OpenAIRE Guidelines and Application Profile for repository managers and publication platforms 4.0: More Detail - More Connectivity

OpenAIRE is a network of joined-up repositories ensuring a streamlined infrastructure to support open access across Europe. Over the past 10 years, from DRIVER to the subsequent OpenAIRE Guidelines, the European repository community has ensured that repositories expose bibliographic metadata in a standardized manner. The approach has always been based on using established formats (oai_dc) and transfer protocols (OAI-PMH) and use them uniformly via coordinated guidelines.

Why does this matter?

Repository contents shouldn’t remain hidden. By sharing content more researchers can reuse it. However, it doesn’t stop there; since publications are not a finite part of the research process, an enriched contextual information can be a valuable addition to the bibliographic record. Over the last 10 years, a range of additional opportunities and requirements have been developed by the repository community, including the following: information on funder and projects, access and license conditions, embargo periods, persistent identifiers and links to other research products). OpenAIRE has worked hard and reflects these elements in its new guidelines.

It’s all in the Detail

The new Guidelines v4 have taken an important step. They have replaced the Dublin Core format used in OAI-PMH and define an application profile based on metadata properties from Dublin Core, DataCite and OpenAIRE. This ensures the following:

  • more granularity of bibliographic information leads to more (semantic) accuracy,
  • (persistent) identifiers to all relevant entities of research information can be provided consistently (research products, authors, contributors, organizations, research sponsors and projects),
  • meaningful and machine-interpretable relations between entities or web resources can be specified,
  • the bibliographic citation can be generated by its individual attributes (series title, volume, issue, startpage, endpage etc.) and exported in different formats and citation styles and,
  • controlled vocabularies from OpenAIRE, COAR, DataCite, and other initiatives can be encoded, thus improving interoperability with other repository networks, including LA Referencia and the Japan Consortium for Open Access Repository (JPCOAR).

As a result, OpenAIRE as a scholarly communication infrastructure can create and provide a rich information space graph on research products and their authors and contributors which is of improved quality.

After consulting the repository community for review in recent months, the release v4 of the guidelines and the application profile is now finalized. It marks the first step followed by the implementation phase.

OpenAIRE cooperates among others with Duraspace to align compliance of repository software with the OpenAIRE Guidelines.

Accordingly, in the coming weeks, OpenAIRE services will be adapted to the new guidelines, such as the validator and format updates for funder and project information for DSpace and EPrints) in the OpenAIRE API.


V4 of the OpenAIRE Guidelines for institutional and thematic repository managers will be released in early July under doi:10.5281/zenodo.1299203. Contact

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