The value of regional user Groups for a global community: Collaboration Update from Concytec and the Peruvian DSpace User Group

The Peruvian Council of Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (Concytec) has been collaborating closely with DuraSpace to advance and promote Open Access to scholarly publications in Peru.

After the successful completion of the first DSpace & DSpace-CRIS Workshop held in July 2018–probably the most attended DSpace workshop to date–and the incorporation of Concytec as a platinum member of DuraSpace in September, this joint effort has given birth to the Peruvian DSpace User Group, a vibrant community of research managers, librarians and IT staff from different institutions all around the country, working in support of scholarly communication. Following the membership, Concytec now is in the Leadership Group of DSpace, representing the needs, ideas and visions of the Peruvian community at the governance level.

Since the beginning of the National Network of Open Access Repositories in 2013, Concytec recommended DSpace as the software platform to support the now more than 160 institutional repositories integrated into the network. In order to have accurate records reflecting Peruvian users, Concytec lead the initiative that supported the update of the DuraSpace registry. Over 120 DSpace Peruvian installations were added and 43 existing ones were updated. To date, the registry reports a total of 171 instances of DSpace in Peru.

To promote the exchange of information and experiences in the community, the User Group has set a wiki page, a dedicated slack channel, a mailing list, and is already organizing both virtual and in-person meetings.

The introductory event of the community was a webinar held on December 4, 2018. More than one hundred participants attended a presentation given by Erin Tripp, Executive Director of DuraSpace, and César Olivares, Sub Director of Management of Information and Knowledge of Concytec, who shared with them the vision pursued by the group as well as the communication and collaboration channels. In the same event, the group attended a presentation from a renowned Peruvian librarian, Libio Huaroto from Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, who elaborated on the best practices in the use of persistent identifiers in institutional repositories.

On January 2, 2019, Joan Caparrós, from CSUC (Spain), was invited to present a second webinar of the group, about the technical details for the implementation of the handle service in DSpace. Webinar recordings and presentation slides for all events are available at the wiki page of the group.

In the meantime, a lot of chat and community support has been going on in the slack channel, which has become one of the most active ones in the Spanish language. Satisfaction surveys have been conducted and are being used to gather the needs of the community members and plan for the next activities and collaboration initiatives.

It is also noteworthy that the slack channel has enabled different collaboration opportunities with the fellow Brazilian DSpace User Group, with some users sharing in both communities.

On February 22, 2019 a third webinar is scheduled about the implementation of DSpace in cloud services, by Luis Maguiña, Technologies Coordination at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.  We welcome the community to attend this event. Pre-registration is required and is available here.  Please note if the session fills up a recording will be made available on the wiki page.