Author: sshreeves

Open Repositories 2021 will be virtual only

The Open Repositories Steering Committee and the Stellenbosch University hosts have decided to postpone the in-person conference planned for summer 2021 in Stellenbosch, South Africa, and to hold a completely virtual conference instead. The uncertainty around the continuing pandemic, travel restrictions, and the budget crises many of our institutions are in have all contributed to this decision. For many of us the true value of Open Repositories is the international conversations and community that it fosters; we felt strongly that, even if conditions improve, an in-person conference or a hybrid virtual/in-person would not be successful given the likely poor attendance.

The program committee will be working to reshape the conference into a virtual one including reaching out to those who had their 2020 OR proposals accepted and deferred. We appreciate your patience as we do this work.

We want to reaffirm our plan to hold an Open Repositories conference in South Africa. After working with both our Stellenbosch and our Denver hosts (who were slated to host the 2022 OR), we have decided to continue to plan for Denver for 2022 and to plan for Stellenbosch in 2023. Our deepest thanks go to both hosts – Stellenbosch University Libraries and the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries – for their flexibility and commitment to Open Repositories.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me as Chair or Claire Knowles as Vice-Chair of the OR Steering Committee if you have questions.

Open Repositories Steering Committee New Membership Policy and Process

The Open Repositories Steering Committee (ORSC) manages the annual Open Repositories conference. In 2019 we are changing the process for recruitment and elections of new committee members in order to enable more active engagement with the Steering Committee and conference planning. See for the new policy.

The ORSC consists of a maximum of 12 standing members who serve three-year terms as well as the chairs of the host and program committees for the annual conferences. Members should ideally have participated in previous conferences and have extensive experience with repositories and the international repository community.

ORSC members are expected to take part in a range of activities throughout the year, as well as those specifically related to the conference. Examples of member activities include:

  • Regular attendance at OR if at all possible. We note that for some potential members this can be difficult due to cost, travel, and schedules.
  • Participating in the majority of the monthly committee meetings, including the in-person meeting that takes place at the conference every year
  • Participation in ad hoc or standing committees (e.g. Scholarship, Code of Conduct, proposal writing, Finance, etc.)
  • Serving specific conference roles such as Programme Chair or Poster Chair
  • Reflecting OR news and announcements (e.g. Calls for Papers, Expressions of Interest) via mailing lists and through social media
  • Timely participation in all discussions, in-person and online
  • Reviewing conference proposals and submissions
  • Reviewing conference host bids
  • Adding and reviewing ORSC membership

In 2019 the ORSC has three open slots for standing members, and we are inviting nominations, including self-nominations. The call for nominations opens on June 11 at the OR2019 conference in Hamburg. The nomination deadline will be July 31st. An information session for those interested in the ORSC is on Wednesday, June 12 at the conference. If you are unable to make this session, please reach out to a current standing member to learn more (see for a list of members).

The nomination form is now available here:

When submitting a nomination you will be asked to submit the following information:

  1. Personal information: name, email, institution affiliation, and a brief description of your role.
  2. An indication that you, or your nominee, has attended at least one OR in the previous four years.
  3. Statement of interest, e.g. why the nominee wants to join the Steering Committee.
  4. Statement of qualifications, e.g. what specific experiences the nominee would bring to the Steering Committee.

The OR Steering Committee will elect new members in August. Successful new members will be expected to join the ORSC in September for a three-year period.

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