Alexandria, VA -- February 5, 2020. Toby Green, former Head of Publishing, OECD and now co-founder, Coherent Digital: "It took 60 years for scientific consensus on the dangers of asbestos to change public health policy. It's been 120 years since researchers gave early warning about the climate, yet policy makers are only just beginning to take action. One of the reasons for the long delay between expert consensus and policy action is because most content from experts in IGOs,NGOs, think tanks and research centers is published informally. This makes discovery hard, cataloguing impossible and preservation a nightmare. Students struggle to learn, too. In reading lists and syllabi, we've found that 25% of links to documents are broken. We intend to fix these problems with Policy Commons."
Policy Commons will be an open platform that makes it easy to find, catalog and preserve reports, working papers, policy briefs and data from a directory of over 5,000 IGOs, NGOs, think tanks and research centers. It will be a comprehensive service that covers born-digital and archival material from IGOs like the OECD, the UN, the World Bank, IMF, FAO and EU, as well as leading NGOs, such as Amnesty International, and smaller influential think tanks.
Anyone will be able to use Policy Commons to find the content they need - full text access will be offered via the original website, if still available. Subscribing institutions will be able to access preservation copies, exclusive content, and benefit from a full range of support services, including catalog data and usage tracking.
"As I learned when creating the OECD iLibrary, policy content will find a much larger audience when published using the tools and standards created by the scholarly communications community", said Green. "Yet most IGOs, NGOs and think tanks don't use such systems and rely on a post-and-hope web dissemination strategy, with disappointing results. Policy Commons will wrap policy content with the metadata it needs for discovery, allocate a persistent identifier and preserve a copy for the long term. By creating a one-stop discovery hub and guaranteeing full-text access, I believe we'll bring a broader, larger audience to this vital content."
Policy Commons will be a collaborative platform. Registrants will be able to upload content, add tags and classifications (folksonomies),and sign up for alerts and other personal services. "Today, I believe that all information platforms need to be open collaborative spaces," added Green. "Users should be able to add content they think will be useful to the community and enrich it with tags and annotations. I believe community features will set Policy Commons apart from traditional aggregation solutions."
Policy Commons will launch in November 2020 with more than 1.5 million documents.
About Coherent Digital
Coherent Digital was founded in 2019 by Stephen Rhind-Tutt and Toby Green with a mission to tame wild content and making it wholly more useful. We harness the power of emergent technologies to create unique, persistent identifiers on a platform that finds, captures, tags and preserves wild and unstable content - thereby improving practice, research, education and the public good