Say Hello to Anno : Hypothesis | 18 Aug 2022

“It’s been 11 years since we launched Hypothesis. It’s gone by so fast. During this time, we’ve accomplished many things: We defined a vision for open web annotation, we built an open source framework to implement it, we helped form and lead the working group that shipped the W3C standard, and we launched a service that’s now used by over a million people around the world who have made nearly 40 million annotations. In higher education, more than 1,200 colleges and universities use Hypothesis. And we’ve grown from a handful of people into a team of more than 35 passionate web builders. We’re not stopping here.

We’ve always had our sights set on the bigger idea: that this still-nascent effort can blossom into a true network of interoperable services — a rich ecosystem of collaboration, conversation and community over all knowledge. We believe that when incentives are aligned toward quality and away from monetizing attention, we can produce something of profound social importance. A utility layer for humanity. Since launch, the Hypothesis Project has been incorporated as a nonprofit. And while our nonprofit was an excellent home for our mission, it also limited us to grants and donations. Though we were beginning to provide services that we could charge for, we still needed capital to expand. Frustratingly, while our needs were growing, several of the key funding sources we’d relied on were no longer available to us as they shuttered programs or changed strategies. In 2019, we and others formed Invest In Open Infrastructure (IOI), an “initiative to dramatically increase the amount of funding available to open scholarly infrastructure.” We recruited Kaitlin Thaney to that effort, and she has been doing a terrific job laying the foundation for this. But all this would take time we didn’t have.

In response, and to better position us to achieve our long-held mission, we’ve formed Anno, a public benefit corporation (aka “Annotation Unlimited, PBC”) that shares the Hypothesis mission as well as its team. We’ve done this so that we can take investment in a mission aligned way and scale the Hypothesis service to meet the opportunity in front of us. Anno is funded by a $14M seed round that includes a $2.5M investment from ITHAKA, the nonprofit provider of JSTOR, a digital library that serves more than 13,000 education institutions around the world, providing access to more than 12 million journal articles, books, images and primary sources in 75 disciplines. Also participating in the round are At.inc, Triage Ventures, Esther Dyson, Mark Pincus and others. ITHAKA’s president, Kevin Guthrie, has joined Anno’s board as an observer….”

ITHAKA invests in open-annotation leader Hypothesis – ITHAKA

“ITHAKA is investing in the leading open annotation service Hypothesis. Hypothesis—developed with funding from the Sloan, Mellon and other foundations—allows users to make private, semi-private, or public annotations on any webpage, PDF, or document. This $2.5 million investment—made to Anno, the public-benefit corporation that is home to Hypothesis—furthers ITHAKA’s mission to expand access to knowledge and education by supporting a key component of open higher education infrastructure: interoperable teaching and learning tools that positively impact student learning outcomes.

Hypothesis is available as a free browser extension as well as a fee-based enterprise service that integrates annotation functionality directly into college and university learning management systems. It has a million users globally and more than 200 institutional customers. Faculty and students are using Hypothesis in the classroom to annotate course material, generating asynchronous discussion around specific texts. This relatively simple activity of coming together virtually around an assigned reading, known as social annotation, is making an impact. At Wake Forest University, Hypothesis is now being used by over 60% of all students across all disciplines. Recent case studies, like this one analyzing social annotation in three undergraduate courses at a Canadian university, are also showing evidence of its potential….”

ITHAKA invests in open annotation leader HypothesisA letter from Kevin Guthrie – News – About JSTOR

“I am excited to share today that we have invested $2.5 million in Anno, the public-benefit corporation that is home to Hypothesis.

As you may know, Hypothesis is a tool that enables people to annotate documents and webpages. Its free browser extension is in use by a million people globally, with a version that integrates with learning management systems now installed at 200 colleges and universities. We see tremendous potential for tools like Hypothesis that are open and interoperable to improve teaching and learning.

In addition to the investment, we are working on a pilot project with Anno to enable the use of Hypothesis with the text-based materials on JSTOR through learning management systems. As an organization with a mission to expand access to knowledge and education, ITHAKA’s investment and this collaboration will support the use and study of the materials you and we have worked so hard to produce, preserve and make accessible. I encourage you to read our public announcement as well as Anno’s blog post for more details….”

ITHAKA invests in open annotation leader HypothesisA letter from Kevin Guthrie – News – About JSTOR

“I am excited to share today that we have invested $2.5 million in Anno, the public-benefit corporation that is home to Hypothesis.

