How can open science help achieve sustainability? | Research Information

“A focused, strategic and global approach to addressing the causes of climate change could pull us back from the precipice upon which we stand. But what does this have to do with research publishing? Of course publishers are part of a global network that reviews, improves, disseminates and ensures access to critical research that is providing the evidence-base about climate change – and, crucially – mitigation of its impact. However we believe that scholarly publishing, as a sector, has a wider role to play. Our impact is not just through publication of climate research, not just through our environmental consciousness as businesses, but also through driving open research. But why is open science critical if we are to collectively address climate change or support other sustainable development goals? 

The last 18 months has provided a perfect case study of why open science and open research matters. As Covid-19 took hold around the globe, it underscored how interconnected the world is and provided many examples of the vital role that open science could play in speeding up the response and improving outcomes. If rapidly and openly sharing research data and papers is critical to understanding and combating coronavirus, doesn’t the same hold true for climate and environmental concerns? Or other health issues such as cancer, heart disease, maternal and child mortality? 

The short answer is yes. But we have a long way to go. The past 18 months has shown the positive impact that open science can have in tackling the sorts of global issues that require collaborative, multi-disciplinary solutions. However it has also thrown into stark relief the gaps and challenges that hinder the full realisation of the potential of open research to help address societal challenges. The lack of integrated policy, if not tackled, will limit the social impact of open research, particularly with respect to the sustainable development goals (SDGs). …”

Workshop on Sustainable Software Sustainability 2021 (WoSSS21) (Oct 6-8, 2021) | Software Sustainability Institute

The Workshop on Sustainable Software Sustainability (WoSSS) series focuses on the topic of software sustainability, particularly on bringing together different research communities and provisions for the long term. 

WoSSS21 will surface key areas of software sustainability in cultural heritage, Open Science & FAIR software, research software and human infrastructures. The workshop will take place online from Wednesday 6th – Friday 8th October 2021. The programme has been curated by our programme committee to cover a broad cross section of software sustainability topics and a diverse mixture of speakers. You can find the full workshop programme at

We would like to invite you to participate in WoSSS21 (registration is now open)! The workshop programme features multiple break out discussion sessions. These sessions will capture the points of view of workshop participants and these will be reflected a final report. The real value of WoSSS is in the contributions by workshop participants. We invite you to join and make WoSSS a success! Please feel free to share this invitation to your network.

WoSSS21 is a free to attend event and you must agree to abide by the participation guidelines – WoSSS aims to be a welcoming and safe workshop environment. WoSSS21 consists of four sessions, two AM and two PM; to help facilitate international participation.

Subscribe to Progress: Advancing Equity Through Openness · Business of Knowing, summer 2021

“The open access business model Subscribe to Open (S2O) continues to capture attention from the scholarly publishing community. cOAlition S provided a recent endorsement, stating it “encourages publishers to seriously consider the Subscribe to Open Model as a model for achieving full transformation to open access publishing and Plan S compliance.” Wellcome Trust now allows its funds to be used to pay for S2O costs. And, just recently, came news that Project Muse, with funding from the Mellon Foundation, will study the viability of multiple coordinated S2O offers. If successful, they plan to move forward with the “design of a robust and multifaceted pilot program for journals in the humanities and social sciences.” This would be the largest and most ambitious implementation of S2O to date and the first time the model is applied to transition aggregated subscription content.

This all comes after an already busy year for S2O. Several publishers launched new S2O offers for 2021, including EDP Sciences, Pluto Journals, Berghahn Journals (now in its second year), and the International Water Association (IWA). Annual Reviews, who originally developed the model and launched a pilot with 5 journals in 2020, has expanded its offering by adding 3 new journals for 2021. Annual Reviews also led the launch of what has become a lively and thriving S2O Community of Practice, where publishers, librarians and funders share information in monthly meetings and on a website to support and promote the model.

