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Good Practice Exchange at Bielefeld University - People of OpenAIRE

The "Good Practice Exchange" (GPE) program of OpenAIRE is aimed to support National Open Access Desks colleagues (NOADs) and consortium members in 2020 to visit another consortium partner to exchange and learn about Open Science aspects, such as "Embedding Open Science Practices", "Open Science Policy and its Practical Alignment in an Institutional Context", "National Coordination of Open Science and Research Data Management", and "Repository Operation and Metadata Management Best Practices".
Bielefeld University Library in Germany (UNIBI) was the first of four partners to host a GPE workshop from 4 - 5 February 2020. Because of UNIBIs role in OpenAIRE regarding the aggregation management of metadata from data sources and its transformation into the OpenAIRE research graph UNIBI was predestinated for the topic ''Repository operation and metadata management best practices''.

Institutional repositories are key components in an open science scholarly communication infrastructure.

Sometimes they are criticized for the fact that they do not yet optimally exploit innovative web technologies and functionalities for the scholarly works they host and document, and there is still potential to improve seamless integration of repositories with collaborative research infrastructures.


By exchanging experiences and best practices the training aimed to identify

  • manyfold application use cases (such as repository as a part of a research information system; running a general-purpose repository for literature, data, software, and digitized items; a service to assign and manage persistent identifiers for different kinds of entities, ...),
  • solutions in the context of Next Generation Repositories,
  • skills and organizational efforts required to operate and support repositories, and
  • challenges of high-quality metadata management and repository certification.

Colleagues from Bielefeld University Library were happy to welcome Michal Růžička (Masaryk University, Czech Republic), Elena Sipria-Mironov (University of Tartu, Estonia), Jonathan England (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg), and Laura Valeria Bonora (FECYT, Spain).

In the run-up to the event, a comprehensive program had been put together in cooperation with all participants.

It included an overview on the repository landscape in Germany, national Open Access (OA)/Open Science (OS) initiatives, OA/OS infrastructure, as well as related services and projects at Bielefeld University such as PUB, the institutional repository, research data management (RDM) services from Competence Center for Research Data, and the OpenAPC initiative on cost transparency of Open Access publishing. Repository datasource management and the collecting, validating, transforming, and cleaning of metadata from these sources was also presented. A comparison between the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) and OpenAIRE completed the presentations.

Of course, we also utilized the training for an intensive bilateral exchange with our guests. They presented the situation regarding the institutional repository ecosystem in their countries as well as national repository aggregators like in Spain.

The agenda offered adequate time for discussions, which were also intensively engaged with concrete questions from various contexts.

The first full packed day closed with a social dinner, which the discussions continued.

The second day began with an outlook on "Next Generation Repositories" and the integration of "Collaborative Research Infrastructures". The closing discussions showed that most questions could be answered and new perspectives for the repositories were opened.

All in all, a very successful start of this workshop series, which will be continued.


Among the up-coming workshop topics are:

  • "Embedding Open Science Practices and Research Data Management in an institutional context", hosted by University of Göttingen, Germany.
  • "Open Science policy and the practical alignment in Ghent University", hosted by Ghent University, Belgium.
  • "National coordination of Open Science and Research Data Management: best practices on RDM, repositories, FAIR data, OS policy" hosted by Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS), Netherlands.

A host and his guests (from left to right): Jochen Schirrwagen (Bielefeld University Library), Michal Růžička (Masaryk University, Czech Republic), Elena Sipria-Mironov (University of Tartu, Estonia), Jonathan England (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg) and Laura Valeria Bonora (FECYT, Spain). Photographer: Andreas Czerniak.

Photographer: Jochen Schirrwagen

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06 Apr 2020

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