In a meeting in Rome on March 20-21, 2014 representatives from several major regional repository networks sat down to develop a strategy to better align their activities. The meeting brought together delegates from Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Latin America and the United States.
As research becomes increasingly global, it is critical to create infrastructure that can connect across geographic boundaries. Recently there have been significant efforts around the world to develop repository networks. These networks represent an important content layer within the research infrastructure system: They provide access to the products of research such as articles, data, and other content to researchers and to the world. They are also becoming an important source of information for governments, funding agencies and institutions about the impact of the research they support.
Regional repository networks have evolved within their specific local contexts and currently differ in a number of ways. Aligning networks will enable the exchange of data between them, greatly improve access to content across regions, and allow us to extract maximum value from the products of research. This is a significant step forward for all regions, says Prof. Norbert Lossau (Vice-President Göttingen University), chair of the meeting and chairman of the Confederation of Open Access Repositories, “it will enable us to identify global best practices and avoid regional silos.
In Rome, delegates identified several key elements that will be addressed immediately and agreed to work together on an ongoing basis on other issues to further align their repositories. It was also established that these activities will take place under the auspices of the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), an international alliance of repository initiatives.