The Future of Aquatic Commons: Recommendations Based on an Evaluation of Business Models and Stakeholder Consultation

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Taylor, Sally
Alayon, Stephen B.
Catic, Ingrid
Clark-Hughes, Angela
Kalentsits, Maria
Raymond, Lisa
Whitmire, Amanda
Linked Authors
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Aquatic Commons, OceanDocs, IODE, Open Access, DSpace, Eprints, Survey
Aquatic Commons is a digital repository established by the International Association of Aquatic and Marine Libraries and Information Centers (IAMSLIC) in 2007 to provide a solution for member institutions that didn’t have an institutional repository. It is directed by the Aquatic Commons Board, and submissions are reviewed by an editorial team. Originally hosted by the Florida Center for Library Automation (FCLA), the repository was moved to the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) in 2011 when FCLA faced major budgetary issues. Aquatic Commons has grown to more than 20,000 publications from over 90 institutions in all areas of the aquatic sciences, including freshwater, fisheries, and oceanography, yet support for the repository has not kept pace with developmental needs. To ensure a sustainable future, the Aquatic Commons Board determined it was necessary to conduct an evaluation and created the Aquatic Commons Evaluation (ACE) team. The team identified and compared four potential business models: 1a) maintain Aquatic Commons as a separate repository but upgrade the EPrints software; 1b) maintain Aquatic Commons as a separate repository but migrate to DSpace software; 2) migrate content to the existing IODE OceanDocs repository but retain Aquatic Commons identity by having a separate DSpace community; and 3) partner with IODE and possibly the Aquatic Science and Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA) to create an entirely new repository with content merged from Aquatic Commons and OceanDocs. The team consulted with potential partners (e.g. ASFA and IODE) and ran a survey to elicit feedback from members, depositors, and other stakeholders about the models, addressing issues of thematic scope, branding, software, technical requirements, workflows, and training. At the 2019 conference, the team presented a recommendation based on the evaluation in order to initiate a roadmap for the Aquatic Commons.
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