As you may know, Hypothesis is a tool that enables people to annotate documents and webpages. Its free browser extension is in use by a million people globally, with a version that integrates with learning management systems now installed at 200 colleges and universities. We see tremendous potential for tools like Hypothesis that are open and interoperable to improve teaching and learning.

In addition to the investment, we are working on a pilot project with Anno to enable the use of Hypothesis with the text-based materials on JSTOR through learning management systems. As an organization with a mission to expand access to knowledge and education, ITHAKA’s investment and this collaboration will support the use and study of the materials you and we have worked so hard to produce, preserve and make accessible. I encourage you to read our public announcement as well as Anno’s blog post for more details….”

Leveraging Data Communities to Advance Open Science – Ithaka S+R

“Several recent studies have indicated that large numbers of researchers in many STEM fields now accept the value of openly sharing research data. Yet, the actual practice of sharing data—especially in forms that comply with FAIR principles—remains a challenge for many researchers to integrate into their workflows and prioritize among the demands on their time.[1] In many disciplines and subfields, data sharing is still mostly an ideal, honored more in the breach than in practice.[2]

The barriers to open data sharing are numerous.[3] However, sustained funding from federal agencies in the United States including the NSF and NIH and important initiatives in other countries such as Canada’s Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy and the European Union’s OpenAire, is creating a growing infrastructure for open sharing of research data, albeit one that highlights the tension between scientific research practices that are now regularly multi-national in scope yet exist within funding and regulatory structures determined largely by national entities.[4] In the US context, the most visible fruits of these efforts are the decentralized network of repositories that have become available to researchers in many fields and are now a vital infrastructure for data sharing across many fields. As incentive structures have slowly shifted, the number of researchers taking advantage of these resources has also grown.

The existence of these repositories are necessary enabling conditions for data sharing, but their ability to transform researcher’s practices around data depositing and sharing absent changes to incentive structures and the culture of research communities will remain uneven. Furthering the goals of open science requires convincing more researchers of the value of data sharing to themselves and to the community of researchers with whom they most tangibly identify. Creating and encouraging community norms that reward sharing is necessary because data sharing, especially FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) compliant sharing, is hard work. Absent strong incentive and reward structures, researchers are often reluctant to take on this “extra” labor. Successful data sharing ultimately depends on cultural and social infrastructures as much as on technical infrastructures….”

The Effectiveness and Durability of Digital Preservation and Curation Systems | Ithaka S+R

Oya Y. Rieger, Roger C. Schonfeld, Liam Sweeney (2022) The Effectiveness and Durability of Digital Preservation and Curation Systems. https://doi.org/10.18665/sr.316990

Executive Summary

Our cultural, historic, and scientific heritage is increasingly being produced and shared in digital forms, whether born-digital or reformatted from physical materials. There are fundamentally two different types of approaches being taken to preservation: One is programmatic preservation, a series of cross-institutional efforts to curate and preserve specific content types or collections usually based on the establishment of trusted repositories. Examples of providers in this category that provide programmatic preservation include CLOCKSS, Internet Archive, HathiTrust, and Portico.[1] In addition, there are third-party preservation platforms, which are utilized by individual heritage organizations that undertake their own discrete efforts to provide curation, discovery, and long-term management of their institutional digital content and collections.[2]

In August 2020, with funding from the Institute of Library and Museum Services (IMLS), Ithaka S+R launched an 18-month research project to examine and assess the sustainability of these third-party digital preservation systems. In addition to a broad examination of the landscape, we more closely studied eight systems: APTrust, Archivematica, Arkivum, Islandora, LIBNOVA, MetaArchive, Samvera and Preservica. Specifically, we assessed what works well and the challenges and risk factors these systems face in their ability to continue to successfully serve their mission and the needs of the market. In scoping this project and selecting these organizations, we intentionally included a combination of profit-seeking and not-for-profit initiatives, focusing on third-party preservation platforms rather than programmatic preservation.

Because so many heritage organizations pursue the preservation imperative for their collections with increasingly limited resources, we examine not only the sustainability of the providers but also the decision-making processes of heritage organizations and the challenges they face in working with the providers.

