Open access repositories are an integral part of the ecosystem of anthropological scholarship and human knowledge more broadly. We are looking into developing solutions that will allow for integration and distribution across multiple existing anthropology repositories. A Repository Search feature that could search multiple open access anthropology repositories and display results that link back to the origin repository is central to this proposal. However, while there are a number of existing, well-funded, and well-established open access repository platforms, only the PKP platform offers a public API that can be used to develop third-party integrations. The American Anthropological Association’s Open Anthropology Research Repository is built using PKP’s Open Preprint Systems, as well as the New Florida Journal of Anthropology.
The Open Preprint Systems platform does have its own limits in both function and design as well. We seriously considered implementing our own open access repository on the network, but we recognize that repositories are meant to provide long-term archival and preservation services for research outputs and that role is best served by well-funded scholarly institutions. Another option that sits somewhere between these choices is to develop an alternative platform solution built on top of the open source WordPress platform that institutions can use to launch their own open access repositories with all the power and ease of WordPress, and with built-in integration options out-of-the-box. Any decision will depend on what we find to be possible using PKP’s API, the feedback that we receive from institutions about a proposed alternative solution, and what we can accomplish with our funding – but anything is possible!
A research repository platform typically has the following standard features:
- Data storage and management: The platform provides a secure and reliable means of storing, managing, and preserving research data, including the ability to store large data sets and multimedia files.
- Metadata management: The platform provides a means of capturing, managing, and storing metadata about the research data, including descriptive information, such as author, title, and keywords, as well as administrative information, such as access controls and rights management.
- Search and discovery: The platform provides a means of searching and discovering research data, including both basic and advanced search capabilities, as well as support for various file formats.
- Access and distribution: The platform provides a means of controlling access to research data and distributing it to authorized users, including support for different access levels and permissions.
- Preservation and archiving: The platform provides a means of preserving research data over time, including support for data migration, data normalization, and data integrity checks.
- Data visualization: The platform provides a means of displaying and visualizing research data, including the ability to display data in various formats such as graphs, charts, tables and maps.
- Collaboration and sharing: The platform provides a means of collaborating and sharing research data, including support for comments, annotations, and versioning.
- Compliance and security: The platform provides a means of ensuring compliance with relevant data management policies and guidelines, including support for data security, backup and disaster recovery.
- Integration: The platform should integrate with other tools, such as data analysis software, research management tools, and bibliographic databases.
Our main goal in this area is to promote open access anthropology repositories while amplifying research within the CollabAnthNetwork community and abroad. For example, future development might also include allowing users to dynamically display a list of their papers uploaded to third-party open access repositories that we are integrated with in a tab of their social profile, and to also allow group admins to set categories that will serve to dynamically build a list of papers that share the same categories in the groups activity feeds and/or a dedicated tab in the group.
We stand by our belief that there is a need and a potential for an integrated model that preserves the scholarly standards that researchers and institutions have come to expect, while also innovating outside of entrenched scholarly models to allow for greater collaboration, networking, and evolution of the field. The goal of the Collaborative Anthropology Network is not to replace open access repositories, but to serve a unique role in facilitating research-related collaborative activities while greatly enabling the dissemination of research to a wider audience – a social platform for collaborative research.
Towards this objective, we are planning to develop solutions that will allow for integration and distribution across multiple existing anthropology repositories!