VIDEO RECORDING and Slides: LIBER 2021 Session #2: Powering Sustainable Open Publishing Platforms

Slides are available here:


Vanessa Proudman presents the results of ‘The Diamond Open Access Study’, a research study commissioned by cOAlition S. In her presentation, a new understanding of the OA Diamond sector and its maturity with respect to editorial quality assurance practices and Plan S technical requirements will be shared. Additionally, she will discuss key perceived challenges of OA Diamond journal editors and the current financial sustainability of the sector. Most importantly, she will be presenting the new OA publishing Commons, which seeks to bring together the world’s community-driven/governed journals and platforms, connect them and technically support them in a new, increasingly coordinated and sustainable way.

Next, Natalia Grygierczyk discusses an innovative model for Diamond Open Access scientific publishing, explaining not just its theoretical foundations, but also how it is actually implemented in the newly started OA Radboud University Press (OA RUP). Within the new cooperative model, the OA RUP aims to enable, guide, and support academic editorial boards in the transition process to Diamond Open Access. This presentation provides an overview of the new publishing model, its operational activities, and financial aspects. It concretely describes the collaborative process with various service providers, how the OA RUP is financially sustainable in the long term and how cost-effectiveness is achieved in the transition to Open Access.

Finally, Rebecca Wojturska provides insight into the world of launching a library-based Open Access book-hosting service. The presentation will reflect on the timeline, successes and learning points of the current University of Edinburgh library project and provide recommendations and conclusions to attendees. It will also discuss how to grow a book-hosting service and how it is useful in supporting teaching and learning. Finally, it will consider the technical requirements of such a project and share anecdotal evidence from academic and student users to document the successes of the University of Edinburgh library project and launch. As such, the primary audience for this presentation is the librarian who is beginning their own book-hosting service, or who is considering it, as well as those interested in Open Access publishing.




Balancing Investments in Open Access: Sustainability and Innovation · Commonplace

“Over the past year or so my colleagues at Temple University Libraries and I have been engaged in a project to assess various open access publishing initiatives. Led by myself and Collections Analysis Librarian Karen Kohn, our goal was to develop a plan for how the Libraries might more strategically use the collections budget to support the global transition to open. Towards this end, we organized all-staff discussions, brought in a speaker, and did a lot of reading about what other libraries are doing.

Throughout this project, I have been struck by what I see as the central tension within this work: we want to experiment and support innovative approaches to open access but at the same time we need these initiatives to be sustainable for our organization….

After a year spent learning, thinking, talking, and writing, our group came up with four priorities that will guide future decisions as to which open publishing initiatives we support. These priorities include:

Non-APC or BPC-based models

Initiatives that focus on disciplines that are less likely to have researchers with grant funding

Initiatives spearheaded by university presses or scholarly societies

Models in which the cost is comparable to a similar paywalled product and/or the change in cost over time is predictable…” 

Preprints Are Not Going to Replace Journals – The Scholarly Kitchen

“In the virtual 15th Conference of the European Association of Science Editors (EASE), a debate was held on the motion: Preprints are going to replace journals. I was asked to oppose the motion and this article is based on my arguments….

Regarding being disruptive, as Rob Johnson and Andrea Chiarelli showed, preprint servers are not threatening journals’ revenue. Although big publishers have been collaborating on (e.g., Springer Nature?Research Square and PLOS?Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory) and acquiring (e.g., Elsevier acquiring SSRN) preprint servers, while learned societies are building preprint communities, the overall investment in preprints still remains limited.

Are preprints destructive to publishers’ business? No way! Preprint servers’ current not-for-profit business model is not sustainable. Although 37 preprint servers were established between 2016 and September 2019, one preprint leader in biological sciences, PeerJ Preprints stopped posting preprints around the time COVID-19 hit the world, after a reality check on the costs required to do so. Since then, OSF Preprints has begun charging for previously free preprint platform services, leading to the shuttering of some preprint servers. Concerns over preprints as a source of misuse and misinterpretation of scientific information were raised before and during the pandemic. Due to significant health risks, manuscripts are being identified as ‘better not disseminated as preprints’. Acceptance of preprints, especially by the academic recruitment and promotion committees, is still far away from invading the space that has long been occupied by journal articles….”