Our key findings include:

The term “preservation” has become devalued nearly to the point of having lost its meaning. Providers are marketing their offerings as “preservation systems” regardless of actual functionality or storage configurations. Many systems marketed as preservation systems usually address only some aspects of preservation work, such as providing workflow systems (and user interfaces) to streamline the process of moving content into and out of a storage layer.
Because no digital preservation system is truly turnkey, digital preservation cannot be fully outsourced. Digital preservation is a distributed and iterative activity that requires in-house expertise, adequate staffing, and access to different technologies and systems. While it is possible to outsource key components of the digital preservation process to a system provider, no digital preservation system is truly turnkey. Today, it is neither feasible nor desirable for a heritage organization to outsource responsibility for its digital preservation program.
Heritage organizations select preservation systems within the context of marketplace competition. Many observers believe that heritage organizations should support not-for-profit solutions based on shared values and other common principles. But this has not always been the principal driver of organizational behavior. Providers compete within a marketplace that recognizes organizational values as one characteristic among many, such as the total cost of implementation and the feasibility of local implementation.
The not-for-profit preservation platforms are at risk. They tend to have limited capital and have comparatively ponderous governance structures. As a result, many have not been able to innovate quickly enough to keep up with the needs of heritage organizations. Their business and governance models are often ill-suited to the demands of a competitive marketplace, even if growth is not their primary objective. It seems reasonable to forecast additional mergers or buy outs (if not outright failures) among this category of providers.
The growing reliance on profit-seeking providers carries risks. The profit-seekers tend to pursue a growth strategy, and by this measure they are succeeding. Private capital and a decision to scale across multiple sectors has enabled this category of providers t

Aligning the Research Library to Organizational Strategy – Ithaka S+R

“Open access has matured significantly in recent years. The UK and EU countries have committed largely to a “gold” version of open access, driven largely by transformative agreements with the major incumbent publishing houses.[14] The US policy environment has been far more mixed, with a great deal of “green” open access incentivized by major scientific funders, although some individual universities pursued transformative agreements. Both Canadian and US libraries have benefitted from the expansion of free and open access in strengthening their position at the negotiating table with major publishers.[15]

Progress on open access has radically expanded public access to the research literature. It has also brought with it a number of second-order effects. Some of them are connected to the serious problems in research integrity and the growing crisis of trust in science.[16] Others can be seen in the impacts on the scholarly publishing marketplace and the platforms that support discovery and access.[17]

While open access has made scientific materials more widely available, it has not directly addressed the challenges in translating scholarship for public consumption. Looking ahead, it is likely that scholarly communication will experience further changes as a result of computers increasingly supplanting human readership. The form of the scientific output may decreasingly look like the traditional journal article as over time standardized data, methods, protocols, and other scientific artifacts become vital for computational consumption….”

Sustainable eBook Acquisition and Access: The not-for-profit Perspective – Charleston Hub

“…We launched an OA eBook program in 2016 that has grown to include more than 7,700 titles. Libraries can use free MARC records or activate the OA titles in their discovery service, and users can cross-search all OA and licensed eBooks with all other content types on our platform. The ease of discovery on JSTOR has led to strong usage of the OA titles. In 2021 alone, there were more than 11 million uses of the OA eBooks worldwide.

A Learning Journey

While some publishers have eagerly experimented with OA models, others fear being left behind. These publishers share the mission to make scholarship more accessible but worry that the lack of grant support and viable business models are not well understood by the government agencies and funders that are creating OA mandates. The potential for libraries converting to models such as “subscribe to open” could alleviate these concerns, but few of our smaller and medium-sized publishers have the ability to undertake such a change themselves. They lack the resources and bandwidth to design new business models and advocate for funding. We have been working on various Open Access models in support of our publishers and to meet the demand from libraries and researchers for more OA content. First, in our “Convert to Open” model, publishers have identified eBooks already available for sale on JSTOR to convert to OA without incurring any additional costs to do so. The usage data for these titles shows the strong impact of opening up backlist scholarly content and making it discoverable to researchers around the world. We reviewed 336 titles from 30 publishers that were converted from licensed eBooks to OA in 2019 and 2020 and documented the usage for each title one to two years prior to being converted to OA and an equivalent one to two years after. The usage for these titles increased by 3,279% after being converted to OA. We have also developed a “Publish as Open” model in collaboration with libraries and publishers to support the publication of new titles directly as OA. In 2019, the Latin Americanist Research Resources Project (LARRP, a CRL initiative) approached JSTOR to support a low-cost OA pilot for new titles from Argentinian publisher CLACSO, the Latin American Council of Social Sciences. To date, this collaboration has made 340 CLACSO titles freely accessible on JSTOR. The titles have been used more than 940,000 times by users across 195 countries. Sócrates Silva, Latin American & Iberian Studies Librarian for Columbia and Cornell and President of SALALM, described the project’s importance for bridging a critical gap in the scholarly communications system. “Despite established OA publishing models for scholarly works in Latin America, monograph discovery and preservation infrastructure for this important content in U.S. libraries is virtually nonexistent. This multi-partner, horizontal, and librarian-led pilot is testing out sustainable partnerships that take into account the monograph lifecycle from publisher to library” (JSTOR, 2021). Based on the success of this pilot and ongoing support to fund future OA titles for CLACSO, we are working with LARRP to expand our collaboration and support other selected Latin American publishers. In the coming years, we plan to expand this model to other publishers in partnership with the academic community….”

