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SHARE Database Shutting Down While SHARE Services Enter New Phase

University of Notre Dame, CurateND screenshot

In 2013, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), along with the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) launched the SHARE initiative—or Shared Access Research Ecosystem. Funded through grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), SHARE was conceived to network university-based digital repositories in order to facilitate public access to research.

From that initial collaboration among associations, SHARE transitioned into a partnership between ARL and the Center for Open Science (COS) to create a community open-source initiative to develop tools and services to connect related research outputs, allowing new kinds of scholarly discovery. In 2017–2019, the project was also supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to integrate digital humanities (DH) into the scholarly web. ARL wrapped up its involvement with SHARE with the conclusion of that project and the publication of a white paper on DH discovery.

After amassing a database of tens of millions of metadata records over several years, SHARE will be shutting down a portion of its harvesting operation in 2020 and the data set is archived in CurateND (doi:10.7274/r0-0daz-j832), the University of Notre Dame’s institutional repository managed by Hesburgh Libraries. Examples of interacting with the data are also available on Github: https://github.com/ndlib-cds/share-samples. COS will be evaluating the future of SHARE as the index for searching across its popular OSF Preprints and OSF Registries platforms, in hopes of evolving the service to be cost-effective to operate and maintain to meet the constrained scope.

SHARE had the ambitious goal of harvesting metadata from many different repositories into a central index, and interlinking research outputs across the research life cycle with common metadata. Though the task was difficult and the technical work time-consuming, SHARE helped heighten the focus on metadata quality and curation in repositories, and some of the participating repository managers ended up improving their own processes and in turn the interoperability of their services. SHARE, as a community, also helped elevate the importance of open and interoperable scholarly infrastructure as well as open content.

SHARE, the database, preceded a host of promising projects—see “101 Innovations in Scholarly Communications,” for example—that are advancing access to open scholarly content, including Unpaywall for articles or “event data” now incorporated into CrossRef’s services. OpenCitations, “an independent infrastructure organization for open scholarship dedicated to the publication of open bibliographic and citation data,” contains more than 700 million open citations. And COS continues to maintain an index of preprints using SHARE.

Building upon the strong foundation of SHARE, several university libraries and open source developers have continued efforts through projects exploring how SHARE can be a catalyst to produce new tools and services for metadata curation and analytics. Rather than creating a central repository of metadata, these institutions are exploring strategies to harvest a mix of open, proprietary, and institutional data to create reports and visualizations of institutional research activity. “By taking a more targeted approach within the SHARE community, we’re experimenting with solutions designed to directly address metadata and research analytics needs within our local environments, which could potentially be repurposed and applied by others facing similar challenges,” explained Rick Johnson at the University of Notre Dame Hesburgh Libraries. SHARE-red, which uses Internet of Things flow-based programming tools, is a similar recent example of a community-based SHARE research and development initiative.

ARL shares COS’s mission to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of research, and looks forward to future collaboration around open science and open scholarship.


About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise; advances diversity, equity, and inclusion; and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.


About the Center for Open Science

The Center for Open Science (COS) is a non-profit technology and culture change organization founded in 2013 with a mission to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scientific research. COS pursues this mission by building communities around open science practices, supporting metascience research, and developing and maintaining free, open source software tools. The OSF is a web application that provides a solution for the challenges facing researchers who want to pursue open science practices, including: a streamlined ability to manage their work; collaborate with others; discover and be discovered; preregister their studies; and make their code, materials, and data openly accessible.


About the University of Notre Dame Hesburgh Libraries

The Hesburgh Libraries is a diverse system featuring the flagship Hesburgh Library—which houses the Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship, Medieval Institute Library, Rare Books and Special Collections, and University Archives—and four specialty libraries located on the Notre Dame campus. Home to nearly 200 library faculty and staff, the Libraries hold more than 3.5 million monographs and subscribe to more than 35,000 serials. The vast array of expertise, services, resources and spaces help to support teaching, learning and research at Notre Dame. Digital library services include CurateND and the Navari Family Center for Digital Scholarship (NFCDS). The NFCDS offers access to digital scholarship expertise, specialized technology, and technology-enriched spaces to the campus community at critical points throughout their research process and course work. Current research consulting and referral services include: Research Data Management, Data Use and Analysis, Digital Humanities, Geographic Information Systems, Text Mining and Analysis, and Virtual Reality and 3D Modeling.