Open Research Quarterly Update – Issue 2: June 2021

“Hello, and welcome to the June issue of the Open Research Quarterly Update (Digest). Here in the Open Research Services team at Jisc our mission is to help members embrace the benefits of open research by removing barriers, embedding open practices and developing open infrastructure. Much of our focus across Jisc involves working with the sector to negotiate agreements and develop services which underpin open research. This quarter’s update includes numerous examples of this in action.

Publications Router continues to expand its publishers’ contributions, while the Sherpa team have developed a new dataset which will provide details of Transitional Agreements to our users. In addition, Jisc Collections have been working with SCONUL to provide the Unsub dashboard. This month sees the first meeting of the Research Identifier National Coordinating Council (RINCC) on 21st June, which will coincide with the publication of a Cost Benefit Analysis Report, funded by the UK Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) for Open Access project….”

OA Switchboard Reporting Made Easy

“We took a step back to speak with some of our partners about the rationale behind the need for a standardised, structured and validated data format, delivering real-time, situational authoritative data from the source. We’re grateful they agreed to share their views and experiences. These partners are Stacey Burke (American Physiological Society), Colleen Campbell (Max Planck Digital Library, ESAC, OA2020), Todd Carpenter (NISO), Helen Dobson (Jisc), Matthew Goddard (Iowa State University), Marten Stavenga (John Benjamins Publishing Company) and Ivo Verbeek (Elitex).

 

We asked our interviewees to answer five questions:

What is the underlying need for ‘reporting’?

What is the minimum set of metadata required to achieve that goal?

What sources (systems) capture and manage these (meta)data? Is it possible to extract the data?

What makes a ‘standard’? What’s the benefit of a ‘standard’? How to get there?

How does the OA Switchboard make reporting ‘easy’? How does it work, end-to-end and real-time? …”

Reporting Made Easy

“The OA Switchboard is pleased to announce our next webinar which will focus on the Reporting Made Easy shared use case our launch customers and founding partners are currently working on collaboratively.

Funders and institutions/consortia would much prefer publishers to report their publication-level OA information in a structured format. This enables data to be fed directly into their own (or their solution provider’s) system for further processing and analysis.

Join us live for this practical evidence-based look at how the OA Switchboard is making reporting easier via a series of short five minute talks and use case presentations. There will be time for questions and discussions following….”

OA Switchboard Update

“Dealing with Open Access publications, where there are multiple authors, affiliated institutions, research funders, business models, policies, mandates, requirements and agreements involved, is complex and administratively burdensome. Funders, institutions and publishers are faced with a myriad of systems, portals and processes when dealing with Open Access publication-level arrangements. This hampers the transition to Open Access, the realisation of policies and agreements, and progress in developing new business models. From a researcher perspective, this landscape is at best confusing and at worst impenetrable. (see visual 1)

 

These challenges are in no way unique to the open access publishing landscape and are in fact relatively common in marketplaces that have an increasingly complex web of interactions between buyers and sellers (see OA Switchboard introductory blog, 2019). The introduction of a central intermediary is often the easiest way to reduce complexity on all sides, but a payment component doesn’t come without challenges and risks. If one leaves out the payment component, there is still complexity around information and data exchange in our ecosystem. Other industries have already tackled similar problems successfully a long time ago. (Think of SWIFT, the global financial messaging service:  they have developed a common language across banks worldwide, serving their community for over 40 years now). The inspiration for the OA Switchboard has come also from examples of community-governed scholarly infrastructure (such as Crossref), which have successfully brought together a large and diverse community of stakeholders to address complex challenges.?…”

New Jisc agreement with the OA Switchboard – Research

“Back in December 2020, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), Wellcome and Jisc were among the first organisations supporting the establishment of a new body called the Open Access Switchboard.

The Switchboard’s aim is to help the research community transition to full and immediate open access and simplify efforts to support open access (OA) as the predominant model of publication of research. In a project led by the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA) in 2020, the OA Switchboard established as a not-for-profit collaboration among funders, institutions, consortia and publishers to provide essential infrastructure, standards and back office services.

