the strategy. Members of the working group will be representatives from major regional repository networks, EuroCRIS and CASRAI and will be committed to adopting the outcomes.

In order to ensure input from all relevant stakeholders, a review circle will be formed to consult with the broader community at major milestones. The group will commence its work in Oct 2014 via a mix of teleconference and online collaboration tools.

For more information, please contact Kathleen Shearer, Executive Director of COAR:

Stepping up Open Science: Combining infrastructures, incentives and active support

Joint Statement by OpenAIRE and COAR on the European Commission’s Science2.0 consultation

30 September 2014


  • Both initiatives are highly supportive of a move to a more open scientific environment and opening up all research outputs.
  • We believe that this will be facilitated by providing relevant e-infrastructures, to provide global collaborative environments across disciplines, as well as contextualised research.
  • The position of the institution is pivotal for the future of science: it can provide the local infrastructure, such as repositories, and can leverage existing skills in its workforce to understand and support the changing needs of researchers in a move to an open environment.


OpenAIRE and COAR welcome the European Commission’s consultation on Science 2.0. This consultation signifies a new phase of scientific practice and organisation, and, as such, gathering input from a wide range of stakeholders is a critical step. We particularly welcome the acknowledgement in the background document to the Science 2.0 Consultation that open access needs to be considered within a broader context, and integrated into researchers’ workflows and careers: open access to research should be the very foundation of Science 2.0 or ‘Open Science’. Also welcomed is the evident support for the sharing of data as the way forward to realising a more flexible and transparent means of supporting science. While policies will help in this regard, we recognise that there needs to be a careful balance between enforcing top down policies, and the need to be sensitive to the needs of different contexts, disciplines and bottom-up practices. However, the European Commission can play a vital role in incentivizing good practice, monitoring policy implementation, and making sure that national policies align.

Who we are:

OpenAIRE is the European infrastructure for European open scientific research. It fully supports Open Science, and one of its principal activities is to gather the open output of European funded research and provides open access to millions of research records via its portal, building on institutional, national and disciplinary infrastructures. OpenAIRE consists of a wide network of research institutions, libraries, funders and publishers enabling it to provide a wide range of services to different stakeholders via its technical architecture. The possibility to do this is enhanced by its global approach to standards and interoperability to ensure streamlined data exchange via a wide range of data providers.

COAR is an organization that promotes Open Science and the greater visibility of research outputs through a global network of repositories. COAR works with institutions and regions around the world to ensure global interoperability and develop best practices in terms of policies, standards and practices. The European Commission has played a leadership role in terms of Open access and Open Science, through investment in infrastructure and adoption of policies. The EC’s activities in this area have greatly assisted other regions in moving forward, by demonstrating the value and feasibility of open access.

Our Recommendations:
We jointly recommend the advancement of incentives, support and e-infrastructures for Open Science through the following measures:

