The Active Repository Pattern

Paul Walk, Paul Walk's Web, Oct 22, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is the first of two posts, designed to be read in order, by Paul Walk discussing open access repositories interoperability. In this post he looks at work to date, commends the institutions for maintaining their commitment to the repository network, and discussed centralized versus distributed models of organization. It's good stuff, but obviously setting us up for the next paper. "I believe." he writes, "we need to do more to exploit the latent value in our institutional repositories. From the point of view of the network, they can and need to be much more than passive databases, and with a very modest technical investment they can start to be active components in the global infrastructure."

This leads to the second post, Cooperative Open Access eXchange (COAX), in which he offers a proposal setting out "an approach to this in more concrete terms." They idea is to enable institutional repositories to share contents with each other. This would allow an article with, say, six authors, to be uploaded once, and shared with the rest. He sketches a minimal viable product (MVP) describing a hub which mines the submitted article for metadata and sends notifications to other repositories which (based on the metadata) might be interested. Yes, it's a pretty narrow vision - but it also suggests a wider sort of interoperability that might allow institutional repositories to work together to form an integrated knowledge knowledge network. Ever cautious, though, Walk doesn't venture near such talk.

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