A Tale of Two Societies


There are significant shifts in national patterns that can be associated with changes in funder policy and with the offerings of RSC and ACS
RSC took a significant lead in early open access provision for chemistry, particularly in the UK but has fallen back
National averages don’t tell the full picture. Specific institutions show very different and quite specific patterns. There are differential policy effects
Recent changes are strongly driven by read and publish agreements with substantial shifts in publisher choice corresponding to introduction of deals.
There is evidence of concentration of publishing in chemistry with two large publishers taking up an increasing percentage. Should we be concerned about diversity?”

2020 locked in shift to open access publishing, but Australia is lagging

In Australia the first challenge is to overcome the apathy about open access issues. The term “open access” has been too easy to ignore. Many consider it a low priority compared to achievements in research, obtaining grant funding, or university rankings glory.

COKI Open Access Dashboard – COKI

“This Open Access Dashboard draws in data from public sources around the world to provide insights into open access status of publications for nations around the world.

This data tool is one of a number of research and analysis tools that has been developed by the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative (COKI) project and provides insights into the ratio of domestic funding to international funding, as well as acknowledged sources of funding by country. The COKI project is a strategic initiative of Curtin University.

To view open access statistics for countries around the world, please choose from the ‘Select Country’ tool at the top of the page. We recommend using a laptop or desktop computer for optimum experience when accessing this Dashboard….”

Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative (COKI)

“COKI seeks to be the world’s leading hub for analysis and evaluation of open knowledge in higher education.

Founded at Curtin University in Perth, Australia in 2017, the COKI project team collaborate with national and international partners to create fresh insights into Open Knowledge practice around the world.

COKI has developed the world’s leading open knowledge data set, drawing together more than 12 trillion data elements, providing a comprehensive understanding of open knowledge practices and impact.

The COKI project team is has developed insights, analysis and tools which can enable universities to become Open Knowledge Institutions….”

Project Aims to Move Higher Education Incentives Towards Open – SPARC

“Imagine a world where higher educational institutions were ranked, not by their selectivity or prestige, but by their willingness to openly share knowledge and engage with their communities.

Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative (COKI) is using big data and cloud computing to measure how colleges and universities operate as open and equitable players in the scholarly ecosystem. Launched in 2017, the idea for the project grew from a frustration that Lucy Montgomery and Cameron Neylon say they faced trying to elevate conversations about investing in open access and open science. 

Too often, leaders on campuses didn’t see open as a priority. The pair wanted to provide data to make their case and provide an incentive for higher education to become more coordinated in its efforts to share knowledge and to change how the information eco-system works….

The project set out to develop a model for an “open knowledge institution.” More than simply focusing on producing open scholarship, COKI looks to measure how institutions bring different groups productively together to make progress and reach consensus, says Neylon. The measures places value on openly communicating research and commitments to building cross-cultural connections. By tracking these efforts, COKI aims to support university efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education and research….”

Initiative for Open Abstracts – COKI

“One of the tactical questions that often comes up with moving towards more open practice in research is the value of taking small steps vs fighting the large battles. Sometimes big changes occur – and the shift towards open access, although slow is an example of a big shift – but often a set of small steps can help to build towards progress. But there is a tension here as well. Small improvements relieve pressure on the system. How do we address the risk that they reduce progress over all? The key to this is in understanding what those small steps can achieve.

Improving the quality and openness of metadata about scholarly communications is an example where many small steps have been made. Because metadata is infrastructure, underpinning many other systems, it is almost entirely invisible. But the work to make it is not.

We make elements of progress, each of them seemingly quite small, but then in combination they suddenly enable significant change. 

What we do within the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative is possible in large part due to incremental improvements in the infrastructure of persistent identifiers and the quality of open metadata data generally. The improvement in access to open citations data as a result of I4OC has been a major boost to our research allowing us, for instance to make a fair comparison of how a citation count index would perform if it used different bibliographic data sources to define the set of outputs to count citations for.

But where does metadata end and content begin? As a research project we also want to be able to do more granular analysis of the contents of research. Lots of data sources provide a classification of the topics of articles, either at the journal or article level. But mostly these are black boxes that tell us more about who made those classifications than about the things we’re interested in. For instance, in my work I’ve frequently been more interested in categorising articles by the technique that they use, rather than the topic being studied. Sometimes the region a study focuses on is more important than the discipline label. In a perfect world any researcher would be able to process the full text to create their own categorisations, but then we’re restricted to open access content, even assuming we can gather all the content together efficiently. Titles can tell us something, but certainly not enough.

What would make a huge difference is comprehensive and central access to abstracts….”

The Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative (COKI)

“Universities exist to support the creation and transfer of knowledge. Efforts by universities to enable open knowledge have the potential to broaden the impact of higher education and research institutions. Our team is exploring the mechanisms that will allow universities to work more effectively with local and global communities in the production of knowledge; as well as those that support its uptake and application both within and beyond academia.

The Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative (COKI) group is developing a broad program of work on the theme of ‘open knowledge institutions’, supported in the first instance through a 2-year strategic research grant from Curtin University. The goal of our project is to develop tools and data that will allow universities to understand how effectively they are operating as open knowledge institutions; and to support strategic change in higher education and research.

Combining data science and a critical perspective we are addressing questions of how to collect and manage data at a large scale, as well as how sharing this data and analysis will effect the ecosystem. Using Google Cloud tools to harvest, combine and analyse large amounts of output, staffing, narrative and other data sources we are building new capabilities to support university decision making….”