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Brokerage Event Towards a FAIR Compliant Commons in the ASREN Region



Yousef Torman (ASREN - Jordan)

National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) in Africa are organised under three umbrella Regional Research and Education Networks (RRENs), namely ASREN in the northern part of the continent as well as in the Middle-East and the Persian Gulf Region, WACREN in the western part of sub-Saharan Africa and the UbuntuNet Alliance in the eastern part of sub-Saharan Africa.
All African RRENs are very much committed not only to increase and capillarize connectivity among countries across the continent but also, and more importantly in the long term, to create a portfolio of services that could help and improve the collaboration between African researchers and their colleagues in the rest of the world, bridging the gaps in openness of research [1] and visibility of research outputs [2]. In this respect, the support of the European Union, through large projects like AfricaConnect3, and initiatives like LIBSENSE, in the area of digital repositories and Open Science more at large, play key roles.

This event, which is part of the programme of the 16th International Conference on Open Repositories (OR2021), frames itself in this landscape of actions and aims at promoting FAIR principles compliant commons such as digital repositories and persistent identifiers for both researchers and their research outputs. However, what makes this event different from similar ones is its innovative co-creation methodology. We aim at bringing in the same virtual place solution seekers, solution providers, policy makers and end users to trigger new collaborations and we propose a “try before you buy” approach.
The length of the event is 3 hours divided in three parts: a 80 minutes Workshop session, a 30 minutes Brokerage session, and a 70 minutes Hands-on tutorial. To know more, see the timetable.

Please, note that in order to actively participate in the Hands-on tutorial you need to follow the preliminary steps described in the Important information for the Hands-on tutorial page that you can reach from the left panel. Do it at your earliest convenience and no later than 3-4 days before the event.


[1] World map of Open Access policies,
[2] World scaled by number of documents published in Web of Science in 2017 with authors from each country,

    • 10:00 AM 11:20 AM
      Workshop session
      Convener: Yousef Torman (ASREN - Jordan)
      • 10:00 AM
        Introductory presentation about ASREN and the motivations and goals of the event 5m
        Speaker: Yousef Torman (ASREN - Jordan)
      • 10:05 AM
        ASREN efforts Towards a FAIR Compliant Commons in the ASREN Region 10m
        Speaker: Raed Al Zoubi (ASREN - Jordan)
      • 10:15 AM
        A standard-based and scalable digital asset management system to “turn on” FAIR compliant digital repositories 10m
        Speaker: Roberto Barbera (University of Catania - Italy)
      • 10:25 AM
        Experiences from Ethiopia 10m
        Speaker: Behailu Korma (Higher Education Strategy Center - Ethiopia)
      • 10:35 AM
        Experiences from Somalia 10m
        Speaker: Mohamed A. Ahmed (SomaliREN - Somalia)
      • 10:45 AM
        How to become a DataCite member to mint Digital Object Identifiers for FAIR research outputs 10m
        Speaker: Helena Cousijn (DataCite - Germany)
      • 10:55 AM
        Open Access policies and governance models of FAIR compliant national repositories: the case of Ethiopia 10m
        Speaker: Margareth Gfrerer (Higher Education Strategy Center - Ethiopia)
      • 11:05 AM
        Q&A 15m
    • 11:20 AM 11:50 AM
      Brokerage session

      The Workshop session followed by a brokerage session where we have allocated pitches given by representatives of organisations not having a FAIR compliant digital repository yet and planning to deploy one.
      The Brokerage session will end with the collection of all contacts and hopefully the establishment of new collaborations.

      Convener: Raed Al Zoubi (ASREN - Jordan)
      • 11:20 AM
        Pitch no. 1 - The national thesis repository of Morocco: opportunities and challenges towards a FAIR compliance 7m
        Speaker: Noureddine Ettaik (IMIST - Morocco)
      • 11:27 AM
        Pitch no. 2 - Using a DSpace repository as an institutional hub for identifier services 7m
        Speaker: Daryl M. Grenz (KAUST - Saudi Arabia)
      • 11:34 AM
        Pitch no. 3 - Towards a national repository for a library with multiple roles: the case of Qatar National Library 7m
        Speaker: Alwaleed K. Alkhaja (Qatar National Library)
      • 11:41 AM
        Q&A and exchange of contacts 9m
    • 11:50 AM 1:00 PM
      Hands-on tutorial

      The tutorial will guide participants through the following steps:
      - Access and use a FAIR compliant digital repository.
      - Claim research outputs/scholarly contents stored on a FAIR compliant digital repository and tagged with DataCite DOIs from the ORCID profiles of their authors.
      - Connect research data to other research outputs (if time allows).

      Convener: Roberto Barbera (University of Catania - Italy)
      • 11:50 AM
        Access a digital repository 10m

        In order to access the repository to upload their research outputs, participants are required to get federated credentials beforehand by registering at Registration requires human intervention by the Administrators of the IDPOPEN Identity Provider and usually takes 1-2 working days. Since the day of the event is a Monday, please register to IDPOPEN at your earliest convenience and no later than 3-4 days before the event.

        Speaker: Roberto Barbera (University of Catania - Italy)
      • 12:00 PM
        Upload contents on a digital repository 30m

        In this part of the hands-on, we will be using the Somali Research and Education Research and Education Repository (SORER, operated by SomaliREN. Important note: each research output stored on the SORER repository is tagged with an official Digital Object Identifier (DOI) issued by DataCite hence participants are required to upload real (not fake) contents during the tutorial in the community called External Contents. A guide to upload contents on SORER is available at Participants may want to have a look at it before the event.

        Speaker: Roberto Barbera (University of Catania - Italy)
      • 12:30 PM
        Claim research outputs/scholarly contents stored a digital repository from the ORCID profiles of their author(s) 20m

        In this part of the tutorial, participants need to use their ORCID profile. Those who haven't yet, may get one by registering at Please, get your ORCID profile done at least one day before the event.

        Speakers: Helena Cousijn (DataCite - Germany), Mohamed A. Ahmed (SomaliREN - Somalia)
      • 12:50 PM
        Connect research outputs to other research outputs 10m

        (If time allows).

        Speaker: Roberto Barbera (University of Catania - Italy)