[IRTalk] Aligning Repository Networks: International Accord Released: COAR2017, 8-10 May 2017, Venice, Italy

Lazarus Matizirofa lazarus.matizirofa at nrf.ac.za
Mon May 15 13:32:04 SAST 2017

Dear Colleagues

The NRF and CPUT were at some point the only COAR paid-up members. At present NRF is the only African representative at COAR Forums unfortunately. As a result COAR meetings have all taken place abroad.

NRF is planning to host a COAR (Africa) meeting and workshop in December 2017. We will invite all HEIs and other entities from the continent. If you recall last year 4-5 December 2016, NRF hosted a COAR training workshop on DSpace-CRIS in collaboration with UCT and CPUT, during the UCT’s OA Symposium 2016, and 38 representatives attended (Including Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Tanzania).

COAR has technical working groups on various areas, but institutional membership is required for individuals to give input.

Kind regards,

From: Klapwijk, WOUTER <wklap at sun.ac.za> [mailto:Wklap at sun.ac.za]
Sent: Monday, May 15, 2017 12:35 PM
To: Bruce Becker <BBecker at csir.co.za>; Lazarus Matizirofa <lazarus.matizirofa at nrf.ac.za>
Cc: irtalk at lists.lib.sun.ac.za
Subject: RE: [IRTalk] Aligning Repository Networks: International Accord Released: COAR2017, 8-10 May 2017, Venice, Italy

Hi Bruce,

As with most accords I think the purpose is first and foremost about a statement of intent rather than a roadmap towards actual implementation.  Digressing even further from your question I think we lack a form of formal and regional collaboration in Southern Africa for administering repositories which is already available elsewhere in the world (OpenAIRE and LA Referencia as examples).  The NRF is doing good work in this regard though as are other more informal initiatives. With a strategy like this there is not much point in (only) having the NRF as signatory to the accord and for the rest a silent Southern African community.

Hopefully more in response to your question, I think collaborative strategies like these could in future help inform the integration between data providers and network services. For example a compute cloud built on OpenStack (e.g. NECTAR, African Cloud) that is connected to a data management and preservation system storing raw data, which in turn again interlinks with APIs in a digital repository (to build a virtual portal of research in a specific discipline).  Some of these services can be created using existing standards (OAI-PMH , ORCiD, DataCite) whereas others might need additional levels of functionality.

How researchers like yourself could immediately contribute – outside of belonging to a specialist working group focused on these initiatives – remains unclear though. I think having standardised documentation how to access and integrate heterogeneous systems might be a good starting point to give effect to an accord like this.

Nothing practical but just a thought.


From: IRTalk [mailto:irtalk-bounces at lists.lib.sun.ac.za] On Behalf Of Bruce Becker
Sent: 09 May 2017 08:41 AM
To: Lazarus Matizirofa
Cc: irtalk at lists.lib.sun.ac.za<mailto:irtalk at lists.lib.sun.ac.za>
Subject: Re: [IRTalk] Aligning Repository Networks: International Accord Released: COAR2017, 8-10 May 2017, Venice, Italy

Hello Lazarus,

This looks like a very sensible position to take :)

Could you or someone else on the list please elaborate on some of the specifics ? One can't but agree with the strategy,  but I find it quite difficult to understand where to hook into it effectively, as an infrastructure engineer and a scientist.

I am one of those people who are "developing value-added services on top of repositories" and have tried very hard to do technology transfer, for example.

If one wanted to contribute to this strategy, the question I have is : how ?

Clearly this is not something that can be easily answered definitively in a single reply so I would welcome some discussion on the matter, from all on the list.

Thanks !

On 9 May 2017 at 08:03, Lazarus Matizirofa <lazarus.matizirofa at nrf.ac.za<mailto:lazarus.matizirofa at nrf.ac.za>> wrote:
International Accord
Collectively we aspire to strengthen and enhance the distributed, community-based open access infrastructure around the world.
Moreover, we acknowledge that strong relationships between regional and national repository networks are important, and that there are significant benefits of working together:
[*]  The development of value added services on top of global repositories requires the widespread, international adoption of common, open APIs and metadata standards.
[*]  Concentrating efforts at the regional and national level will ensure responsiveness to local needs and contexts, and prevents overlaps and cost redundancies.
[*]  Sharing metadata across regions ensures comprehensive, global data coverage.
To further our collective vision, we agree to collaborate in the following areas:
[*]  Regular communications: Facilitated by COAR, we will communicate regularly to exchange information, network with each other, and identify areas for potential collaboration. At least one in-person meeting will be organized annually to enable technical and strategic discussions.
[*]  Common APIs, standards, and protocols: Developing global services will involve the widespread interoperability and integration across data providers, and between data providers and network services. We will work together to define standards, APIs and
protocols that will support a wide range of network services.
[*]  Technology transfer and co-development of technologies: Similar services and technologies are being envisioned and deployed by many networks. Instead of each region
working in silos, we will look for opportunities to transfer technologies and co-develop
software, where appropriate.
Australia                         Australasian Open Access Strategy Group
Canada                          Canadian Association of Research Libraries
China                             Confederation of Chinese Academic Institutional Repository and National Science Library, CAS
Europe                           OpenAIRE
Japan                             Japan Consortium for Open Access Repository
Latin America                 LA Referencia*
South Africa                   National Research Foundation
United States                 Association of Research Libraries† and Center for Open Science


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Lazarus Matizirofa
Acting Executive Director
Knowledge Management Corporate (KMC)
Tel: +27 12 481 4016
Email: lazarus.matizirofa at nrf.ac.za<mailto:lazarus.matizirofa at nrf.ac.za>


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