This is exciting and remarkable progress for a model that is a relative newcomer to the world of scholarly publishing, and it raises some interesting questions. What accounts for S2O’s growing momentum? Why has it captured the interest of a growing number of publishers, librarians, and funders? Will it prove sustainable?…”

Sustainable Authorship Models for a Discourse-Based Scholarly Communication Infrastructure · Business of Knowing, summer 2021

“Today’s scholarly communication infrastructure is not designed to support scholarly synthesis. When gathering sources for a literature review, researchers need to answer questions about theories, lines of evidence, and claims, and how they inform, support, or oppose each other. This information cannot be found simply in the titles of research papers, in groupings of papers by area, or even in citation or authorship networks (the sole focus of most scholarly communication infrastructure).

This limitation is a serious impediment to knowledge building and synthesis. Consider that, by some estimates, approximately 50% or more of the time cost of systematic reviews is devoted to workarounds for this infrastructural limitation: screening papers (title, abstract, and full-text) to determine if it actually contains a claim that is relevant and worth checking, then extracting the claims and metadata for analysis; worse, other scholars do not get to benefit from this intermediate product and must start all over again. With this in mind, it’s not so surprising that systematic reviews are rarely updated even when they need to be. Many doctoral dissertations also lack coverage and synthesis of literature, and published papers are not much better. It’s plausible, too, that this limitation contributes substantially to slowdowns in research progress via the growing burden of knowledge.

How might we build an alternative scholarly communication infrastructure that can overcome this core limitation?…”

Hire Everyone: Scholarly Publishing and Cooperative Sustainability · Business of Knowing, summer 2021

“If we are to recognize the complex and variegated significance of publishing knowledge, which might hopefully supplant current discourse on impact and concurrently acknowledge the consequence of such work for its laborers, it can no longer be acceptable that any element of this production might exist without remuneration. As we create new spaces for learning through Open Access, the age of indirect compensation covered by the institution, is long over. The practice of sustainable compensation must extend to every aspect of publishing, including composition, editing, and peer review.

The opening of spaces for scholarship necessitates a recognition that knowledge production is open to a multitude of forms. Expanding our vision of knowledge forms proliferates possibilities in who might participate in its production. Therefore, efforts to arrive at Open Access are more closely fulfilled by enacting welcoming and democratic sites for knowledge sharing. We must acknowledge that a significant amount of labor and number of laborers is necessary to maintain these spaces. This industry will be sustainable, therefore, through investment and infrastructure to sustain those people, communities, and forms of participation that enable scholarly publishing….

The cooperative model is envisioned in this proposal as a way of rethinking Open Access scholarly publishing as a means to encourage horizontal, diverse, and plural decision making and ownership….” 

U of T launches Knowledge Equity Lab to elevate marginalized voices in academia | University of Toronto

How can researchers overcome the problem of racism in science?

For Leslie Chan, an associate professor at the Centre for Critical Development Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough, you begin by addressing how science categorizes things like plants, animals, diseases and sociological issues. 

Consider the treatment of the Kenyan vegetable called jute mallow. Its green, fleshy leaves have been eaten in Africa and Asia for at least 2,000 years. High in calcium, potassium, iron, sodium, phosphorus, beta-carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and ascorbic acid, it has long been considered a staple of the Kenyan diet, according to Mary Abukutsa-Onyango, a professor at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.  

Yet, after more than a decade of research, Abukutsa-Onyango struggled to find an international journal to publish a scientific paper she wrote wrote on jute marrow and other African indigenous vegetables, which she argued could replace global monoculture and be used to address the nation’s problems with child malnutrition, poverty, and food security. 

“They didn’t recognize my work, not because it wasn’t good, but because they regarded these plants as weeds,” Abukutsa-Onyango says.

Enter U of T’s Chan. His solution is the Knowledge Equity Lab, which launches this week. The lab, housed at U of T Scarborough’s Centre for Critical Development Studies, is a trans-disciplinary space that seeks to challenge multiple forms of exclusion within the structure of knowledge production and exchange. That includes everything from pushing back against the dominance of the English language in science to learning from Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing.

Call for Papers: The Global Transition to Open: Structuring Library Sustainability Toward a More Equitable Knowledge Ecosystem | Commonplace

We invite contributions to a series that explores how libraries are realigning their collections spending with their values around Open. We ask that abstracts of 300 words or fewer be submitted by Monday, September 13, 2021 (please see key details below). 

