U.S. Repository Network Launches to Meet Critical Research Infrastructure Need
Repositories have long played a critical role in providing equitable access to scholarly outputs, and SPARC is working in partnership with Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) on an initiative to strengthen ties between professionals who operate institutional repositories in the United States.
The goal of the initiative is to create an inclusive community that will collaborate and broaden access to research in ways that are both equitable and sustainable. Nearly 70 representatives from a variety of institutions have stepped forward to help with the effort. The U.S. Repository Network (USRN) held its inaugural steering group meeting in September, organized by SPARC’s Visiting Program Officer Tina Baich and co-chaired by Vicki Coleman of North Carolina A&T State University and Martha Whitehead of Harvard University.
“There is a pressing need to break down the silos and have greater coordination across U.S. repositories,” said Baich, senior associate dean for scholarly communication and content strategies at IUPUI University Library in Indianapolis. “We need shared practices and shared expertise to strengthen the community — and then leverage that strength to enhance our technical infrastructure to promote the interoperability necessary to make research held across U.S. repositories more easily discovered. The community clearly expressed those needs during the vision development process.”
A description of the initiative’s vision, action plan, and listing all of its participants was recently posted on the new USRN home page, hosted on the SPARC website.
The project encompasses all open research repositories based in the U.S. regardless of content, host, or platform. They may contain articles, data, gray literature, and emerging forms of scholarship. The repositories could be hosted by higher education institutions, research centers, or other nonprofit organizations. The network is supported by COAR, which includes 157 members and partners from around the world representing libraries, universities, research institutions, government funders and others.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to see the diversity of institutions coming together to make this national research infrastructure a reality,” said SPARC Executive Director Heather Joseph. “We’re particularly interested in working with institutions who don’t have their own repository on campus, but want to explore ways to take advantage of shared infrastructure.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.