Advertisment
Loading...

Addressing the Challenges of Open Access Infrastructure

Colourful neon sign spelling: open

18 February 2021 | Astrid Engelen, Publishing Consultant, Amsterdam, NL
After decades of discussion, open access (OA) appears to be the direction of travel within scholarly publishing. Many organizations are working to “flip” existing journals to OA or launch new fully OA journals. However, making OA a reality is still a logistic challenge. In a panel discussion at Rave Technologies’ Annual Publishing Conference in December 2020, OA infrastructure was discussed from various angles with panelists Yvonne Campfens (OA Switchboard), Ann Michael (Delta Think), and Martin Jagerhorn (ChronosHub). I was the moderator for the session and the key points are outlined in this post.

Tags:

by Astrid Engelen, Freelance Consultant, Amsterdam, NL

After decades of discussion, open access (OA) appears to be the direction of travel within scholarly publishing. Many organizations are working to “flip” existing journals to OA or launch new fully OA journals. However, making OA a reality is still a logistic challenge. In a panel discussion at Rave Technologies’ Annual Publishing Conference in December 2020, OA infrastructure was discussed from various angles with panelists Yvonne Campfens (OA Switchboard), Ann Michael (Delta Think), and Martin Jagerhorn (ChronosHub). I was the moderator for the session and the key points are outlined in this post.

 

Models and policies

Ann Michael started off the session by setting the scene of the OA landscape. The share of Gold and hybridly-published fully OA articles within the complete body of published STM articles grew from 24.7% in 2016 to over 32% in 2019. COVID-19 research has further accelerated the growth in OA throughout 2020.

Under the OA umbrella, various “flavors” exist, such as Gold, Green and Diamond (see Box 1) [1]. In addition, there are various models of which author-pays [via article processing charges (APC)] is most common, but also Subscribe to Open is gaining traction [2]. Then policies vary from one funding body to the other. This leads to operational challenges from a publisher's perspective, requiring adaptations to systems' workflows in dissemination articles under the correct licenses. Ann comments: “There is a lot to take into account: the level of urgency, support for the author community and funder requirements.”

 

Box 1: Open Access Models

open access icon

Hybrid: Hybrid OA journals contain a mixture of OA and closed articles. A publisher following this model is partially funded by subscriptions and only provides OA for those individual articles for which the authors (or research sponsor) pay a publication fee.

Gold: In the Gold OA model, the publisher makes all articles and related content available for free immediately on the journal's website. In such publications, articles are licensed for sharing and reuse via creative commons licenses or similar.

Green: Self-archiving by authors is permitted under Green OA. Independently from publication by a publisher, the author also posts the work to a website controlled by the author, the research institution that funded or hosted the work, or to an independent central open repository, where people can download the work without paying. Green OA is free for the author. 

Diamond: Journals which publish OA without charging authors article processing charges are sometimes referred to as Diamond OA. Since they do not charge either readers or authors directly, such publishers often require funding from external sources, such as academic institutions, learned societies, philanthropists, government grants, or the sale of advertisements.

OA Switchboard visual with open access icon and computer screen

 

Collaboration 

Panelists agree that strong collaboration is required between stakeholders and systems. From a publisher's point of view, an analysis is needed on what matches their mission with regard to models, revenue, and volume of OA output. The two resources to aid OA workflow that are showcased in the session are the aforementioned OA Switchboard and ChronosHub, which Marten Jagerhorn describes as “a platform that meets the needs of all stakeholders in the research community – researchers, funders, institutions, and publishers – and allows for a streamlined workflow for APC management and OA reporting.” 

Yvonne Campfens presented an overview of the OA Switchboard, a messaging hub comparable to SWIFT in banking. Yvonne explains its mission as follows: “The OA Switchboard streamlines and standardizes the communication and neutral exchange of open access related publication-level information.”

 

ChronosHub platform visual illustrating that meets the needs of all stakeholders: publishers, researchers, institutions, and funders

 

No room for error

Both Yvonne and Martin emphasize the need for persistent identifiers (PIDs) or global unique identifiers (GUIs) in dealing with articles’ data. Martin explains: “Capturing GUIs upon submission is a prerequisite for a correct workflow to bring together fragmented data. More and more funders assign Grant DOIs.” In the session, Martin shows an example of Emerald Publishing's workflow, which uses the ChronosHub.  

 

Moving forward

Going forward, OA is no longer a question of “if” but “how?” and “how is it going?” All three panelists mention the importance of data analysis. For instance, Martin points out the transparency level of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's policy. The OA landscape will keep on evolving according to the stakeholder's requirements and initiatives to improve workflows are popping up left, right, and center.

 

Many thanks to panelists Ann Michael, Yvonne Campfens, and Martin Jagerhorn – and to Rave Technologies for hosting us!

 

References:

1. “Open access”, Wikipedia, link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_access (last accessed: 10 March 2021).
2. “Subscribe to Open”, S2O Community of Practice, link: subscribetoopencommunity.org (last accessed: 10 March 2021).

 

Links:

ChronosHub: chronoshub.io
Delta Think: deltathink.com
OA Switchboard: oaswitchboard.org
Rave Technologies: rave-tech.com

 

About the Author

With over 15 years of experience in academic publishing, Astrid Engelen combines her background in publishing, marketing, journalism, and strategic thinking to help clients find solutions to break through the status quo in academic publishing and contribute to the unsiloing of information and the advancement of science. Her positive and inclusive approach to collaboration enables her to share her expertise and insights to define and achieve strategic goals.

 

Related:

IOS Press has a launched two fully OA journals in recent years – StemJournal and the Journal of Future Robot Life – with a number of established titles undergoing the transition to OA. One such example is Semantic Web, which began the process of switching to fully OA in 2020. 

 

Tags: