ORWG Update – July 2020

The three tasks groups of the CARL Open Repositories Working Group (ORWG) continue to be active in the first half of 2020. In addition to this work (detailed below), an ad hoc group of ORWG members recently launched an initiative to identify, collect, and increase the visibility of Canadian research outputs related to COVID-19. This “ORWG COVID-19 Project” is being led by Kathleen Shearer, and is focused on getting Canadian scholarship related to COVID-19 contained in repositories (and other data providers) to be included in OpenAIRE’s COVID-19 Gateway. The work will also involve liaising with Canada’s federal granting agencies, university research offices, and the research community to identify relevant projects and results from Canadian research institutions. More information will be communicated to Canadian repository managers in the coming weeks.

Task Group for OpenAIRE
The pilot project for OpenAIRE compliance is well underway. DSpace V5 code for compliance has been tested by Queen’s University and tests remain to be done for DSpace V6 (this code is available for all to use). As part of the non-DSpace user pilot, the National Research Council is assessing compliance using the OpenAIRE online validator. Regarding research data, Portage continues to work on compliance and is developing an OAI-PMH endpoint. The issue of funder name curation was also discussed and more specifically, the normalization of funders metadata across repositories in Canada. Collaboration with Canada’s federal granting agencies continues toward this goal. Finally, the task group members also began discussing how to articulate the new ORWG COVID-19 project in conjunction with the larger OpenAIRE Task Group strategies.

Task Group for Community Building & Awareness Raising:
The Community Building & Awareness TG held its first of what they hope to be many community calls in 2020/21. The call held on June 15 was on the topic of “What’s working well in your repository? What are the biggest challenges?” (recording is available here). More than 40 participants attended the 60-minute call and generated lots of great ideas and discussion. The group plans to hold community calls at least once a month over the coming year. They also hope to prepare a short one-pager that summarizes the content of the June 15th call.

In addition to hosting more community calls, the group intends this year to put together a series of impact stories demonstrating the importance of repositories. These stories will highlight the significance and impact of the Canadian repository network to a non-library audience and will act as an advocacy and awareness tool for repository managers and others involved in repository work.

Task Group on Mapping the Repository Landscape
The current landscape in Canada for repositories and related services is fragmented, having evolved organically over many years. There are numerous types of repositories (institutional, data, domain, etc.), different layers of services that interact with repositories and have different functions and objectives (discovery, preservation, research information services, and so on) and these are all managed and funded by many different types of organizations and stakeholder communities. In order to ensure that we are developing an efficient and coherent national approach to open scholarship, with no significant gaps, the community needs to have a better understanding of the current landscape. In response to this need, the Task Group on Mapping the Repository Landscape was struck in January 2020 and has just begun its important work.

The group is currently gathering information from the community about shared repository needs and possibilities and is starting to create an environmental scan of existing models nationally and internationally. From this we will produce a position paper that presents findings that outline shared repository models and describes possible opportunities for consideration in Canada.