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From Flickr by ~Coqui

One of my UC3 colleagues is at the Open Repositories 2012 Meeting (#OR2012) in Edinburgh, Scotland this week.  This prompted me to ask two questions: (1) What does open repositories mean? and (2) Why didn’t I get to go to Scotland?  Of course, (2) is easily answered by my lack of knowledge about open repositories, i.e. question (1).  After a little internet sleuthing, I’ve figured out what they mean by “Open Repositories”, and I realized that I have first-hand knowledge of a repository that contributes to the ideas of OR, ONEShare.  In this post I will share my newfound OR knowledge and give you the lowdown on ONEShare.

First, Open Repositories.  Just in case you are new to the dataverse (that’s dweeb speak for data universe), a repository is basically a place to put your data.  There are loads of data repositories, and picking one to suit your needs is an important step in data management planning.  So what is this about open repositories?

Here is a bit of text from the OR2011 website:

Open Repositories is an annual conference that brings together an international community of stakeholders engaged in the development, management, and application of digital repositories. …attendees  exchange knowledge, best practices and ideas on strategic, technical, theoretical and practical issues.

Basically, the idea of the Open Repositories group is to share knowledge among those facing similar challenges.  It’s similar to the concepts of Open Science, Open Data, and Open Access: we can accomplish more if we pool our intellectual resources.  Follow the OR2012 meeting via the #OR2012 hashtag.

Now for ONEShare.  This is the data repository we’ve created specially for DataUp users.

The name: ONEShare is called this because it’s closely intertwined with DataONE, the group enabling federation of Earth, environmental and ecological repositories.  Many of the DataONE tools have “ONE” in the title (i.e., ONE-R, ONEMercury, and ONEDrive).

The concept: One of the major features for DataUp is connecting Excel users to a data repository – essentially streamlining the process for depositing and sharing your data.  Although there are many data repositories, none of them allow just anyone to deposit data [Correction! Several allow this. See the comment below].  ONEShare is meant to be a “catch-all” repository for data owners that have no relationship with an existing repository.  Think of it as a sort of Slideshare for data – there is a low bar for participation, and anyone can join.

In a sense, ONEShare is the epitome of the “Open Repositories” concept: a repository that’s truly open to anyone.  Maybe I can represent ONEShare at OR2013 on Prince Edward Island (Oh Canada, how I miss you!).

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