Published June 8, 2021 | Version v1
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Panel: Speaking up & speaking out - who will shape the narrative for OA repositories? Presentations session 1

  • 1. COAR
  • 2. University of Minho, COAR
  • 3. CLACSO-Latin American Council of Social Sciences
  • 4. cOAlition S
  • 5. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States of America
  • 6. University of Connecticut, United States of America
  • 7. arXiv, United States of America


Panel: Speaking up and speaking out - who will shape the narrative for OA repositories?
In the last several months, there have been a number of misleading statements about open access repositories made by several publisher groups. These statements and blog posts seem to be part of a coordinated strategy to diminish the role of OA repositories in favour of the gold (and for many publishers) APC route for policy compliance. The aim is to create a narrative that gold open access is the only “legitimate” route for OA, and inculcate these misconceptions within the research community. COAR contends that the repository community should be following these events closely, and work together with other stakeholder communities - researchers, universities and funders - to define and elevate our own narrative, which associates repositories with the values of inclusion, diversity, trust, and innovation. This interactive panel will bring together panelists from the university, funder, and repository community to discuss how we can work together as a community to counteract this publisher narrative and be more proactive in defining the role and value of repositories in the future of scholarly communications and open science.

Presentations session 1: Repositories & COVID-19, Fostering diversity & inclusion

The Carolina Digital Repository During COVID-19: Responding to a Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified conversations about widespread open access to scholarly literature. Institutional repositories such as the Carolina Digital Repository (CDR) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) can play a key part in the dissemination of scholarly research. Access to coronavirus research was particularly important for the CDR, as UNC-CH is one of the leading institutions in the world for coronavirus research. The pandemic also had local impacts to our work. In March 2020, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) moved to online learning in response to rising coronavirus cases. Due to this change, many UNC-CH Libraries staff members and student workers needed work that could be done remotely. In this presentation, I will describe several projects which we undertook this year to increase access and dissemination of research, and to provide UNC Libraries staff with work which could be completed remotely and asynchronously. For each project, I will share the team’s successes, failures, lessons learned and plans for the future. I will also describe enhancements the team made to our Hyrax-based repository to facilitate the success of these projects.

CTDA in Context
CTDA In Context ( is a program designed to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in the preserved historical record of Connecticut through the collections of the Connecticut Digital Archive. There is a growing misconception that if a community or population cannot be found in digital form then collections about that community must not exist. Researchers, especially lifelong learners and K12 students, assume that all relevant information exists online. Since the CTDA does not own any collections itself and can only offer content contributed by its member institutions we are constrained by the collecting policies and interests of our membership. CTDA in Context addresses this issue through three interrelated objectives that uses the CTDA’s position as a statewide organization to affect the content of the collections we steward and the diversity of the digital historical record in Connecticut: Diversify the CTDA community to include memory organizations dedicated to documenting the activities of currently underrepresented groups and topics; Educate current content managers about new descriptive and collection management practices; Help members identify new collections, previously digitized, born digital, and/or physical, among their local communities to add to the CTDA to enrich the overall content in the repository.

Connected in Science: How arXiv facilitates global interactions during the pandemic and beyond
In early 2020, the mutual impact of COVID-19 and OA repositories like arXiv on each other was unknown. Soon, we realized that the pace of submissions to arXiv were not just holding steady – they were increasing. This presented multiple challenges. First, a wide range of readers would now be seeking COVID papers on arXiv. Second, acceptance of papers to arXiv relies on a network of 190 moderators, and arXiv did not have moderators with expertise in coronaviruses. Third, the pandemic’s uncertainty prompted arXiv to consider how to maintain services if a high proportion of moderators or staff were unable to work. Fourth, although arXiv moderators had always worked remotely across the globe, the moderation tools revealed serious limitations. In this presentation, arXiv’s executive director, Eleonora Presani, will share the solutions -- technical and otherwise – to these challenges, including the development of a new interface for moderator engagement. The ways in which arXiv met these challenges provide a model for moving forward beyond the pandemic.



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