Vision for PLOS Sustainability and Transformation – Latitude

“Our vision for PLOS Sustainability and Transformation is to present the broadest diversity of evidence-based solutions from around the world, to empower the transformation of countries and companies towards more sustainable development models, and to capitalize on emerging opportunities….

A key feature of PLOS Sustainability and Transformation is open science, which allows the research findings and thought leadership of our authors to reach a much wider readership and to inform policies and decisions in the government and corporate sectors….”

Catalyzing the Creation of a Repository Network in the US – SPARC

“This is an important moment in time, in which open scholarship is more visible and widely-embraced than ever before. The urgency of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic has led many researchers to eagerly embrace new, faster ways of sharing their research papers, data, and more via repositories and other open platforms. There is a renewed interest in community ownership of both infrastructure and content, and a spotlight on empowering author’s rights retention due to new funder requirements, such as Plan S. There is also a growing recognition of the pressing need to intentionally build channels for greater inclusiveness and diversity of voices in the research communication system, as underscored in the UNESCO draft recommendations which were developed through consensus by over 100 member countries.

Yet, against this backdrop of encouraging developments, the trend toward commercial concentration in the publishing industry continues unabated. This consolidation exacerbates a number of serious problems in the system, including unacceptably high and ever-increasing costs for subscriptions and APCs (article processing charges). It also contributes to a steady decline in the diversity of publishing outlets and options – decreasing bibliodiversity, which is fundamental for a healthy ecosystem….


With this context in mind, COAR and SPARC believe that it is a critical time to support and better organize the repository network in the US. This is part of an ongoing global effort led by COAR to work with national and regional organizations to enhance the role of repositories internationally. A strong vision for repositories in the US, along with collective actions that ensure their quality, sustainability and interoperability, will greatly benefit the scholarly community, and will contribute to the development of a global knowledge sharing system that is both open by default and equitable by design. …”

IOI receives $3.47M grant from Arcadia to increase investment in open infrastructure for research

We are excited to share that Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) has been awarded a 3-year, $3.47M grant from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. This grant will accelerate IOI’s work to increase investment, adoption, and sustainability of open infrastructure.

FAIR Principles for Research Software (FAIR4RS Principles) | RDA

“Research software is a fundamental and vital part of research worldwide, yet there remain significant challenges to software productivity, quality, reproducibility, and sustainability. Improving the practice of scholarship is a common goal of the open science, open source software and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) communities, but improving the sharing of research software has not yet been a strong focus of the latter.

To improve the FAIRness of research software, the FAIR for Research Software (FAIR4RS) Working Group has sought to understand how to apply the FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship to research software, bringing together existing and new community efforts. Many of the FAIR Guiding Principles can be directly applied to research software by treating software and data as similar digital research objects. However, specific characteristics of software — such as its executability, composite nature, and continuous evolution and versioning — make it necessary to revise and extend the principles.

This document presents the first version of the FAIR Principles for Research Software (FAIR4RS Principles). It is an outcome of the FAIR for Research Software Working Group (FAIR4RS WG).

The FAIR for Research Software Working Group is jointly convened as an RDA Working Group, FORCE11 Working Group, and Research Software Alliance (ReSA) Task Force.”

Publishers Support Open Science and Sustainable Public Access

[The statement is undated.]

