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International Accord Strengthens Ties between Repository Networks Worldwide

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On May 8, 2017, several regional and national repository networks and stakeholder groups, including the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), formally endorsed an international accord that will lead to the greater alignment of repository networks around the world. The aim of the accord is to improve cooperation between national and regional repository networks by identifying common principles and areas of collaboration that will lead to the development of global services. The accord was developed by COAR, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories, a global organization of which ARL is a member.

Repositories play a fundamental and expanding role in supporting open access and open science, and there are thousands of repositories deployed around the world that provide access to research articles, data, and other types of content. Increasingly, these repositories are connected through regional and national repository networks that define standards for their communities and offer valuable services on top of repository content. However, given the international nature of research, it is critical that these repository networks work together to ensure they are interoperable, while also supporting the unique needs of their local communities.

The international accord will foster closer relationships between the regional networks and act as a framework for undertaking specific activities including metadata exchange across networks, the adoption of common standards and application programming interfaces (APIs), and implementation of common functionalities. The accord was signed by network and stakeholder representatives from Australasia, Canada, China, Europe, Latin America, Japan, South Africa, and the United States.

“We share a common vision of a distributed, community-based open science infrastructure around the world,” says Eloy Rodrigues, chairman of COAR. “But to achieve this vision, we need to work together.” In the coming weeks, COAR, along with the signatories, will work to define the various levels of collaboration, with the long-term goal of positioning repositories as the foundation of a global knowledge commons.

The accord is available on the COAR website: https://www.coar-repositories.org/activities/advocacy-leadership/aligning-repository-networks-across-regions/

For more information, contact Kathleen Shearer, executive director of COAR and partnership consultant to ARL, office@coar-repositories.org.

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 123 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.

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