COAR Next Generation Repositories: Vision and Objectives

“Vision

To position repositories as the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication, on top of which layers of value added services will be deployed, thereby transforming the system, making it more research-centric, open to and supportive of innovation, while also collectively managed by the scholarly community.

Technical Vision

Our vision rests on making the resource, rather than the repository, the focus of services and infrastructure. Rather than relying on imprecise descriptive metadata to identify entities and the relationships between them, our vision relies on the idea inherent in the Web Architecture, where entities (known as “resources”) are accessible and identified unambiguously by URLs. In this architecture, it is the references which are copied between systems, rather than (as at present) the metadata records. Furthermore we encourage repository developers to automatize the metadata extraction from the actual resources as much as possible to simplify and lower the barrier to the deposit process.

Objectives

  • To achieve a level of cross-repository interoperability by exposing uniform behaviours across repositories that leverage web-friendly technologies and architectures, and by integrating with existing global scholarly infrastructures specifically those aimed at identification of e.g. contributions, research data, contributors, institutions, funders, projects.
  • To encourage the emergence of value added services that use these uniform behaviours to support discovery, access, annotation, real-time curation, sharing, quality assessment, content transfer, analytics, provenance tracing, etc.
  • To help transform the scholarly communication system by emphasizing the benefits of collective, open and distributed management, open content, uniform behaviours, real-time dissemination, and collective innovation. “

Harvard’s DASH for open access – Harvard Gazette (August 2009)

“Harvard took a DASH toward opening access to its scholarship this week (Aug. 31).

DASH stands for Digital Access to Scholarship. It’s an open-access repository of scholarly works administered by the University Library. So far, more than 350 members of the Harvard research community take part, including more than a third of scholars in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS).

“DASH is meant to promote openness in general,” said Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and director of the University Library. “It will make the current scholarship of Harvard’s faculty freely available everywhere in the world.”

He compared DASH to Harvard’s current digitizing of books in its library system, making titles accumulated since the 17th century accessible worldwide.

“These and other projects,” said Darton, “represent a commitment by Harvard to share its intellectual wealth.”

Visitors to DASH can locate, read, and use some of the most up-to-the-minute scholarship Harvard has to offer — more than 1,500 items….

In legal terms, each participating faculty member grants DASH users nonexclusive, irrevocable, paid-up, worldwide license to exercise any and all rights under copyright in any medium, and to authorize others to do the same, provided that the articles are not sold for a profit.

In addition, faculty members are committed to providing copies of their manuscripts for distribution, an action the DASH repository enables.

The policy was written by OSC Director Stuart M. Shieber, Harvard’s James O. Welch Jr. and Virginia B. Welch Professor of Computer Science. It marked a groundbreaking shift from simply encouraging scholars to consider open access to creating a pro-open-access policy with an “opt-out” clause….”

Old Lions Department: Cultural Historian Robert Darnton at 78 | History News Network

“Darnton’s main ambition [as Harvard University Librarian] was to open up the library to the rest of the world and share its intellectual wealth….Several projects started being developed: the digitization of all of Harvard’s collections that concerned North America in the seventeenth and eighteenth century (an enormous amount, 500,000 documents). “It’s gigantic!” Darnton exclaimed.

 

A digital repository was also created – it was called DASH – which contains the scholarship of Harvard professors and is completely free and available to the public. “It’s a way of democratizing access to knowledge and you can do it from a place that has critical leverage like Harvard.”

 

The next step was the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), which began when Darnton invited a group of foundation heads, the heads of libraries, and computer scientists to come to a meeting at Harvard in October 2010 in order to discuss an idea. “Namely, shouldn’t we try to link up all the research libraries in the United States in a digital system that would make their resources available to all the citizens of the United States and the rest of the world?”

In April 2013, the DPLA opened its digital doors, and since then, its exponential growth has produced 18 million objects (books and other things) available free of charge to everyone….”

