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International Repositories Workshop

Radisson SAS Hotel, Amsterdam

16-17 March 2009

Programme | Booking Form | Venue

"An international agenda for action on repositories infrastructure"


Networks of open access repositories for research papers have been created in many countries and regions, and subject and funder repositories have been established that are both national and international. Examples include:

The scope of these activities reflects typical funding streams for infrastructure. However, research is global, and any services for researchers that are likely to be acceptable need to be global. Hence there is a critical need to join up the repositories work across the world.

Relevant global initiatives do exist, such as metadata communities (eg, the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative) and a more recent global registries initiative. Where possible and appropriate, a global repositories infrastructure needs to build on this work.

Although the basic architecture for repositories is simple (data providers harvested by service providers), the reality is more complex. Services around rights, authority, access control (eg for deposit), linking between items in repositories, preservation, usage statistics, automatic metadata creation, etc all fall outside this simple model, and will all work best if coordinated at an international level. Added to this, the architecture is evolving, the emergence of OAI-ORE being a noteworthy example.

There are challenges facing the repository infrastructure. Some of these might be described as within the repository community, including recruiting content into repositories, developing and implementing effective policies, resource discovery and increasing the use of material in repositories, establishing a viable and resilient business model for repositories and related services, and ensuring interoperability where that is important. Other challenges might be described as coming from outside the repository community, for example the increasing relevance of the resource-oriented web architecture, user expectations of participation and integration with network services, and the changing ways in which research is undertaken in a networked environment.

Given this background, is it possible to identify shared agendas for action between major national and international actors, practical opportunities for coordinated or shared action, and appropriate methods for some level of ongoing joint review? If so, how do we reach this vision from the current position? What are the key milestones and critical success factors? What actions are needed now?

Scope and objectives of workshop

The focus of this two day workshop is limited to repositories of open access research papers in order to progress the most mature aspects of developing repository networks. However, it will be necessary to highlight links with other data/resource types and to reflect trends in research practice including international, collaborative, data-driven science.

The objectives of the workshop are:

  1. to review and accept the description of the current position as described in the briefing materials (see below)
  2. to come to a shared vision of an international repositories infrastructure or, at least, the infrastructure components that might best be developed internationally
  3. to identify the essential components of an international repositories infrastructure
  4. to review the approaches to sustainability, scalability and interoperability being taken by these components, bearing in mind the wider research infrastructure
  5. to agree ways to resolve any issues identified in (3) above, including areas where practical international collaboration would help
  6. to identify critical success factors in achieving the progress identified in (4) above, bearing in mind the current position
  7. to consider ways in which the progress might be coordinated and reviewed over time

We hope that we will be able to agree action plans that can be taken forward internationally.

Preliminary work

Key Perspectives Ltd (Alma Swan) have been commissioned to support the programme of work that includes this workshop. Alma will:

  • Identify required components: Through detailed research and in-depth discussions with thought-leaders in the field, determine what components will be required to develop an interoperable and scalable world-wide repositories infrastructure.
  • Identify current components: Establish what components exist at present on national and regional scales.
  • Bridge the gap: Determine the extent and nature of the gap between the current situation and the proposed optimal situation, and report how people think the gap might be bridged in the future
  • Input to the workshop, both by supporting initial scoping work (see ‘your contribution’, below) and by providing briefing materials for the workshop itself.

Your contribution

The objectives of the workshop are ambitious, and to meet them we will need to work together before the event. Online discussion over the next four months will be based around some high level use cases, so that those attending the workshop can shape its agenda. Once you have registered for the workshop, further details of this online discussion will be sent.


It is anticipated that the audience would consist of those working on repository infrastructure or related services including those in the education and commercial sectors, and those planning and funding such work. We hope to attract infrastructure funders from Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.


There is no fee payable for this event but the workshop is unable to cover travel expenses. Two nights' accommodation for delegates at the conference hotel is included in the workshop package.

The conference is expected to start at 0900 on 16 March and to close by 1600 on 17 March.

If you wish to attend this workshop please complete the online booking form

Further information

If you have any questions regarding the organisation of the meeting please contact Natasha Bishop at:

University of Bath
Bath BA2 7AY

Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 6256
Fax: +44 (0) 1225 38 6838

If you have any questions regarding the objectives or scope of the meeting, please contact Neil Jacobs at

Programme | Booking Form | Venue