A new service providing open access to research information was launched in February. The Directory of Open Access Repositories (DOAR) will categorize and list the open-access research archives around the world. Such repositories have mushroomed over the past two years in response to calls by scholars and researchers worldwide to provide open access to research information.

DOAR will provide a comprehensive and authoritative list of institutional and subject-based repositories, as well as archives set up by funding agencies. Users of the service will be able to analyse repositories by location, type, the material they hold and other measures. This will benefit both users wishing to find original research papers and third-party "service providers", such as search engines or alert services.

The 18-month project is a joint collaboration between the universities of Nottingham in the UK and Lund in Sweden. The importance of the project and the wide support for it is reflected in its funders, led by the international Open Society Institute - a major player in advocating open access to the world's research findings. The Joint Information Systems Committee in the UK has also backed the project as part of a larger programme of funding for repository development in UK institutions. Additional contributory funding has come from the Consortium of Research Libraries and from the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) Europe - an alliance of research libraries, library organizations and research institutions.

For more details see www.opendoar.org.

Compiled by Hannelore Hämmerle and Nicole Crémel