The Switchboard, as neutral and independent intermediary, will support information exchange as well as help reduce barriers to the open access market. It aims to allow funders, publishers and institutions to streamline their communications, improve transparency of data, and reduce costs….”

The OA Switchboard Initiative

“The OA Switchboard moved to the operational stage on 1 January 2021 and we’re happy to be well underway. We’ll continue to keep you informed this year via regular updates and in this first blog of the year, I’ll tell you about our plans and priorities and how we continue to shape the collaborative nature of the initiative.

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The OA Switchboard is now run from the new Stichting OA Switchboard, founded by OASPA in October 2020. The new set-up ensures a not-for-profit, collectively controlled collaboration between funders, institutions and publishers, where neutrality and independence are preserved by legal structure, governance and articles of incorporation. The OA Switchboard will be financed via a self-sustaining business model and participation and involvement is open to all who meet the OA Switchboard’s purpose and criteria. The OA Switchboard aims to support all OA business models, all policies and all types of scholarly output. OASPA is supportive and actively involved through a strategic partnership with the OA Switchboard….

In addition, we’ve defined a shared use case with launch customers to work on together as a priority: uniform reporting from publishers to institutions/consortia and funders. This use case is based on existing, operational functionality in the OA Switchboard (described in more detail in Q18 in our FAQ’s). This shared priority covers all scenarios: no-prior-agreement, prior-agreement (with and without article-level financials), and also specifically the scenario whereby a funder is not directly involved in settling APCs. Participants engage by manual interaction with the OA Switchboard through the user interface, by integrating from their own (or their third party’s) systems with our API in the standard message structure, or by (intermediate) solutions using ‘connectors’. More about this shared priority use case and technical details in our next blog and webinar.

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A second priority use case we’re working on with our early adopters is: locating central OA funds, and getting publication charges paid in an efficient and cost-effective manner….”

OA Switchboard initiative: progress report December 2020 – OASPA

“Although many may want to forget all about 2020, I will remember it as a catalyst year, in which inspiring collaboration prepared for the OA Switchboard to go live as an operational solution in 2021. This progress report marks the end of the 2020 OA Switchboard project, and preludes the structural set-up for 2021 and beyond.

The OA Switchboard journey started way before the December 2018 initial stakeholder meeting which marked the inception of a shared vision. For a breakthrough in the transformation of the market such that OA is supported as the predominant model of publication, a joint challenge had to be addressed: the complexity around the implementation of multi-lateral OA publication-level arrangements. A solution had already been defined: an intermediary – The OA Switchboard – a central information exchange hub, connecting parties and systems, streamlining communication and the neutral exchange of OA related publication-level information, and ensuring a financial settlement can be done….”

OASPA founds new organisation with future-proof governance and funding structure for the OA Switchboard – OASPA

The OA Switchboard initiative is a not-for-profit collaboration between funders, institutions and publishers to provide essential infrastructure, standards and back office services to achieve a breakthrough in the transformation of the market such that Open Access is supported as the predominant model of publication. OASPA has been involved since the initial discussions in 2018, and led the way by exploring the feasibility for making the OA Switchboard a reality and by initiating and overseeing the 2020 project.

OA Switchboard initiative: progress report September 2020 – OASPA

“The OA Switchboard is now a reality: the MVP (Minimum Viable Product), currently in its pilot phase, has delivered a neutral information exchange ‘hub’, streamlining the communication between funders, institutions and publishers regarding OA publications. The OA Switchboard will reduce the complexity in the implementation of multi-lateral Open Access publication-level arrangements, ensuring a financial settlement can be done.

In essence, the OA Switchboard enables funders, institutions and publishers to send and receive a defined set of standardised messages between them, ideally in an automated, integrated, and scalable manner. 

OASPA is extremely proud that the 2020 project we are overseeing is completely on track, both in time and budget. Over the summer the MVP (as the first step towards this essential infrastructure) was developed in close collaboration with representatives of all stakeholder groups. We have held many plenary and 1-to-1 meetings with stakeholders and experts and have regularly reported on progress. …”