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Towards a global knowledge commons

Results of COAR membership survey

In July/August 2018, COAR conducted a survey to better understand the value of the organization and identify priority activities for members in the coming years. This report provides the results of the survey, which will be shared with members and considered carefully by COAR as we revise and update the COAR Strategic Plan 2019-2021 and Work Plan 2019.

Map of respondents: the survey had 59 respondents from 23 countries
(respondents location shown in light green in the map above)

Key Takeaways

  • The three biggest challenges related to repositories are (1) user engagement and getting content deposited, (2) awareness and visibility of repository, and (3) research data management.
  • Members most value COAR for (1) staying up to date with current practices for repositories and (2) strengthening the role of repositories in the scholarly communication/research landscape.
  • Top three COAR activities are (1) next generation repositories, (2) research data management, and (3) interoperability and alignment.
  • 66% of respondents are not involved directly in any COAR activities/working groups.
  • 68% of respondents are satisfied with their levels of interaction with COAR, while 27% would like to be more involved.
  • Members want COAR to continue working at the strategic level, but would also like to have more engagement and pragmatic support for repository operations.
  • Members appreciate and derive significant value from COAR’s regional outreach efforts.

Presentations about ResourceSync

COAR recently hosted a webinar for platform providers about one of the next generation repository technologies, ResourceSync.

The aim was to provide more information about the use cases and rationale for repository platforms to implement ResourceSync into their software.

The webinar included presentations by Martin Klein from Los Alamos National Laboratory (one of the developers of Resourcer Sync) and Petr Knoth (from the CORE aggregator that is using and will benefit from its adoption)

The presentations were recorded and are available here:

Martin Klein:

Petr Knoth:
Slides: and

So far, we know that ResourceSync is already on the roadmap of many of the open source platform providers, but it is important that the benefits of adoption are widely understood.

COAR’s response to Plan S

On September 4, 2018, a coalition of research funders in Europe published Plan S, an ambitious plan to accelerate Open Access in Europe.

COAR welcomes the strong stance taken towards open access by a coalition of 11 European Funders, coordinated by Science Europe as outlined in Plan S and we strongly support the goal of accelerating the transition to open access.

Europe has been one of the leading regions in regards to Open Access and Open Science; nevertheless, it is important to appreciate that the policies and practices adopted in Europe will have an impact on other regions and countries outside of Europe. As such, COAR has three recommendations for these funders as the implementation of Plan S moves forward

  1. Do not restrict the vehicles for providing open access to ‘journals’ and ‘platforms’, but rather develop assessment criteria based on functions, like peer-review and other types of editorial services.
  2. Make use of the existing organized and globally connected repository network to advance Open Access and Open Science across the world.
  3. Be aware and responsive to the significant concerns in other regions and countries about the widespread adoption of the APC model.

COAR’s full response is available here

Peru Repository Workshop

Last week, COAR participated in a training event organized by DuraSpace and CONCYTEC, the Peruvian Council for Science and Technological Information. The aim of the workshop was to help increase expertise for managing repositories at Peruvian universities and was attended by over 130 people, with another 120 people watching it on the live stream.

The event was planned in order to support the Open Access Repository Law in Peru and the increasing integration in that country between repositories and CRIS systems. The program included an overview of the international context for repositories, interoperability, and next generation repositories; a hands-on training session of the DSpace platform; and an introduction to DSpace-CRIS software. The training was delivered by DuraSpace, COAR and 4Science, and will be followed up with a plan for a more active community of practive in Peru around repositories.

The training took place in conjunction with a two-day conference at which COAR also had the opportunity to present our vision for the future of repositories to a large Peruvian audience.

This activity reflects COAR’s increasing emphasis in capacity building for repositories internationally. Although COAR is platform agnostic, we understand that it is important to partner with the major platform providers used in different countries to ensure that we are also addressing and contributing to the local technical expertise.

If you are interested in working with us to develop repository training for your country or region, please get in touch with me.

Kathleen Shearer, COAR Executive Director

Adoption of NGR technologies in repository platforms

On June 6, 2018 COAR held a meeting of open source repository platforms to talk about the implementation of technical recommendations in the COAR Next Generation Repositories Report. The meeting was held in conjunction with the Open Repositories Conference in Bozeman, Montana and 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 group talked about the use cases related to these two technologies, which include improved discovery of repository content, resource transfer, and notifications. Participants exchanged information about progress implementing these technologies, and discussed some of the technical challenges involved, especially with ResourceSync. It is clear that both additional resources, as well as greater community awareness, would help to increase the speed with which the recommendations can be adopted into repository software platforms.

We also talked about how to move forward in developing more robust notification systems across repositories, allowing us to build social networking functionalities into a distributed, global network. This scenario requires the use of interoperable hubs that will collect and push notifications to and from the repositories. It was suggested we could already start with a pilot to test the technologies and begin defining the conceptual model.

There were several outcomes for COAR resulting from these discussions:

  • Work with the platforms to raise awareness of the vision for next generation repositories and expand on the use cases to ensure greater community understanding and buy-in
  • Provide more information to the platforms about the specific technologies that are recommended in the report
  • Help to match funds from interested organizations towards NGR technological developments in the different platforms.
  • Maintain a registry of the implementation of NGR technologies by the different platforms
  • Follow-up on next steps for piloting social networking functionalities

The meeting was very productive and COAR will follow-up on to support the adoption of next generation repository functionalities.