“COAR and SPARC have a shared vision of creating a global, open knowledge sharing system that centers diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we believe repositories play a central role in achieving this vision.
This is an important moment in time, in which open scholarship is more visible and widely-embraced than ever before. The urgency of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic has led many researchers to eagerly embrace new, faster ways of sharing their research papers, data, and more via repositories and other open platforms. There is a renewed interest in community ownership of both infrastructure and content, and a spotlight on empowering author’s rights retention due to new funder requirements, such as Plan S. There is also a growing recognition of the pressing need to intentionally build channels for greater inclusiveness and diversity of voices in the research communication system, as underscored in the UNESCO draft recommendations which were developed through consensus by over 100 member countries.
Yet, against this backdrop of encouraging developments, the trend toward commercial concentration in the publishing industry continues unabated. This consolidation exacerbates a number of serious problems in the system, including unacceptably high and ever-increasing costs for subscriptions and APCs (article processing charges). It also contributes to a steady decline in the diversity of publishing outlets and options – decreasing bibliodiversity, which is fundamental for a healthy ecosystem.
Individual repositories and a global repository network are critical infrastructure that provide the community with means for resisting this consolidation. Repositories are localized and can respond to different users’ needs, advancing equity and diversity in the scholarly communications ecosystem. When they are resourced properly, they are sustainable and long-lived, and because they are mostly managed by research institutions and their libraries, they are operated in a manner consistent with the academic community’s values. Moreover, repositories exemplify the key role institutions must play in preserving, curating, and making accessible content that would otherwise be unavailable to the world….”