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There has been significant concern expressed in the repository community about the requirements contained in the Data Repository Selection: Criteria that Matter, which sets out a number of criteria for the identification and selection of data repositories that will be used by publishers to guide authors in terms of where they should deposit their data, including:

  • Many repositories currently don’t comply with the criteria. There are a number of domain repositories, generalist data repositories and institutional repositories that don’t comply and do not have the resources to adopt the criteria; (anonymous review, support for versioning of data, etc). The publishers will use these criteria to direct authors as to where they can deposit their data and therefore most repositories will be disqualified.
  • The criteria are too narrowly conceived. The current draft criteria are a mix of requirements. While the are not inherently bad, although they are skewed towards the needs of publishers to link and peer review the data, they do not include other important considerations for where an author may want to deposit. For example, an author may prefer to deposit data in their own jurisdiction, even if those local repositories are not compliant with these requirements.
  • Publishers shouldn’t be determining where authors deposit their data. It should be the researchers (and their funder) that decide the best location for data deposit. This approach gives tremendous control to these publishers to set the bar for repository compliance. Over time, if we cede the control to those publishers, this could (and probably will) lead to only well-resourced repositories being available to authors that publish in those journals.

The concerns are outlined in a number of public statements that are linked from the COAR website: