DRIVER embodies a bold vision – that of worldwide networks of scientific data repositories. This paper seeks to examine the aims of the European Union funded project, to explore the development of a distributed infrastructure that enables enhanced interoperability of data, resulting in a global knowledge infrastructure supporting the scholarly communication of the future.
The primary objective of DRIVER was to establish a flexible, robust, and scalable infrastructure for all European and world‐wide digital repositories, managing scientific information in an open access model increasingly demanded by researchers, funding organisations and other stakeholders. Adopting a result‐driven approach, activities focused on the expansion of the content base with high quality research outputs, including textual research papers, data sets and other scholarly publications.
The release of the D‐NET v1.0 open source software proved a successful basis for a distributed service‐oriented architecture, enabling enhanced interoperability of data and service‐providers, and offering wide‐ranging functionality including search; recommendation; collection building, and personal profiling as innovative tools for repository managers. In addition, it was found that in building a robust network of voluntary content providers, known as the DRIVER Confederation, the infrastructure came to support a durable organisational structure, now formally constituted as the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR). The international repository organisation enables further collaboration between research communities in a co‐ordinated network comprising a growing number of institutional repositories, national federations and research institutions and data aggregators.
The development of COAR is the extension of the EU‐based infrastructure to global research communities in China, India, Africa and Latin America, deploying a vigorous awareness and advocacy programme. Evolving from the DRIVER Confederation, COAR aims to provide an ongoing support service for repository managers, in a dynamic set of guidelines aimed at data interoperability, and to provide the strategic support required to implement new forms of scholarly communication. These issues are addressed in terms of technical infrastructure developments but will focus on strategic issues of policy development, improved services and additional functionality offered to the scholarly community.
This paper outlines DRIVER's unique response to the changing global information environment. Concepts of strategic international collaboration are pursued in COAR, based on the scientific and technical collaboration achieved in DRIVER. The paper addresses significant repository development goals that currently challenge repository managers, librarians, scholars and funders and that indicate the future of Open Access publication – in the ultimate goal of a global and interactive representation of human knowledge.
Peters, D. and Lossau, N. (2011), "DRIVER: building a sustainable infrastructure for global repositories", The Electronic Library, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 249-260. https://doi.org/10.1108/02640471111125203Download as .RIS
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