In 2013, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), along with the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) have launched the SHARE initiative—or Shared Access Research Ecosystem. Funded through grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), SHARE was conceived to network university-based digital repositories in order to facilitate public access to research.
From the initial collaboration among associations, SHARE transitioned into a partnership between ARL and the Centre for Open Science (COS) to create a community open-source initiative to develop tools and services to connect related research outputs, allowing new kinds of scholarly discovery. In 2017–2019, the project was also supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to integrate digital humanities (DH) into the scholarly web. ARL wrapped up its involvement with SHARE with the conclusion of the project and the publication of a white paper on DH discovery.
After amassing a database of tens of millions of metadata records over several years, SHARE will be shutting down a portion of its harvesting operation in 2020 and the dataset is archived in CurateND (doi:10.7274/r0-0daz-j832) the University of Notre Dame’s institutional repository managed by Hesburgh Libraries. Examples of interacting with the data are also available on Github: https://github.com/ndlib-cds/share-samples. COS will be evaluating the future of SHARE as the index for searching across its popular OSF Preprints and OSF Registries platforms, for evolving the service to be cost-effective to operate and maintain to meet the constrained scope.
SHARE had the ambitious goal of harvesting metadata from many different repositories into a central index, and interlinking research outputs across the research life cycle with common metadata. Though the task was difficult and the technical work time-consuming, SHARE helped heighten the focus on metadata quality and curation in repositories, and some of the participating repository managers ended up improving their own processes and in turn the interoperability of their services. SHARE, as a community, also helped elevate the importance of open and interoperable scholarly infrastructure as well as open content.
Building upon the strong foundation of SHARE, several university libraries and open source developers have continued efforts through projects exploring how SHARE can be a catalyst to produce new tools and services for metadata curation and analytics. Rather than creating a central repository of metadata, these institutions are exploring strategies to harvest a mix of open, proprietary, and institutional data to create reports and visualisations of institutional research activity.
ARL shares COS’s mission to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of research, and looks forward to future collaboration around open science and open scholarship.
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