Serving our community in difficult times: a letter from Kevin Guthrie – ITHAKA

“At the onset of the pandemic in 2020, we promised that fees would not increase for JSTOR participants through 2023. We also introduced a year-long program that provided participating academic institutions with access to all Archive Collections at no additional cost. Since then, we extended that program for another year, and to date nearly 5,000 institutions have taken advantage of it….

Consistent with our mission-driven aspirations, and considering the current public health, economic, and political environment, we have decided to extend the expanded access program to participating higher education institutions for a third year, through June 2023….”

 

Associate Director, Libraries, Scholarly Communication, and Museums, Ithaka S+R | Career Opportunities

“Ithaka S+R is hiring for an Associate Director within our Libraries, Scholarly Communications, and Museums program (LSCM). The Associate Director leads one of the teams that comprise this program, with responsibility for intellectual direction, community engagement, project development and revenue generation, and overall team management. The team’s current staffing level is 5-7 FTE direct reports, with an opportunity over time to grow the size of the team and introduce additional management structure. …”

What’s the Big Deal? | Ithaka S+R

“The dominant mode by which research libraries have provided maximum journal access as cheaply as possible—subscription bundles or “Big Deals”—is giving way to new approaches. This transition is taking place through a combination of negotiations, activism, business modeling, user needs research, and decision support, among other factors. To support these processes, Ithaka S+R partnered with 11 academic libraries to understand researcher perceptions to help inform their ongoing strategic decision making about Big Deal journal subscriptions.

Recognizing that libraries must also undertake case-by-case assessments prior to making decisions about any particular journal package, in this report we share findings from the project that merit wider public consideration. We detail patterns in how researchers approach discovery and access to journal content, focusing on their experiences when mechanisms for access change. These experiences are used as a jumping off point to also explore researchers’ perceptions of the various models for facilitating their access to journal content and of the stakeholders engaged in that work.

We found that when a suite of journals is no longer available through a Big Deal subscription package, researchers experience little negative impact in the short term. There are some institutional, disciplinary, and career-stage variations, but overall researchers are able to work around the access barriers they encounter. This reality is deceptively benign. Researchers remain supportive of their libraries and are also interested in broader efforts to challenge the status quo of the scholarly communications business. However, they do not have a solid understanding of the strategies for advancing new modes of journal access beyond the subscription model, nor are they clear on what the library can and should provide in response.

We recommend three areas of activity that institutions should be especially mindful of when considering changes to journal subscription packages …

We found that when a suite of journals is no longer available through a Big Deal subscription package, researchers experience little negative impact in the short term. There are some institutional, disciplinary, and career-stage variations, but overall researchers are able to work around the access barriers they encounter. This reality is deceptively benign. Researchers remain supportive of their libraries and are also interested in broader efforts to challenge the status quo of the scholarly communications business. However, they do not have a solid understanding of the strategies for advancing new modes of journal access beyond the subscription model, nor are they clear on what the library can and should provide in response….”

Leveraging Data Communities to Advance Open Science | Ithaka S+R

“We are excited to announce that Ithaka S+R has been awarded grant funding from the National Science Foundation to support the development of infrastructures for data sharing within data communities in collaboration with the Data Curation Network.  “Leveraging Data Communities to Advance Open Science,” will bring together scientists and information technology professionals for focused discussions about initiating and sustaining data communities….”

Five New Higher Ed Datasets Now Available from Ithaka S+R | Ithaka S+R

“Over the years, Ithaka S+R has routinely deposited datasets from our research projects with the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, better known by its acronym of ICPSR. In doing so, this ensures that our data is not only digitally preserved, enabling long-term access, but also thoroughly processed and made available in a variety of formats for download. Several new datasets from our research projects have recently become available in our Ithaka S+R Surveys of Higher Education Series….”