Repository Infrastructure Initiatives Agree to Align Networks

Group photo of people from the Aligning Repository Networks meeting
Aligning Repository Networks meeting, image © COAR

In a meeting in Rome, Italy, on March 20–21, 2014, representatives from several major regional repository networks came together to develop a strategy to better align their activities. The meeting convened delegates from Australia, Canada, China, Europe, Latin America, and the United States, including representatives from AOASG (Australian Open Access Support Group), CARL (Canadian Association of Research Libraries), COAR (Confederation of Open Access Repositories), LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche), the National Science Library of Chinese Academy of Sciences, OpenAIRE (Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe), and SHARE (SHared Access Research Ecosystem).

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 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. The networks 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 among them, greatly improve access to content across regions, and allow society to extract maximum value from the products of research. “This is a significant step forward for all regions,” said Norbert Lossau, vice-president of Göttingen University, chair of the meeting, and COAR chairman. “This agreement 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 COAR, an international alliance of repository initiatives.

For a list of meeting participants, see the March 25 COAR news release, “Communiqué: Major Repository Infrastructure Initiatives Agree to Align Their Networks.”

Update July 17, 2014: View/download the final report from this meeting (PDF).

The SHared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE) is a higher education and research community initiative to ensure the preservation of, access to, and reuse of research outputs. SHARE will develop solutions that capitalize on the compelling interest shared by researchers, libraries, universities, funding agencies, and other key stakeholders to maximize research impact, today and in the future. SHARE aims to make the inventory of research assets more discoverable and more accessible, and to enable the research community to build upon these assets in creative and productive ways. SHARE is a collaborative initiative among the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of American Universities, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. SHARE is on the web at

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 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