Guest post – Correcting the Record: The Critical Role of OA Repositories in Open Access and Open Science – OASPA

“In response to a recent blog post on the OASPA website authored by several publishers’ representatives, COAR would like to underscore the critical role of Open Access repositories in accelerating innovation in scholarly communications and the adoption of Open Access and Open Science.

OA repositories (referred to as green OA in the blog) are central for achieving equitable open access to research outputs world wide. Many researchers around the world do not have the means to pay OA publishing fees (APCs), nor do their governments or institutions have money for transformational agreements. Justice, equity, and fairness are fundamental principles that need to be respected in the transition to full Open Access.

Furthermore, the notions expressed around the version of record are increasingly extraneous in a web-enabled, dynamic environment where researchers can share preprints immediately, peers can review and comment openly, and articles can be continually updated, amended, and extended – something that can be supported and advanced through the repository route. These types of innovations are on the horizon (for example, see eLife’s recent announcement about moving to a publish then review model). It’s time to move beyond the antiquated notion of the version of record that was developed in the print era….”

Asia OA Community of Practice – COAR

“Asia OA is a special forum hosted by COAR in which members of the Asian open access community can share information, meet each other and build relationships. It has a mailing list and organizes meetings to facilitate greater exchange beyond national boundaries.This community is dedicated to people working in the academic environment based in the Asian region. It celebrates Asian cultural diversity and unique way of doing things….

Asia OA was launched in March 2016 with a meeting hosted by the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo, Japan and has had annual meetings in different Asian countries since then in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2016), Kathmandu, Nepal (2017), Dhaka, Bangladesh (2019), and Seoul, South Korea (virtual 2020)….”

Input to “Data Repository Selection: Criteria that Matter” – COAR

“There has been significant concern expressed in the repository community about the requirements contained in the Data Repository Selection: Criteria that Matter, which sets out a number of criteria for the identification and selection of data repositories that will be used by publishers to guide authors in terms of where they should deposit their data.

COAR agrees that it is important to encourage and support the adoption of best practices in repositories. And there are a number of initiatives looking at requirements for repositories, based on different objectives such as the FAIR Principles, CoreTrustSeal, the TRUST Principles, and the CARE Principles of Indigenous Data Governance. Recently COAR brought together many of these requirements – assessed and validated them with a range of repository types and across regions – resulting in the publication of the COAR Community Framework for Best Practices in Repositories.

However, there is a risk that if repository requirements are set very high or applied strictly, then only a few well-resourced repositories will be able to fully comply. The criteria set out in Data Repository Selection: Criteria that Matter are not currently supported by most domain or generalist data repositories, in particular the dataset-level requirements. If implemented by publishers, this will have a very detrimental effect on the open science ecosystem by concentrating repository services within a few organizations, further exacerbating inequalities in access to services. Additionally, it will introduce bias against some researchers, for example,  researchers who prefer to share their data locally; researchers in the global south; or researchers who want to share their data in a relevant domain repository, so it can be visible to their peers and integrated with other similar datasets….”

COAR, TCC Africa and AfricArXiv sign partnership agreement – AfricArXiv

“We are pleased to announce that the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) and TCC Africa in collaboration with AfricArXiv have signed a partnership agreement focused on strengthening capacity and infrastructure for Open Science in Africa. …

The aim of the partnership is to work together to foster the concept of bibliodiversity through information sharing, capacity building, and advocacy work, as well as enable AfricArXiv to engage with international peers in Africa and globally about best practices and next generation repository functionalities….”

COAR Strategy 2019-2021 and Work Plan 2021

“Underpinning all COAR activities is the notion that a distributed repository network can play a fundamental role in advancing the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in scholarly communications….

Five strategic directions will guide COAR’s activities: 1. Advocate for the role of a sustainable and distributed network of open repositories as the foundation of a global knowledge commons 2. Provide support for the open repository community and build local capacity for the development and management of repositories and repository networks 3. Define and promote alignment and interoperability across repositories, repository networks, and between repositories and other systems and platforms 4. Advance the adoption of new behaviours, technologies and roles for repositories and repository networks 5. Increase the sustainability and effectiveness of the organization and strengthen the COAR brand….

Living Our Values and Principles: Exploring Assessment Strategies for the Scholarly Communication Field | Educopia Institute

“Through the Next Generation Library Publishing project (2019-2022), Educopia Institute, California Digital Library, and Stratos, in close collaboration with COAR, LYRASIS, and Longleaf Services, seek to improve the publishing pathways and choices available to authors, editors, and readers through strengthening, integrating, and scaling up scholarly publishing infrastructures to support library publishers. In addition to building publishing tools and workflows, our team is exploring how to create community hosting models that align explicitly and demonstratively with academic values. 

Living Our Values and Principles: Exploring Assessment Strategies for the Scholarly Communication Field explores the relationship between today’s varied scholarly publishing service providers and the academic values that we believe should guide their work. We begin with a brief definition of the academic mission and then briefly probe how profit motivations have come to dominate the current scholarly publishing marketplace. We consider and analyze how academic players from a range of stakeholder backgrounds have produced a broad range of “values and principles” statements, documents, and manifestos in hopes of recalibrating the scholarly publishing landscape. We contextualize this work within the broader landscape of assessment against values and principles.

Based on our findings, we recommend that academic stakeholders more concretely define their values and principles in terms of measurable actions, so these statements can be readily assessed and audited. We propose a methodology for auditing publishing service providers to ensure adherence to agreed-upon academic values and principles, with the dual goals of helping to guide values-informed decision making by academic stakeholders and encouraging values alignment efforts by infrastructure providers. We also explore ways to structure this assessment framework both to avoid barriers to entry and to discourage the kinds of “gaming the system” activities that so often accompany audits and ranking mechanisms. We close by pointing to work we have recently undertaken: the development of the Values and Principles Framework and Assessment Checklist, which were issued for public comment in July-August, 2020 on CommonPlace (hosted by the Knowledge Futures Group).  …”

OpenDOAR and COAR collaboration

“Jisc and COAR announced their collaboration in October 2020 and will be working closely together on nurturing community governance over OpenDOAR. Our ‘Roadmap for sustainability and community governance for OpenDOAR’ details the plans for this exciting collaboration and the upcoming projects on OpenDOAR’s horizon….”

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….”