  1. Infrastructures to support policies: Science 2.0 will change the nature of scientific practice in new ways, therefore infrastructures and tools need to be in place to facilitate collaborative and shared working environments, seamless literature-data integration, open peer-review, access cross-disciplinary resources. The EC must continue to support research infrastructures, and their integration at institutional, national and international levels. These infrastructures can be cross-disciplinary or specific to a particular area and can integrate disciplinary and institutional repositories, as well as research information systems. Large robust, structured infrastructures, which implement established and open standards and support data curation, are essential in supporting open scholarship across disciplines by reducing barriers to sharing. By facilitating the contextualising of research, such as data-literature linking, new research components from many stakeholders in society will be connected, and facilitate broadening up to new players, pushing new standards and ways of collaboration.
  2. Open access to research results: All types of research output (publications, research data, software, scientific workflows and processes) should be made as open as possible in order to further science, support international research, improve efficiency and innovation, and increase potential societal benefits. Policies should ensure that researchers deposit their publications into open access repositories (institutional or disciplinary), regardless of whether they have been published in an open access journal or not. Underlying and other data should be carefully managed throughout its lifecycle and be made available in a timely fashion via a repository. Researchers should be empowered to make their outputs available in open access, whether or not they choose to publish in open access journals or subscription-based journals e.g. by the ability to retain copyright over their work. Open access embargos, if specified by the publisher, should not exceed those set by the European Commission’s open access mandate.
  3. Institutions’ role in Open Science: Institutions, working with other stakeholders, will play a pivotal future role in developing sustainable infrastructures and services, as well as looking outward to harness new solutions, and drive change. Future roles are as follows:
  4. Open access to publications (OA): Institutions play a key role in ensuring successful implementation of open access through raising awareness of open access and promotion of the various mechanism for open access, including open access repositories, and assisting with publication in open access journals.
    • Research information and monitoring: Accounting for institutional output and gathering of research records including links to funding streams, and providing access to these records for harvesting. Monitoring the quality of services and the resources used to publish in open access journals.
    • Open Science in practice: Institutions should provide both the tools and training that researchers require for the practice of Open Science. Innovative and targeted services for publishing, peer review, content analysis, use and reuse should be developed in consultation with research groups. In addition, professionals in the library and research information world are well-placed to harness and proffer support in rapidly changing research environments, such as changing attitudes towards traditional reward systems.
    • Advocacy & incentivisation: It is important that awareness raising at all levels of the institution (from young researchers to senior leadership) of the benefits of Open Science takes place in parallel with the development of tools and service and that incentives and recognition for excellence in Open Science are put in place.
    • Research data: Institutions can support research data management (RDM) via training, providing support for researchers around good practice, and the development and implementation of RDM services such as collecting, providing access and preserving research data. Research data roadmaps which take into account the evolving nature of research data management requirements across the disciplines help institutions map out their roles and responsibilities.
    • Communicating science: The output of research represents huge value for the wider community and citizen science in terms of innovation, effect on society and new concepts across many disciplines. Communicating the impact of what these results mean to the layperson or citizen scientist would serve to make science a more open and integral part of our culture for future generations.
  5. Policy support for open licenses: It is hugely important that Open Science is underpinned by legal clarity. Simple and interoperable open licences are a key tool for achieving this. We encourage research funders and policy makers to issue guidance to researchers encouraging the use of open licences that are interoperable and will maximise the possibility of use and reuse, such as the widely used and internationally recognised CC-BY (for publications) and CC0 (for data) licences. We strongly discourage the development of new open access licence solutions in situations where no strong need or gap has been identified. To further augment legal clarity the harmonisation of IP laws across the EU and internationally should be a priority.
  6. Support for further exploration of alternative metrics: We welcome a move forward in this area, including further investigation into alternative forms of metrics and their benefits and disadvantages for determining quality, and measuring and rewarding research. Future priorities in this area should include standardisation of article-level metrics and research into indicators for measuring the use, re-use and societal impact of research outputs. Renewing the current system of impact factors is highly undesirable as they do not accurately represent quality of research and inherently disadvantage researchers in some fields and some regions.
  7. Text and data mining (TDM): TDM is a manifestation of the types of innovative research methods that can be supported by Open Science. It has the potential to make science more efficient, innovative and transparent. There is now clear evidence that Europe is falling behind its international competitors in TDM based research. Access to content, awareness raising and development of skills are key to addressing this gap. The introduction of a mandatory exception to allow anyone to use computers to analyse anything they have legal access is also essential to realising the full potential of Open Science. It will support both science and innovation and ultimately will benefit the European economy.
  8. Policy-driven support for interoperability: As infrastructure develops, so too should global policies which ensure that all information can be seamlessly shared and research results re-used. The consultation document mentions the global nature of science, therefore requires global standards, e.g. naming conventions, metadata schema, and global agreements regarding intellectual property.
  9. Standardisation of funding information: This will simplify the research reporting process and help the move to measuring research impact. OpenAIRE recommends as follows:
    • a common schema that can be used for any funder, programme, grant Id
    • encoding of funding information should be standardized in the metadata

Göttingen, Germany, September 2014

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