Moderator: Neil Jacobs, acting Program Director for the Information Environment, JISC
[ SLIDES ]
Jun Adachi, Director of Cyber Science Infrastructure Development, National Institute of Informatics, Japan [ SLIDES ]
Clifford Lynch, Director, Coalition for Networked Information
Martha Giraldo Jaramillo, Executive Director, RENATA [ SLIDES ]
Panel moderator Neil Jacobs posed the question: “Why bother with a global network?” Jacobs is acting program director for the Information Environment at JISC in the United Kingdom and oversees a variety of projects in the areas of access to and management of digital resources.
Jacobs suggested four dimensions of open knowledge to consider:
Jacobs maintains that universities have a civic responsibility to the public about the way science in conducted. Digital repositories manage and share science, providing a trusted source for preservation and links to enable inferences to be made. This should happen in an open manner because it is efficient and aligns with a university’s mission.
An ideal vision of open knowledge is as a “dynamic innovation space that is constantly evolving,” said Jacobs. The developing repository infrastructure now should rely on lessons from history and consider steps including: system building, technology transfer to other domains, gateways that allow dissimilar systems to be linked into networks and assembling multiple systems into a network.
A global network would have resilience, sustainability and reach, said Jacobs. But the barriers are many. Who would decide on rules and conventions for sharing, storing and preserving data? How could you provide flexibility for local needs?
Perhaps, instead, work can be done more efficiently in a local context, suggested Jacobs.
“We need to facilitate a pragmatic approach to innovation where communities with incentives to work together also have the capacity to do so,” said Jacobs. “We are not building a global repositories network. We are growing one.”
For an update on the development in Japan, the panel turned to Jun Adachi, professor in the Digital Content and Media Sciences Research Division, National Institute of Informatics (NII) in Japan. Repositories in Japan both self archive and promote Open Access.
Adachi said a new, nationwide comprehensive library consortium will be established soon with more than 500 universities to further repository activities. The consortium will provide a sole body to negotiate with publishers and will work to strengthen the archives and advocate with researchers and faculty.
Two roles of Japanese repositories in the global network would be: self-archiving and the promotion of Open Access and accountability to the society and the public
In promoting Open Access in Japan, there is an emphasis on the contribution to the research community. “We have to consider more of a public value of that which we provide for society,” said Adachi.
Japan’s share in total publications worldwide is about 6-10 percent. Currently Japan is second, behind the United States, in the proportion of institutional repositories with 188, said Adachi.
When contemplating a global repository architecture that is distributed or centered, Adachi suggested the importance of considering the diversity of language and culture. Also, there would have to be a guarantee of autonomy and interoperability of participants, and standards would also have to accept local variance.
In Japan, there are discussions on a mandate for self-archiving the articles produced by publicly funded research projects. Now, researchers are recommended to describe URLs in their project reports when articles are deposited in repositories. National universities are required to maintain the databases of faculty publications for evaluation purpose. In some universities, this database is linked to the institutional repository.
There is a move in Japan to draft the government’s next-term basic policy of science and technology to enhance institutional repositories and to encourage more research databases be open to give public access to research results. The policy would also promote Open Access to research information in humanities and social sciences. It would include measures for the efficiency and sustainability of E-journal in universities and encourage researchers to deposit research articles in institutional repositories with a short abstract for the general public. Adachi said the policy will be finalized by next spring after modifications.
For another perspective, Clifford Lynch, director of the Coalition for Networked Information, spoke. CNI is jointly sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries and Educause and includes about 200 member organizations concerned with the use of information technology and networked information to enhance scholarship and intellectual productivity.
Lynch said the idea of building a global network raises the several questions: Why? What is it to do? How structure would it be structured in at the national and local level? What about governance? While Lynch says he intrigued by the idea, he wonders if it is the right unit of infrastructure to consider.
Since a digital repository is a long-term mechanism for managing data, software and learning materials, and managing scholarly literature, there may need to be some recalibration to fit it into a global cyber structure. The repository may be more about computation than humans reading through papers, said Lynch. When you send the computation to where data lives, then there is a problem about how to allocate resources – across boundaries.
On national level, there are many unanswered questions about how responsibilities fall between institutions and it would be difficult to deal with internationally as well. “Thinking about a global repository network would take us face to face with barriers of scholarly data and turn spotlight on national policies that need to be addressed,” said Lynch.
In Latin America, Martha Giraldo Jaramillo is the executive director for RENATA, the Advanced Academic Network of Colombia, a collaborative platform for academics and researchers. RENATA is a member of CLARA, the Latin American Academic Network, which recently became a member of the European Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR).
Clara is a nonprofit international organization, established in December 2003, with members from 17 Latin American countries. Its objective is to coordinate collaboration activities among National research and Education Networks of Latin America (NRENs) and to plan, engineer, procure and operate the Telecommunications Network (RedCLARA2) and provide value added services. Jaramillo said CLARA is fostering development of Collaborative Research Projects among Latin American researchers and hopes to become the primary e-Infrastructure for the future Latin American higher education and research area.
The Columbia Network of Repositories and Digital Libraries provides indexing for the scientific, and academic production of institutions such as libraries and research centers. Supported by RENATA, the Colombian Academic Network has received 27.000 documents at 15 institutions and 140 persons form 70 institutions are at this moment, receiving training to develop and upload their repositories, said Jaramillo.
Another initiative that began in June 2010 is the Federated Latin American Network. CLARA is executing the project over 36 months with $600,000. The project component include a regional strategy consensus federated network, the establishment of a framework of agreements and common policies, development and pilot implementation and designing a training strategy.
“It’s a whole new region to be added to the map of the open-access repositories,” said Jaramillo. “We need to think global. We share many common continental and regional problems. We need to work together. We have researchers that are ready to collaborate on project and new information and data to share.”