Libraries face a dizzying and growing array of open access investment opportunities. These range from open infrastructure to new open access publisher agreements. Although libraries can be motivated by altruism when investing in open initiatives, many are trying to embed “openness” into their collections strategies. This is much easier said than done when emerging open access models rarely mimic the legacy subscription or one-time purchase models upon which the library community has grown accustomed. This series seeks to examine the challenges and efforts underway at academic libraries as they make their way forward in this new environment. 

An article published in the Commonplace in June 2021 titled “Balancing Investments in Open Access: Sustainability and Innovation” inspired this upcoming series. In this article, Annie Johnson raises questions that many in the library community are starting to ask: 

“So how can we ensure that our support for open does not become unsustainable in the face of continued cuts to our collections budget? And perhaps more importantly, how can we make informed, strategic decisions about which initiatives to support (and which not to support) when each agreement takes so much time to evaluate, and staff are already spread so thin?”[undefined]

These are critical questions that all academic libraries are facing. We believe sharing our stories and learnings at this important juncture will help us to collectively navigate the challenges ahead and, critically, to create a more equitable and just scholarly communication system.

We seek proposals that will address topics or questions, such as:

What guiding goals and principles can help libraries make decisions and measure the efficacy of their spending?

How is “transformative” defined? What are we transforming?

How are libraries balancing local reading and publishing needs with the desire to transform global scholarly communications?

How do we bridge the organizational divide between collections and scholarly communications?

Who are the key stakeholders and how do we secure their buy-in?

When should we go it alone and when do we partner?

How do we align open knowledge practices and spending with issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice?

How can libraries talk to each other and/or across campus about these topics? 

What new top-down models encourage new, sustainable, and open frameworks (rather than just operate within the existing, legacy structure)? Who has implemented them, and how?

Describe strategies for libraries that do not have a Press at their university, that can still support local open scholarly publishing efforts.

Anything you think we’ve missed!

Business of Knowing: Bringing about [infra]structural change to Knowledge Communication – a summer 2021 series | Commonplace

This Commonplace series comprises essays in response to a call for submissions that itself was a response to channel community conversation prompted by the essay “Clarivate, ProQuest, and our Resistance to Commercializing Knowledge.”

List of Contributions:

Ahearn, Catherine, and Sarah Kearns. 2021. ‘The Business of Knowing: Bringing about [Infra]Structural Change to Knowledge Communication’. Commonplace, June.

Ayers, Phoebe, and Samuel J. Klein. 2021. ‘The Invisible Citation Commons’. Commonplace 1 (1).

Brundy, Curtis, and Ginny Steel. 2021. ‘Subscribe to Progress: Advancing Equity Through Openness’. Commonplace, August.

Chan, Joel. 2021. ‘Sustainable Authorship Models for a Discourse-Based Scholarly Communication Infrastructure’. Commonplace 1 (1).

Cressman, Colleen. 2021. ‘Trust in Infrastructure’. Commonplace 1 (1).

Kaufman, Peter B. 2021. ‘Video and Knowledge Communication’. Commonplace 1 (1).

Kearns, Sarah, and Catherine Ahearn. 2021. ‘It’s All of Our Business’. Commonplace 1 (1).

Kraker, Peter. 2021. ‘Now Is the Time to Fund Open Infrastructures’. Commonplace, August.

Martin, Shawn J. 2021. ‘Historical Choices and Knowledge Production’. Commonplace, August.

Pooley, Jefferson. 2021. ‘Collective Funding to Reclaim Scholarly Publishing’. Commonplace, August.

Rudmann, Dan, Kayshini Holbourne, and Elli Gerakopoulou. 2021. ‘Hire Everyone: Scholarly Publishing and Cooperative Sustainability’. Commonplace 1 (1).

Future of Open Scholarship: Costs & Benefits of Collective Investment | Zenodo

Pugh, Katrina, & Thaney, Kaitlin. (2021). Future of Open Scholarship: Costs & Benefits of Collective Investment. Zenodo.

