ORWG Update – June 2021

The CARL Open Repositories Working Group (ORWG) currently has three core task groups involved in a range of  activities. Over the past year, these task groups have been active in organizing webinars and community calls, advancing OpenAIRE compliance and infrastructure in Canada, as well as envisioning improvements to the repository landscape for Canada.

OpenAire Task Group

From August till now, the OpenAIRE Task Group (OTG) has focused its effort on working with OpenAIRE to answer remaining questions around metadata, organization, validation process and harvesting issues. The pilot phase conducted throughout 2020 is now finished, with the National Research Council (NRC) digital repositories, the Eprint repository at Concordia (Spectrum) and the DSpace repository at Queen’s (QSpace) having become compliant with OpenAIRE Literature Repository Guidelines V4 and being actively harvested into the OpenAIRE platform. All Portage FRDR metadata are also compliant with OpenAIRE Data Repository Guidelines and are being harvested. A Canadian portal within OpenAIRE, which allows for narrowing of results according to funding agency, was released by OpenAIRE in beta version in fall 2020.

Based on feedback from the pilot and discussions with OpenAIRE, the OTG has developed extensive documentation to share with the Canadian repository community to guide them on having their repository contents represented in OpenAIRE. This documentation will soon be available as part of the “CARL Collaboration with OpenAIRE” project pages on the CARL website.

Finally, the OTG continues to engage with the Canadian Tri-agency funders. OTG members have presented the OpenAIRE Explore service to them, including providing data comparisons between Web of Science and OpenAIRE.

Task Group for Community-Building and Engagement

The Community Building & Engagement Task Group held several successful community calls since the last ORWG update in 2020, including:

  • Repository work during the pandemic: new roles for stuff in unusual times (link)
  • DSpace Anonymous, a gathering of Canadian DSpace users (link)
  • Current Approaches to Collecting, Managing, and Preserving Electronic Theses and Dissertations (our very first community call held in both English and French) (link)
  • Update on the CARL-OpenAIRE Project for Repository Managers (link)
  • Google Scholar Indexing for Repositories: Best Practices and Fixes for Common Indexing Problems (link)

Participants from across Canada have expressed that they value these opportunities to connect with other repository staff and troubleshoot common problems together. Despite the great number of virtual meetings and webinars in our calendars, the task group is grateful to everyone who makes time to come to our community calls and contribute to our individual and collective sustainability.

The task group continues to work alongside the OpenAIRE Task Group to develop effective stakeholder communications for repository managers and research leaders alike. The Taskgroup anticipates continuing community calls on various topics of interest to the repository community starting in fall 2021, including a likely collaboration with the OER community on topics of overlapping interest to both groups.

Task Group on Mapping the Repository Landscape

This group has spent a good part of this year working toward developing a better understanding of the shared repository landscape in Canada. Several task group meetings have been devoted to reflecting on key considerations for future development in this area. The full ORWG has also participated in discussions to help better understand the needs and concerns of the community. This work has formed the foundation of a position paper that presents possible next steps for developing shared repository infrastructure in Canada. The draft is now near completion, and after another round of consultations and edits, will be released in coming months.

This report was prepared by Jessica Lange on behalf of the ORWG.