National open-access initiatives create high priorities for development of the Digital Commons platform. In the past few years we’ve worked with partners in Canada and Ireland to ensure that Digital Commons repositories can participate in the Library Archives of Canada (LAC) and RIAN: Pathways to Irish Research. In the United States, a new proposal from the Association of American Universities, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities puts institutional repositories at the center of its response to recent White House directive on public access to federally funded research, calling for “a system of cross-institutional digital repositories that will be known as Shared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE).”
What do we think about SHARE?
We love SHARE. It makes perfect sense for publicly funded works to live at their author-affiliated institutions. We hope that the boards of APLU, the AAU, and the ARL decide to move forward in favor of SHARE. The energy and enthusiasm behind this initiative are great for libraries and their IR programs. SHARE creates a wonderful opportunity for the library to remind senior administrators that it has a powerful solution (an IR) for participating in important national initiatives like this.
What happens next with SHARE?
According to a SHARE committee member, “the project is still amorphous but should begin to take organizational form in the next weeks.” If the decision is taken to move ahead with SHARE, the committee will organize a task force for assessing the necessary steps toward implementation. The group will include Provosts, CFOs, Presidents, and Library Directors. The three major repository platforms, Digital Commons, DSpace and Fedora, will also be invited to the table.
What can we do to prepare?
We look forward to making our platform SHARE-compliant so that Digital Commons subscribers can participate. We will be actively participating in the conversation about the requirements and we will keep the community posted. The Digital Commons community is in an advantageous position within the IR community at large because all 300 institutions are working from the same, up-to-date version of the software. For example, out of the gate we are all much closer than most IRs in North America to meeting the OSTP memorandum’s accessibility requirements.
You may also be happy to learn that the Digital Commons Network is being used as an illustration that SHARE is achievable. It is also even conceivable that the Digital Commons Network, with some work, could itself serve as the repository described in SHARE. Now wouldn’t that be cool!