This research brief explores the costs and benefits of collective investment, conducted as part of the Future of Open Scholarship research effort led by Invest in Open Infrastructure. Accompanying this brief is an interactive model which can be accessed here:

For additional information on this project, visit:

DOAB/OAPEN reaches important funding milestone | SCOSS – The Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services


The Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) and OAPEN, jointly part of SCOSS’s second funding cycle, has met a significant milestone by reaching its three-year funding goal of 505,000 Euros in about 18 months, despite the COVID-19 challenge. SCOSS and DOAB/OAPEN would like to express their gratitude towards its global funding community of 89 institutions from 14 countries that have contributed to this campaign. Ahead lies now the challenge for DOAB/OAPEN to sustain this crucial financial support from the community.

Subscribe to Open (S2O): An Interview Post in Two Parts (Part 1) – The Scholarly Kitchen

“The AMS is not bucking the open access trend — indeed, we are launching a major new electronic-only, Diamond Open Access journal – Communications of the AMS (CAMS) – a research journal that sits at the interface of theoretical and applied mathematics. The journal is donor funded and will be endowed to ensure the journal succeeds in perpetuity.

However, we are looking for other ways to avoid reliance on article processing charges (APCs) for revenue. One of the most intriguing options is Subscribe to Open (S2O) – or at least it seems that way. But then again, there are pros and cons to a model that is philosophically appealing, but may not be sustainable in the long term….

For an independent academic society, I can see many advantages in S2O. I see the pros of a collective approach to openness that in principle is sustainable. Yet, I do see risks. Right now, there is an ethical force that sits beyond the boundary of logical institutional expenditure. Ongoing financial support requires university administration to accept the idea that their school should subscribe so that others may not need to. Will this approach work globally? Is this how an institution’s Provost or VP of Research sees sensible institutional spend going forward? On the one hand, usage may grow, but it is hard to see how there could be subscription, or financial growth with such a model – perhaps this is the point – but a publisher has to consider these issues….

Rather than letting all this keep me awake at night, I thought I would turn to a few experts with a few burning questions, asking them to help me navigate my way through this complexity.

As you read the thoughtful responses below, I am interested to know what you think. My take-away is that there is a symmetry and determination to S2O that appears to defy the logic of unsustainability. It is also clear that we need to know more over a period of time to see if S2O will work or not. The question I pose on Creative Commons Licensing appears to be an afterthought for many, and indeed the answers below solidify my sense that there is no clear link between S2O and the use of Creative Commons licensing, or if there is, it needs to transparently be the authors’ decision

Voices included here are: Curtis Brundy (Associate University Librarian, Iowa State University), Larry Howell (Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Associate Academic Vice President, Brigham Young University), Judith Russell (Dean of University Libraries, University of Florida), Rick Anderson (University Librarian at Brigham Young University and Scholarly Kitchen Chef), Tom Ward (Professor of Mathematics and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education), Newcastle University), Richard Gallagher (President and Editor-in-Chief, Annual Reviews), Michael Levine-Clark (Dean of the University of Denver Libraries)….”

scholar-led Open Access: Manifesto for fair publishing in German-speaking countries points out problematic issues in the current publishing system and wants to initiate a debate on the role of scholar-led Open Access

In its manifesto, the focus group, which was established within the framework of the project, criticises the current scholarly publishing system in the German-speaking world and, at the same time, provides fields of action for the development of a fair, planned and bibliodiverse publishing culture.

The authors of the text identify a journal crisis in the course of the Open Access transformation. This is reflected, among other things, in the monopoly position of major publishers who demand high publication fees from authors – so-called APCs (Article Processing Charges) and BPCs (Book Processing Charges). According to the Manifesto, this leads to new inequalities and exclusions. In order to make the Open Access transformation fairer and more diverse, scholar-led publishing models that do not charge such fees can be strengthened (Diamond Open Access). However, the current situation of scholar-led projects is deficient, partly due to a lack of funding.

Based on its critique, the focus group formulates concrete fields of action in which scholars, research institutions, libraries, research funding institutions, professional societies and other parts of the scholarly community must jointly get involved in to strengthen a diverse, independent and fair publication ecosystem. The fields of action are:

Networking, collaboration and strategic frameworks.
Sustainable funding structures for Diamond Open Access
Promotion of bibliodiversity in academia

You can access the manifesto via this link:

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…”