The January 2019 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter meeting in Seattle provided excellent opportunities to engage with colleagues dedicated to the creation and dissemination of open digital scholarship and content. Just after that meeting, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) released this helpful and succinct guide titled Good Practice Principles for Scholarly Communication Services.
COAR’s January 29, 2019 statement describing the guide: “Science and scholarship are critical to improving our lives and solving the world’s most intractable problems. The communication of research, a vital step in the research process, should be efficient, effective and fulfill the core values of scholarship. There is growing concern about the increasing concentration of control of research communication functions in the hands of a small number of players, whose objectives do not reflect the interests of scholarship.”
Although it was released after the ALA meeting, each of the guide’s seven principles were discussed in detail during ALA as colleagues across a broad range of institutions shared their approaches to supporting open scholarship. While each principle carries equal importance, discussion around open standards was a central point during this year’s ALA Midwinter meetings.
Dartmouth Digital Commons and Open Standards
Open access and institutional repository systems vary greatly across academic institutions. Some are using open source software to build and support systems locally, while others license their software, technical support and hosting services with off-campus vendors. Dartmouth deploys the latter approach and offers bepress Digital Commons, which is an off-campus, vended service hosting content within Dartmouth Digital Commons and providing Dartmouth collection managers with technical support. Many institutions use bepress Digital Commons, and although this not an open source system, Digital Commons meets the COAR/SPARC good practice guidelines because it is a system that adheres to international standards and allows networking and sharing across other Digital Commons’ collections at other institutions.
Open access repository management is an ever-changing landscape, and it is important that Dartmouth remain up-to-date and in-the-know about current trends and good practices. The Library’s memberships to and participation in conversations with the ALA, SPARC, and the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) help keep the Dartmouth community at the cutting edge of open research, open education, and open publishing. If you have comments or questions about how Dartmouth participates in the open access scholarly communication landscape, please don’t hesitate to reach out!