OurResearch news: Heather stepping down | May 31, 2022 | ourresearch.org

“Hi everybody, this is Heather. I wanted to let you know I’m stepping down from OurResearch, effective mid-June 2022. I’m so proud of what we’ve built over the last 10 years. I firmly believe the team will keep doing great things to advance open infrastructure in scholarly communications. My departure is on the most amicable of terms, and I will remain on the Board of Directors and OurResearch’s biggest fan. Why leave? I’m ready for a change. This move has been in the works for some time. To start with I’ll take a few months off to rest and spend with my family (and cycle, read, and eat cookies) and then I’m not sure!  Will keep this short and sweet because otherwise I’ll probably cry — building these ideas and tools with Jason has always been a labour of love. Wishing everyone the best. …”

Transparency | OurResearch

“We think that organizations working for Open should be sure that they’re being open themselves–with their code and data, and with the details of their operation. We’re doing our best to live up to that, and this page is part of that effort. If you’ve got feedback, drop us a line!

All monetary figures are in US dollars.”

Massive open index of scholarly papers launches

“An ambitious free index of more than 200 million scientific documents that catalogues publication sources, author information and research topics, has been launched.

The index, called OpenAlex after the ancient Library of Alexandria in Egypt, also aims to chart connections between these data points to create a comprehensive, interlinked database of the global research system, say its founders. The database, which launched on 3 January, is a replacement for Microsoft Academic Graph (MAG), a free alternative to subscription-based platforms such as Scopus, Dimensions and Web of Science that was discontinued at the end of 2021.

“It’s just pulling lots of databases together in a clever way,” says Euan Adie, founder of Overton, a London-based firm that tracks the research cited in policy documents. Overton had been getting its data from various sources, including MAG, ORCID, Crossref and directly from publishers, but has now switched to using only OpenAlex, in the hope of making the process easier….”

OpenAlex launch! – OurResearch blog

“OpenAlex launched this week! (January 3rd 2022 for those reading from the future)

As expected:

We’re now pulling in new content on our own. Until now, we’ve been getting new works, authors, and other entities from MAG. Now that MAG is gone, we’re gathering all of our own data from the big wide internet.

The new REST API is launched! This is a much faster and easier way to access the OpenAlex database than downloading and installing the snapshot. It’s completely open and free–you don’t even need a user account or token.

We’ve now got oodles of new documentation here: https://docs.openalex.org/

Slight change of plan:

The MAG Format snapshot is now hosted for free, thanks to the AWS Open Data program. This will cover the data transfer fees (which turned out to be $70!) so you don’t have to. Here are the new instructions on how to download the MAG format snapshot to your machine.

We are extending the beta period for OpenAlex; we’ll emerge from beta in February. This is mostly in response to discovering issues with the coverage and structure of existing data sources including MAG. Extending the beta reflects the fact that the data will improve significantly between now and February.

Huge exciting news:

OpenAlex was built to offer a drop-in replacement for MAG. We’re doing that. But today, we’re also unveiling some moves toward a more innovative future for Openalex:

We’ve now built around a simple new five-entity model: works, authors, venues (journals and repositories), institutions, and concepts. Everything in OpenAlex is one of these entities, or a connection between them. Each type of entity has its own API endpoint.

We’ve got a new Standard Format for the snapshot, one that’s closely tied to both the five-entity model the API. In the future, this will become the only supported format. The MAG format is now deprecated and will go away on July 1, 2022. …”

Open Science nonprofit OurResearch receives $4.5M grant from Arcadia Fund – OurResearch blog

“The grant, which follows an 2018 award for $850,000, will help expand two existing open-source software projects, as well as support the launch of two new ones:

Unpaywall, launched in 2017, has become the world’s most-used index of Open Access (OA) scholarly papers. The free Unpaywall extension has 400,000 active users, and its underlying database powers OA-related features in dozens of other tools including Web of Science, Scopus, and the European Open Science Monitor. All Unpaywall data is free and open.
Unsub is an analytics dashboard that helps academic libraries cancel their large journal subscriptions, freeing up money for OA publishing. Launched in late 2019, Unsub is now used by over 500 major libraries in the US and worldwide, including the national library consortia of Canada, Australia, Greece, Hong Kong, and the UK. 
JournalsDB will be a free and open database of scholarly journals. This resource will gather a wide range of data on tens of thousands of journals, emphasizing coverage of emerging open venues. 
OpenAlex will be a free and open bibliographic database, cataloging papers, authors, affiliations, citations, and journals. Inspired by the ancient Library of Alexandria, OpenAlex will strive to create a comprehensive map of the global scholarly conversation.  In a recent blog post, the team announced that OpenAlex will be released in time to serve as a replacement for Microsoft Academic Graph, whose discontinuation was also recently announced….”

We’re building a replacement for Microsoft Academic Graph – Our Research blog

“This week Microsoft Research announced that their free bibliographic database–Microsoft Academic Graph, or MAG for short–is being discontinued. This is sad news, because MAG was a great source of open scholcomm metadata, including citation counts and author affiliations. MAG data is used in Unsub, as well as several other well-known open science tools.

Thankfully, we’ve got a contingency plan for this situation, which we’ve been working on for a while now. We’re building a successor to MAG. Like all our projects, it’ll be open-source and the data will be free to everyone via data dump and API. It will launch at the end of the year, when MAG is scheduled to disappear.

It’s important to note that this new service will not be a perfect replacement, especially right when it launches. MAG has excellent support for conference proceedings, for example; we won’t match that for a while, if ever.  Instead, we’ll be focusing on supporting the most important use-cases, and building out from there. If you use MAG today, we’d love to hear what your key use-cases are, so we can prioritize accordingly. Here’s where you can tell us.

We plan to have this launched by the time MAG disappears at year’s end. That’s an aggressive schedule, but we’ve built and launched other large projects (Unpaywall, Unsub) in less time. We’ve also got a good head start, since we’ve been working toward this as an internal project for a while now….”

Tilting the balance back towards libraries | Research Information

Jason Priem tells of his hopes for a ‘long-overdue’ change in academic publishing.

“This presents a compelling opportunity for us as OA advocates: by helping libraries quantify the alternatives to toll-access publishing, we can empower librarians to cancel multi-million dollar big deals. This in turn will begin to turn off the faucet of money flowing from universities to toll-access publishing houses. In short: by helping libraries cancel big deals, we can make toll-access publishing less profitable, and accelerate the transition toward universal OA.”

An interview with Heather Piwowar, Co-founder, Open Research, Canada | Zenodo

“This is one of a series of interviews to share insights into the sustainability of open infrastructure services.

These interviews were conducted in the Spring/Summer of 2020. This is an Invest in Open Infrastructure Project: https;//investinopen.org.

This work is supported by Open Society Foundations and SPARC Europe, in collaboration with Invest in Open Infrastructure.

For more on this work see https://sparceurope.org/ioiinterviews …”

Unsub Gives Libraries Powerful Evidence to Walk Away from Big Deals – SPARC

“Heather Piwowar and Jason Priem are working non-stop to accelerate the pace of the open science revolution.

The pair co-founded the non-profit organization Our Research, which recently developed and debuted Unsub, a data dashboard and forecasting tool that helps academic libraries cut their subscriptions to expensive bundles of toll-access journals….

Unsub (formerly known as Unpaywall Journals) has widely been hailed as a game changer in the scholarly communications market, providing institutions with the leverage they need when negotiating with publishers over journal subscription packages.  The tool forecasts the value and costs of individual journals to specific institutions, leveling the playing field for the first time for libraries when conducting negotiations with publishers….”