SHARE Update, May 2017

In This Issue

SHARE Stakeholders Convene at Association of Research Libraries Spring Meeting

At the spring 2017 meeting of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in Philadelphia, a small group of ARL member representatives and several guests discussed SHARE’s transition to a self-supporting community initiative. Designees from eight libraries, on behalf of their institutions, will form SHARE’s new Stakeholder Committee, replacing the former Advisory Board that guided the project during its initial, grant-supported phases. In order to successfully transition to community support, SHARE leaders explained at the meeting, institutions need to derive local value from SHARE’s open source tools and the open data the initiative aggregates, links, and enhances.

The meeting focused on two incentives, in particular, for libraries to invest in SHARE in order to derive that local value from a public good. The first incentive is SHARE’s Curation Associates program, a pilot cohort initiative that concludes in July of this year. More than 30 library and archives professionals, from such organizational units as metadata, repositories, digital initiatives, and scholarly communication, are participating in the pilot. The associates have participated in virtual and in-person skills labs, including data curation, web scraping, querying the SHARE application programming interface (API), and using tools like Open Refine and simple Python scripts to enhance the metadata in their own repositories. The Curation Associates program aims to teach participants new skills and improve their local curation practices, which provides downstream benefits to SHARE and other services to whom the libraries provide data. Attendees of the May ARL meeting agreed that this program has already demonstrated local benefit and should continue.

The second incentive for libraries to invest in SHARE is the development of an Institutional Research Activity Dashboard, currently in prototype as TritonSHARE at UC San Diego. The dashboard is built on the open SHARE data set, its open source software, and its API and provides a visualization layer on top of SHARE that queries the database for any research outputs related to UC San Diego (UCSD). This leaves librarians and technologists at UCSD with a formidable but tractable challenge, which is to gather structured data about people at the institution (name, title, department, e.g.) and link it to the aggregated metadata about research output already harvested by SHARE from key repositories and registries. Strong person and institution identifiers are not widely used but are the key to telling strong stories at the institutional level—stories about the institution’s research strengths and current activities. Over the next months, the SHARE team will work closely with UC San Diego to document the processes they are using to gather institutional data and identifiers so that those processes can be replicated by others for their local benefit, and for the quality of SHARE’s database writ large.

The SHARE Stakeholder Committee, chaired by Tyler Walters, dean of university libraries at Virginia Tech, will formally launch in a virtual meeting at the end of May. Participating institutions include The George Washington University, The Ohio State University, UC San Diego, University of Goettingen, University of Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Washington University in St. Louis, and Western University. The committee’s small size is both strategic and pragmatic. These institutions have agreed to support SHARE through a variety of flexible modes in order to develop extensible tools and services that anyone can use to derive value from and contribute to SHARE.

D-Lib Magazine Features SHARE

The May/June 2017 issue of D-Lib Magazine includes an article on SHARE’s schema-agnostic approach to aggregating diverse and distributed metadata about scholarship in order to facilitate discovery and innovation. This issue of D-Lib is devoted to projects related to the national digital platform, a framework that the US Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), its grantees, and other stakeholders are using to guide activities and investments in digital infrastructure for libraries and archives. The article about SHARE is authored by the SHARE Operations Team: Cynthia Hudson-Vitale, Rick Johnson, Judy Ruttenberg, and Jeffrey Spies.

The authors note that metadata standards vary widely by discipline or domain, which makes it difficult to discover works that are related to one another across these boundaries. Linking related research across discipline and domain can help make works discoverable in new ways and can help scholars see new connections. It is impractical to ask varied data sources to adopt and implement a common metadata format when the incentives for doing so are low. Instead, SHARE is gathering, standardizing, and linking metadata into an aggregated, open, data set describing a wide range of research outputs.

SHARE’s open data set about diverse types of scholarship is demonstrating the power of a public goods database to inform users of research activity and to foster discovery. The authors conclude, “SHARE is focusing efforts on growing its community of collaborators in order to distribute curation, support, development, and maintenance. Direct collaboration also enables community members to shape solutions like the SHARE data set to best realize their own objectives now and in the future.”

Read the article, “SHARE: Community-focused Infrastructure and a Public Goods, Scholarly Database to Advance Access to Research.”

SHARE on the Road

SHARE representatives and enthusiasts continue to spread the word about uses for SHARE’s free, open, data set that describes and links to research and scholarly activities of all kinds. Check out the SHARE presentations below. Members of the SHARE team would love to talk with you at future events. Please reach out to any of the presenters if you have questions or want more information.

IASSIST 2017: Data in the Middle: The Common Language of Research
Lawrence, Kansas
Tuesday, May 23
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Workshop: “Curation, Collaboration, and Coding—The Secret Sauce for Scholarship Support
Instructors: Megan Potterbusch and Cynthia Hudson-Vitale

Thursday, May 25
4:00 p.m.–5:15 p.m.
Panel session: “Open, Public Goods Infrastructure for Research Management & Discovery
Speakers: Cynthia Hudson-Vitale, Victoria Steeves, and Matthew Spitzer

Texas Conference on Digital Libraries
Austin, Texas
Wednesday, May 24
4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Poster: “SHARE: A Free, Open, Data Set about Research and Scholarly Activities across Their Life Cycle
Presenters: Ashley Adair and Theresa Polk

Learn More about SHARE

There is a wealth of resources to help you better comprehend and communicate the ins and outs of SHARE as we build a free, open, data set about research and scholarly activities across their life cycle:

Flyer about SHARE—to help you spread the word about the SHARE 2.0 discovery interface, the growing SHARE data set, and the opportunity to register as a metadata provider. Please reproduce and distribute this flyer on your campus or at meetings you attend.

Video interview about SHARELibrary Journal‘s Open Access in Action series interviewed Judy Ruttenberg in spring 2016 about the evolution of SHARE, including the initiative’s origins, developmental successes and challenges, and how SHARE fits into the global open access movement.

EDUCAUSE Review article on SHARE—Tyler Walters and Judy Ruttenberg described in 2014 SHARE’s first project, SHARE Notify, as well as the other three layers of SHARE being developed in tandem with the notification service: a distributed content and registry layer, a discovery layer, and a content-aggregation layer that moves beyond curation and discovery to facilitate data and text mining.

SHARE on the Open Science Framework—Technical developments pertaining to SHARE are discussed and tracked in real time on the Open Science Framework. The SHARE Open Science Framework site includes a list of active notification sources and consumers, as well as information regarding prototypes, APIs, and other key issues. The site is open and welcomes public input.


SHARE is supported in part by generous funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

A wide array of stakeholder organizations endorse SHARE’s goals. If you would like to add your organization to our list of stakeholders, please e-mail

Comments, Questions, Conversation

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