Open access research repositories provide diversity and innovation publishers can’t match. They have a critical role in archiving, preserving and sharing the diverse content produced by universities. | Plan S

“Where there is a lack of consensus is in how open access should be achieved. The majority of governments, international bodies such as UNESCO, institutions, researchers, and publishers along with groups such as Open Access Australasia (the group I work for), and prominent international organisations such as COAR and SPARC are committed to a diverse ecosystem of open publishing supported through a variety of means, nicely summed up in the phrase “bibliodiversity”.

Yet a minority of commercial publishers, especially and most recently articulated by Springer Nature’s Steven Inchcoombe insist that the only route to open access should be through journals, and not just any journals, but specifically hybrid journals, which of course are the journals that make up the bulk of the journals that Springer Nature and other large publishers still rely on for revenue….

The consolidation of infrastructure and services that underpin scholarly communication is perhaps even more alarming. Whereas journals changing hands does not generally lead to them being shut down or amalgamated into other journals, for services the reverse is true….

Institutional and disciplinary repositories offer a community-owned, robust alternative. Their very distributed state gives a degree of stability and flexibility of approach that publishers simply can’t replicate. Repositories provide access to publications, but also an array of unique content including theses, research reports, audiovisual-content, code and data. They also support the retention of rights by authors, as the recently updated UNSW OA policy enshrines. Yet, publishers decry repositories, claiming that “Green [repository based open access] doesn’t offer the benefits of higher citations and increased downloads that come with gold [journal based] open access; it isn’t the version that researchers want, and is not sustainable for publishers”. However, the facts simply don’t support these arguments and fail to recognise the huge use of and, increasingly, innovation happening within the repository system.

Repositories have a critical role in archiving, preserving and sharing the diverse content produced by universities so it can be used by others and have the greatest impact on our society. Repositories such as QUT’s, for example, see a huge volume of downloads of their content — more than 1.3 million downloads so far this year of its just over 122,000 items. In Latin America, there is a distributed network of national repositories, La Referencia which hold more than 2.3 million articles as well as more than 400,000 doctoral theses. And repositories are now at the forefront of non-commercial innovation in open access, aligning with services such as overlay journals that review and distribute content held by repositories, interoperability that links outputs across the whole research lifecycle, and open peer review….”

Public Access in PMC Update

In 2021, PubMed Central (PMC) continued to grow and evolve in its role as a repository for research support by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other partner funding agencies. Around 1.3 million articles have been made publicly accessible in PMC under the NIH Public Access Policy; and the volume of NIH-supported articles added to PMC with associated data content continues to increase annually (59% of articles in 2020 included supplementary material and/or a data availability statement vs. 27% in 2009).

Updated PMC Launching Soon!

In the coming weeks, we will be launching an updated PMC website with a modern design. You can try the updated version on PMC Labs now, and it will become the default design of the PMC website following launch. Be sure to check the banner at the top of the PMC website for updates on an exact cutover date.

Updated PMC Launching Soon!

In the coming weeks, we will be launching an updated PMC website with a modern design. You can try the updated version on PMC Labs now, and it will become the default design of the PMC website following launch. Be sure to check the banner at the top of the PMC website for updates on an exact cutover date.

Expanding our global capacity for preprint sharing – COAR

“In the past, institutional and generalist repositories have not played a significant role in hosting these objects. However, as the sharing of preprints becomes more widely embraced, these types of repositories are obvious mechanisms to expand the preprint ecosystem internationally, without having to launch many new preprint services.

In August/September 2021, ASAPbio and COAR conducted a survey of institutional and generalist repositories to gauge their current activities and future plans related to the collection of preprints. We received 118 responses, with over 65% of respondents indicating that they already have preprints in their collection. In addition, of those respondents that do not currently collect preprints, over 65% indicated that they plan to do so in the future. According to the survey, practices are quite varied in terms of the services related to preprints provided by these repositories. Most support linking to the published journal version of the article, and about half of them assign DOIs (though it is common practice for most repositories to assign permanent URL, such as a handle). However, other services common in domain preprint archives, such as support for versioning, linking to external peer review services, and basic screening, are less common. A more detailed report of the survey findings will be available soon.

