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Towards a global knowledge commons

Joint statement about open access by COAR and UNESCO

COAR and UNESCO have published a joint statement about open access which outlines some of the concerns around the drive towards APCs. The statement is aimed at policy makers and underscores the need for a variety of OA models to be implemented around the world

“Open access is a global trend, with policies and practices rapidly being adopted around the world. As the world enters a new era of sustainable development, openness and inclusiveness in scientific research will become increasingly critical. While most governments agree on the underlying principles of open access, there is significant diversity in the way countries have approached its implementation. These differences reflect a range of perspectives, values, and priorities of the different regions. Clearly, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to implementing open access.”

The full statement published on May 9, 2016

The statement in English. The UNESCO announcement is available here.

The statement in Chinese.

La declaración en español.

A declaração em português.


New partnership between COAR and GODAN (Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition)

We are pleased to announce a new partnership between COAR and GODAN (Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition) made official at the Annual Meeting in Vienna. Through this partnership, and in conjunction with FAO of United Nations, we will address several issues including raising awareness of open access and open science in relation to sustainable development and promotion of policy adoption for data sharing.

We have also agreed to develop and deliver training for research data management in developing countries.

Please read more about the related work in the current AIMS/FAO newsletter.

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.

This text was originally published on:

Peru launches RENARE, a national network of open access repositories

On March 11, 2016 Peru launched it’s national network for open access repositories, RENARE, which connects 49 institutions and provides access to close to 50,000 publications and datasets. The national network is manage and hosted by CONCYTEC, the Peruvian national council for science, technology and innovation and the launch was organized in conjunction with a conference, V Congreso Internacional de Bibliotecas Universitarias, CIBU 2016. Eloy Rodrigues, COAR chairman, attended the conference and the launch of RENARE and presented the international perspective and COAR’s activities.  CONCYTEC is a member of LA Referencia, the Latin-American network of repositories from nine countries, and member of COAR.


Further information about the meeting in Spanish are available on the website of CONCYTEC.

Landmark agreement between OpenAIRE and LA Referencia on repository aligning

COAR has been making great progress in terms of aligning repository networks over the last several months. You will have likely seen some of the news items related to many of these activities coming over the COAR website.

Most recently came the landmark agreement between OpenAIRE and LA Referencia to adopt common guidelines for their repository networks. Beginning in 2016, the LA Referencia network, representing 8 national nodes of open access repositories in Latin America, will begin to implement the OpenAIRE guidelines. These guidelines define standardized metadata elements and vocabularies for repositories enabling them to expose their content in a common format.

OpenAIRE and LA Referencia represent the two largest and most well-developed regional repository networks, representing about half of the world’s open access repositories. Implementing common guidelines will ensure more seamless integration of those repositories and ultimately improve the discovery of content and allow for the adoption of other value added services across the two networks.

It’s worth noting that Latin America is one of the world’s most progressive regions in terms of open access. In this context, there are three countries that have passed national open access laws (Argentina, Mexico, and Peru) and several other countries that are pursuing legislation. To demonstrate their commitment towards international interoperability, the Mexican government’s science and technology agency, CONACYT (also a COAR member) has recently published a set of technical requirements for all Mexican repositories which include the adoption of the OpenAIRE guidelines.

LA Referencia, as a major adopter of the OpenAIRE guidelines, will become an important contributor to the ongoing development, ensuring that they remain relevant in the Latin American context. COAR is committed to the establishment of a set of truly international guidelines, and is prepared to play an active role in their ongoing maintenance and evolution.

COAR also continues to facilitate other bilateral and multilateral discussions between various national and regional networks to support information exchange and greater harmonization across practices and services. We welcome all communities and regions to participate in these discussions.

See the full report here.