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Judy Ruttenberg Talks with Library Journal about SHARE and Institutional Repository Interoperability

Judy Ruttenberg

In his May 31, 2016, Library Journal article, “Green OA and the Interoperability of Institutional Repositories,” John Parsons interviews Association of Research Libraries program director Judy Ruttenberg about how SHARE is “mapping the metadata muddle” to facilitate finding related research across repositories. The “green” open access (OA) model is based on authors and researchers archiving their own work in open access repositories, which use a variety of metadata protocols to describe and index their records. Parsons notes, “While many data providers are OAI-PMH compliant, the adherence to this protocol at the individual record level is inconsistent.”

Such inconsistent metadata makes it difficult to find research on a particular topic or by a particular researcher across multiple repositories. However, Parsons says, “That appears to be changing. The SHARE initiative has taken on the challenge of establishing a common set of descriptors, and a common data structure to support them.” Ruttenberg explains that SHARE is harvesting metadata from more than 100 providers—most of which are repositories—to build a free, open, data set about research and scholarly activities across their life cycle. She says, “At our upcoming Community Meeting, we’ll be launching a new program on shared curation that will involve librarians and data professionals working directly to enhance this metadata. Of course at scale we will need to automate as much as we can with machine learning and statistical data cleaning.”

Ruttenberg is optimistic about SHARE’s future. Given the initiative’s ambitious goal of making research widely accessible, discoverable, and reusable in the context of the current “metadata muddle,” she concludes, “SHARE is the kind of challenge we need the entire community to embrace and invest in—in order for it to succeed.”


SHARE is a higher education initiative whose mission is to maximize research impact by making research widely accessible, discoverable, and reusable. To fulfill this mission SHARE is building a free, open data set about research and scholarly activities across their life cycle. The initiative is led by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Center for Open Science (COS) with the support of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). SHARE is underwritten, in part, by generous funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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