COAR (the Confederation of Open Access Repositories) has published 15 recommended practices for repositories to support multilingual and non-English content in repositories.
The recommendations, in ‘COAR Good Practice Advice for Managing Multilingual and non-English Language Content in Repositories’, identify good practices for repository managers and repository software developers, and focus on the topics of metadata, multilingual keywords, user interfaces, formats, and licences that will improve the visibility, discovery and reuse of repository content in a variety of languages.
Publication of the guide follows intensive work by the COAR Task Force on Supporting Multilingualism and non-English Content in Repositories. The task force developed draft recommendations, which were then shared and made public for community input. Iryna Kuchma, EIFL Open Access Programme Manager, chaired the task-force, and received special thanks from COAR for her contribution.
The Recommendations come as the trend towards multilingualism in publishing of research is growing. The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science (adopted in 2021), for example, calls on member states to encourage “multilingualism in the practice of science, in scientific publications and in academic communications”, and in some regions and countries, policy makers are introducing new measures that encourage researchers to publish in local languages.
Multilingualism is a critical characteristic of a healthy, inclusive, and diverse research communications landscape. Publishing in a local language ensures that people in different countries have access to the research they fund, and also levels the playing field for researchers who speak different languages.