Open Arctic Research Index: Final report and recommendations




Open ARI, Dataset repositories, Arctic Research, Polar Sciences, Information Sciences


Access research data and research documents (e.g. publications) and make it more visible and findable through the internet is coming up as one of the major challenges for future development of the next generation of Digital Libraries. This challenge becomes more complicated when data producers (e.g. research institutes) are not aware by the needs of the scientific community for visibility and findability of their data or when the data producers lack the technology or the motivation to make their data available online.

Although the Open Arctic Research Index pilot project focused only on the open-access research data and the open-access research documents published on Polar regions, the OpenARI found 60% of these open-access records are unfindable through searchable platforms outside the institutional webpage itself. This raises an awareness sign of the need of the scientific community to harvest the metadata of these open-access records in a homogenous, seamless database and making this database available to researchers, students and publics through one search platform. At present, neither Google Scholar nor any other search platform provide this service.

Based on the fact that around 60% of the open-access polar records are unfindable through one search platform, we strongly suggest launching a full-scale management service at the University of Tromsø – the Arctic University of Norway (UiT). This new service will be built on existing experiences from High North Research Documents (i.e. an existing service at the UiT). OpenARI has concluded fifteen needs that are required for the full-scale management model. In addition to the main service (i.e. make open-access polar records more visible and findable through one search platform), we suggest to add three new services: 1) hosting of original data from the Polar regions; 2) creating a research platform; 3) creating an education platform. A new process including four stages of filtration is suggested in order to reduce the time and the overhead costs of using the UiT’s server. End-users will be able to perform search using a map. In addition to the classical way of presenting the results of a search, the end-users will be able to see the search results on a map and/or as a timeline.


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Author Biography

Tamer S. Abu-Alam, Universitetsbiblioteket, UiT Norges arktiske universitet

Dr. Tamer Abu-Alam is working for the University Library of the University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway since September 2018 in a pilot project (Open Arctic Research Index). The Open ARI is a free service to host metadata on the polar regions' research and making these metadata searchable to the front-end users. 

Abu-Alam has a background in geology and has published 24 articles in peer-reviewed journals related to the solid Earth.


European Research in the Polar Regions: Relevance, strategic context and setting future directions in the European Research Area. Edited by the ESF European Polar Board (2011).

Norwegian Polar Research: An Evaluation. Prepared and edited by the Division for Energy, Resources and the Environment, Norwegian Research Council (2017).

Strategic plan for UiT - The Arctic University of Norway 2014-2022. Retrieved from

Norsk Polarinstitutt, strategi 2019 – 2024. Retrieved from

Wilkinson, M. D. et al. The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Scientific Data, 3, 160018. (2016).

Guidelines for Research Ethics in Science and Technology, the National Committee for Research Ethics in Science and Technology. ISBN: 978-82-7682-075-1 (2016).




How to Cite

Abu-Alam, T. S. (2019). Open Arctic Research Index: Final report and recommendations. Septentrio Reports, (3).