“We believe any policy aimed at promoting public access to publications and research data should: • Promote equity through author choice by ensuring that all researchers—regardless of funding, discipline, career stage, or institution—are allowed to publish in their journals of choice, including those that ensure their publishing is economically sustainable through appropriate embargoes for free public access, such as the one-year embargo in existing policy. • Provide sufficient funding to researchers to enable cutting-edge research and discovery and to support investments in sharing their results, ensuring the quality and integrity of scholarly communication. • Protect academic freedom by empowering authors to publish in the outlets they feel have greatest potential to reach target audiences and advance the impact of their research. • Protect intellectual property—which is critical to safeguarding the integrity of authors’ work and provides essential incentives for market investment and innovation—and avoid compulsory license mandates that undermine IP and ignore the needs and preferences of researchers and differences between disciplines. • Support innovation in scholarly communication by fostering a competitive marketplace and a diverse range of business models to meet the needs of a wide variety of researchers and institutions. • Leverage existing initiatives that reduce compliance burdens and the need for taxpayer funding, building on existing infrastructures and voluntary open science practices for data, preprints, and publications. • Include publishers as stakeholders to advance broader priorities for the research ecosystem—including promoting equity and diversity in research and addressing critical public health and scientific challenges—and build partnerships between publishers, scientific societies, funders, libraries, and the academic community to advance a collaborative open science agenda….”

Practical Guide to Sustainable Research Data – Science Europe

“This Practical Guide provides guidance to ensure the long-term preservation and accessibility of research data, and supports organisations to provide a framework in which researchers can share their output in a sustainable way.

It includes three complementary maturity matrices for funders, performers, and data infrastructures. These allow them to evaluate the current status of their policies and practices, and to identify next steps towards sustainable data sharing and seeking alignment with other organisations in doing so….”

Open search tools need sustainable funding – Research Professional News

“The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered an explosion of knowledge, with more than 200,000 papers published to date. At one point last year, scientific output on the topic was doubling every 20 days. This huge growth poses big challenges for researchers, many of whom have pivoted to coronavirus research without experience or preparation.

Mainstream academic search engines are not built for such a situation. Tools such as Google Scholar, Scopus and Web of Science provide long, unstructured lists of results with little context.

These work well if you know what you are looking for. But for anyone diving into an unknown field, it can take weeks, even months, to identify the most important topics, publication venues and authors. This is far too long in a public health emergency.

The result has been delays, duplicated work, and problems with identifying reliable findings. This lack of tools to provide a quick overview of research results and evaluate them correctly has created a crisis in discoverability itself. …

Building on these, meta-aggregators such as Base, Core and OpenAIRE have begun to rival and in some cases outperform the proprietary search engines. …”

Contracter à l’heure de la publication en accès ouvert. Une analyse systématique des accords transformants – HAL-SHS – Sciences de l’Homme et de la Société