COAR and ASAPbio recognize that it is important these repositories are able to respond to the needs of the research community when collecting preprints. To that end, we will be launching a working group with the aim of understanding current challenges, developing some good practice recommendations, and creating a plan to advance the adoption of the functionalities that support the collection of preprints in institutional and generalist repositories.”

Humanities Commons Receives $971,000 Mellon Grant to Support Its Expansion – College of Arts & Letters

“Humanities Commons, which is hosted and sustained by Michigan State University and led by Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Digital Humanities for MSU’s College of Arts & Letters, was awarded a $971,000, 5-year grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support a multi-year restructuring of its business model.

An online open-source platform, Humanities Commons facilitates communication and collaboration among scholars and practitioners across the humanities and around the world. It enables users to engage in discussions across humanities disciplines and to share articles, presentations, and other scholarly materials with their peers and the public. Members also create online professional profiles to help connect with others and to share their work more broadly. …”

arXiv’s membership program is now based on submissions | blog

“arXiv’s members have provided approximately 25% of our operating budget for the past ten years, supporting arXiv’s mission to provide a reliable open platform for sharing research. By becoming arXiv members, more than 230 institutions around the world have made a strong statement in favor of open access, open science, and sustainable academic publishing. Thank you, members!

We are happy to announce our updated membership program, which was developed in collaboration with the Membership Advisory Board. This program is part of our sustainability model, complements arXiv’s diverse funding sources, including societies and other organizations, and ensures that arXiv will have the funding required to continue meeting researchers’ evolving needs.

arXiv membership is inclusive, flexible, and offers your institution a high value, low-risk, budget-conscious option to serve your scholarly community. Members receive public recognition, institutional usage statistics, eligibility to serve in arXiv’s governance, and more….

Universities, libraries, research institutes, and laboratories are invited to join or renew. For standard memberships, annual fees are based on submissions by institution, averaged over three years….”


“Overton is the world’s largest searchable index of policy documents, guidelines, think tank publications and working papers. 

It collects data from 182 countries and over a thousand sources worldwide with more being added all the time.

We parse each document, finding references, people and key concepts, and then link them to the relevant news stories, academic research, think tank output and other policy.

Our products allow you to search these documents and see where your ideas, papers, reports and staff are being cited or mentioned.

We can help you to discover where your work may be influencing or changing practice in the real world.”

Systematic examination of preprint platforms for use in the medical and biomedical sciences setting | BMJ Open

Abstract:  Objectives The objective of this review is to identify all preprint platforms with biomedical and medical scope and to compare and contrast the key characteristics and policies of these platforms.

Study design and setting Preprint platforms that were launched up to 25 June 2019 and have a biomedical and medical scope according to MEDLINE’s journal selection criteria were identified using existing lists, web-based searches and the expertise of both academic and non-academic publication scientists. A data extraction form was developed, pilot tested and used to collect data from each preprint platform’s webpage(s).

Results A total of 44 preprint platforms were identified as having biomedical and medical scope, 17 (39%) were hosted by the Open Science Framework preprint infrastructure, 6 (14%) were provided by F1000 Research (the Open Research Central infrastructure) and 21 (48%) were other independent preprint platforms. Preprint platforms were either owned by non-profit academic groups, scientific societies or funding organisations (n=28; 64%), owned/partly owned by for-profit publishers or companies (n=14; 32%) or owned by individuals/small communities (n=2; 5%). Twenty-four (55%) preprint platforms accepted content from all scientific fields although some of these had restrictions relating to funding source, geographical region or an affiliated journal’s remit. Thirty-three (75%) preprint platforms provided details about article screening (basic checks) and 14 (32%) of these actively involved researchers with context expertise in the screening process. Almost all preprint platforms allow submission to any peer-reviewed journal following publication, have a preservation plan for read access and most have a policy regarding reasons for retraction and the sustainability of the service.

Conclusion A large number of preprint platforms exist for use in biomedical and medical sciences, all of which offer researchers an opportunity to rapidly disseminate their research findings onto an open-access public server, subject to scope and eligibility.