The Evolving Institutional Repository Landscape

“”To gain insights and gather data on IR operations, we conducted interviews, an open survey, and web research to obtain a snapshot of the current perspective and potential role of IRs in a changing landscape….The Directory of Open Access Repositories (DOAR) in the UK includes various types of repositories, such as disciplinary (e.g., arXiv) and governmental (e.g., NLM). Isolating institutional repositories worldwide shows a total of nearly 3,000 IRs. Data from DOAR indicates that there are 478 IRs in 396 institutions in North America. However, an analysis of clients listed on the websites of five platform providers suggests that there are at least 600 IRs in an estimated 500 organizations in North America….When asked about content migration, 25% indicated that they had plans to migrate in the next one to three years, while more than half of the remaining 75% indicated no plans to migrate at this time….IRs depend on Google for content discovery, and that requires attention to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Fortunately, SEO was the top activity of survey respondents to increase discovery, followed by more traditional library tools, metadata, and open access resources….The leading metric identified by survey respondents was growth over time, which recognizes the effort involved in building this digital collection. Usage metrics on the performance of the repository were followed by a total of items added in the current period….According to survey respondents, deposits were made by librarians at 94% of IRs. Although half of institutions indicate that faculty and students make deposits, it is clear that the majority of content is mediated or deposited by library staff. Nearly half of the institutions have one or less than one equivalent staff working on the IR. The average staff for an IR is one or two people….”

The Evolving Institutional Repository Landscape

“Last year saw a variety of changes in the institutional repository landscape. Download Choice and Informed Strategies’ 2018 report for a snapshot of where institutional repositories stand and perspective on future directions from thought leaders such as Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President and Chief Strategist of the Online Computer Library Center, and Clifford Lynch, Director of the Coalition for Networked Information.”

IRUS-UK

“IRUS-UK (Institutional Repository Usage Statistics UK) is a Jisc-funded national aggregation service, which provides COUNTER-conformant usage statistics for all content downloaded from participating UK institutional repositories (IRs)….

The service consolidates COUNTER-conformant statistics providing opportunities to demonstrate the value and impact of IRs:

  • facilitates comparable, standards-based measurements
  • provides an evidence base for repositories to develop policies and initiatives to help support their objectives
  • provides consistent and comprehensive statistics, presenting opportunities for benchmarking at a national level
  • developing a user community that will ensure that the service is responsive to user requirements….”

Anatomy of green open access – Björk – 2013 – Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology

“Abstract: Open access (OA) is free, unrestricted access to electronic versions of scholarly publications. For peer-reviewed journal articles, there are two main routes to OA: publishing in OA journals (gold OA) or archiving of article copies or manuscripts at other web locations (green OA). This study focuses on summarizing and extending current knowledge about green OA. A synthesis of previous studies indicates that green OA coverage of all published journal articles is approximately 12%, with substantial disciplinary variation. Typically, green OA copies become available after considerable time delays, partly caused by publisher-imposed embargo periods, and partly by author tendencies to archive manuscripts only periodically. Although green OA copies should ideally be archived in proper repositories, a large share is stored on home pages and similar locations, with no assurance of long-term preservation. Often such locations contain exact copies of published articles, which may infringe on the publisher’s exclusive rights. The technical foundation for green OA uploading is becoming increasingly solid largely due to the rapid increase in the number of institutional repositories. The number of articles within the scope of OA mandates, which strongly influence the self-archival rate of articles, is nevertheless still low.”

Open and Shut?: Realising the BOAI vision: Peter Suber’s Advice

Peter Suber’s high-priority recommendations for advancing OA.

The right to share in Open Access

“It can be difficult for researchers to understand what are their author rights, what articles they can archive in Open Access… Fortunately, political decisions are taken across Europe to strongly authorize free dissemination of knowledge. In Belgium, Wallonia-Brussels Federation has presented a decree in order to authorize the Open Access deposit of publicly funded research. Moreover, the federal government plans to propose a bill in this regard in 2018. The preliminary draft decree defining an Open access policy for publicly funded scientific publications in Wallonia-Brussels Federation (FWB) has passed second reading by the FWB government. This preliminary draft decree proposed by the Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Media Jean-Claude Marcourt is intended to allow scientific publications of publicly funded research to be freely shared and disseminated. This takes place in the context of the Open Science movement promoted by the FWB.”

The right to share in Open Access

“It can be difficult for researchers to understand what are their author rights, what articles they can archive in Open Access… Fortunately, political decisions are taken across Europe to strongly authorize free dissemination of knowledge. In Belgium, Wallonia-Brussels Federation has presented a decree in order to authorize the Open Access deposit of publicly funded research. Moreover, the federal government plans to propose a bill in this regard in 2018. The preliminary draft decree defining an Open access policy for publicly funded scientific publications in Wallonia-Brussels Federation (FWB) has passed second reading by the FWB government. This preliminary draft decree proposed by the Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Media Jean-Claude Marcourt is intended to allow scientific publications of publicly funded research to be freely shared and disseminated. This takes place in the context of the Open Science movement promoted by the FWB.”