Abstract:  Abstract : This study focuses on one of the contemporary innovations linked to the economy of academic publishing: the so-called transformative agreements, a relatively circumscribed object within the relations between library consortia and academic publishers, and temporally situated between 2015 and 2020. The stated objective of this type of agreement is to organise the transition from the traditional model of subscription to journals (often proposed by thematic groupings or collections) to that of open access by reallocating the budgets devoted to it. Our sociological analysis work constitutes a first systematic study of this object, based on a review of 197 agreements. The corpus thus constituted includes agreements characterised by the co-presence of a subscription component and an open access publication component, even minimal (publication “tokens” offered, reduction on APCs, etc.). As a result, agreements that only concern centralised funding for open access publishing were excluded from the analysis, whether with publishers that only offer journals with payment by the author (PLOS, Frontiers, MDPI, etc.) or publishers whose catalogue includes open access journals. The oldest agreement in our corpus was signed in 2010, the most recent ones in 2020 – agreements starting only in 2021, even announced during the study, were not retained. Several results emerge from our analysis. First of all, there is a great diversity of actors involved with 22 countries and 39 publishers, even if some consortia (Netherlands, Sweden, Austria, Germany) and publishers (CUP, Elsevier, RSC, Springer) signed many more than others. Secondly, the duration of the agreements, ranging from one to six years, reveals a very unequal distribution, with more than half of the agreements (103) signed for 3 years, and a small proportion for 4 years or more (22 agreements). Finally, despite repeated calls for transparency, less than half of the agreements (96) have an accessible text at the time of this study, with no recent trend towards greater availability. The analysis also shows widely varying degrees of openness, ranging from simple information on the ESAC directory through the provision of an open format to the allocation of a DOI and a reuse licence (CC-BY), including details of monetary amounts. Of the 96 agreements available, 47 of which were signed in 2020, 62 have been analysed in depth. To our knowledge, this is the first analysis on this scale, on a type of material that was not only unpublished, but which was previously subject to confidentiality clauses. Based on a careful reading, the study describes in detail their properties, from the materiality of the document to the financial formulas, including their morphology and all the rights and duties of the parties. We therefore analysed the content of the agreements as a collection, looking for commonalities and variations through an explicit coding of their characteristics. The study also points out some uncertainties, in particular their “transitional” character, which remains strongly debated. From a morphological point of view, the agreements show a great diversity in size (from 7 to 488 pages) and structure. Nevertheless, by definition, they both articulate two essential objects: on the one hand, the conditions for carrying out a reading of journal articles, in the form of a subscription, combining concerns of access and security; on the other hand, the modalities of open access publication, articulating the management of a new type of workflow with a whole series of possible options. These options include the scope of the journals considered (hybrid and/or open access), the licences available, the degree of obligation to publish, the eligible authors or the volume of publishable articles. One of the most important results of this in-depth analysis is the discovery of an almost complete decoupling, within the agreements themselves, between the subscription object and the publication object. Of course, subscription is systematically configured in a closed world, subject to payment, which triggers series of identification of legitimate circulations of both information content and users. In particular, it insists on prohibitions on the reuse or even copying of academic articles. On the other hand, open access publishing is attached to a world governed by free access to content, which leads to concerns about workflow management and accessibility modalities. Moreover, the different elements that make up these contractual objects are not interconnected: on one side, the readers are all members of the subscribing institutions, on the other, only the corresponding authors are concerned; the lists of journals accessible to the reader and those reserved for open access publication are usually distinct; the workflows have totally different objectives and material organisations, etc. The articulation between the two contractual objects is solely a matter of a financial distribution formula which, in addition to particular combinations between one an

arXiv’s Giving Week is May 2 – 8, 2021

“arXiv is free to read and submit research, so why are we asking for donations?

arXiv is not free to operate, and, as a nonprofit, we depend on the generosity of foundations, members, donors, volunteers, and individuals like you to survive and thrive. If arXiv matters to you and you have the means to contribute, we humbly ask you to join arXiv’s global community of supporters with a donation during arXiv’s Giving Week, May 2 – 8, 2021.

Less than one percent of the five million visitors to arXiv this month will donate. If everyone contributed just $1 each, we would be able to meet our annual operating budget and save for future financial stability.

Would you like to know more about our operations and how arXiv’s funds are spent? Check out our annual report for more information….”

The Open Library of Humanities merges with Birkbeck — Birkbeck, University of London

“Today, extending their existing partnership, and cementing the future of the platform, the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) has merged with Birkbeck. 

The merger allows OLH to maintain its charitable status, while ensuring its ongoing financial sustainability and reducing redundant administrative overhead….”

Newly revised Open Access Commitment by librarians and archivists – University Library – University of Saskatchewan

“Open access enables anyone to read and make use of research products at no cost and with limited copyright restrictions. This makes access to research results more equitable and allows us as authors and researchers to reach a wider audience.

We adopted the first commitment to making our research publications as openly available as possible more than ten years ago in 2010. Much has changed since then! We have rebranded our institutional repository as HARVEST and opened it up for all USask researchers to self-archive their own publications OA for free; we have become more aware of the importance of making more products of our research (such as protocols and research data) openly available as well; and we now more clearly acknowledge our professional role in advocating for a more sustainable publishing system. These are several of the revisions that we approved in our  new Open Access Commitment. There is also an acknowledgement that not all research products are appropriate to be shared openly for cultural, privacy, or ethical reasons.

USask librarians and archivists are not alone in adopting such statements. The Open Scholarship Policy Observatory at the University of Victoria tracks Canadian University Open Access Statements. Currently there are 14 university-level statements and 12 department or college-level statements, most of which are from libraries like ours!

To learn more about open access, please visit our guide.”