Investments in Open: Canadian Research Libraries’ Expenditures on Services, Staff, and Infrastructures in Support of Open Scholarship

“Widespread sharing of research and scholarship is fundamental for addressing many of today’s most important problems. Research libraries have been at the forefront of promoting open scholarship for many years. They play a pivotal role in the creation, management, discovery, and use of scholarship and have been expanding their financial contributions towards open scholarship over time. However, to date, their investments in “open” have not been well-documented, nor have they always been widely recognized by the broader community. In 2019, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) undertook a comprehensive survey of CARL member libraries’ investments in open scholarship in order to have a better understanding of what is being spent by Canadian academic libraries on open services, platforms, content, and infrastructures. The survey found that the total, aggregate spending on open for all 28 responding libraries was $23 million CAD, with an average spend per institution of $827,086 CAD. This represents an average of 3.09% of the total library budget spent on open, ranging from 0.88% to 7.23% across respondent libraries. By far, the largest category of investment is in local staff, with an average of 74% of the libraries’ open investments going toward salaries. On average, respondent libraries have about 7 FTEs working in open activities, scattered across a number of areas: digitized content, scholarly communications, open repositories, and research data management (including staff contributing to the national Portage project). The second largest category of spending on open were funds directed to publishers through several means: consortial licences via the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) or, in Ontario, the regional association Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) via Scholars Portal, institutional membership with open access publishers, and payment of article processing charges (APCs). This amounted to an average of 14% of total open spending, or approximately $3.2 million CAD in total, 80% of which was directed toward licences with open access publishers or platforms. The rest of the open investments, approximately 12%, were spent on a wide variety of other types of open services, platforms and infrastructures….”

Open Content Survey Report

“Cultural heritage organizations have long struggled to ensure their users cost-effective, widespread information access. This situation presents challenges and opportunities, both of which have evolved over time. The open content movement has expanded that challenge to supporting and advocating for content free of barriers and paywalls. Open content touches many areas of librarianship, but it is often difficult to understand how libraries approach this movement through internal activities and external financial support.

The LYRASIS open content survey was conducted in early 2020 as a mechanism to better understand how (primarily academic) libraries within the United States participate in the open content movement. The survey specifically focused on participation in activities/financial support for open access (OA) scholarship, open data, and open educational resources (OERs).

The core output of this survey is the 2020 LYRASIS Open Content Survey Report. The report is able to identify trends across a wide range of libraries, including: 


Across academic libraries, institutional repositories for OA scholarship are widely adopted regardless of institution size. However, libraries have limited sway over faculty participation in their IRs.
The majority of American institutions do not financially support independent OA initiatives – the institutions that do financially support OA contribute to a variety of pricing models, with no one dominant trend.
Open data adoption and hosting is lower than other areas of open content; academic and public libraries are beginning to host different forms of data, but most are still more likely to advocate for data curation than performing the work itself.
The majority of academic libraries do not host or provide access to OERs in their repositories. Rather, they choose to support local or state level initiatives that organize and disseminate OERs….”

Some Insights on the Roles and Uses of Generalist Repositories – NLM Musings from the Mezzanine

“Data repositories are a useful way for researchers to both share data and make their data more findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (that is, aligned with the FAIR Data Principles).

Generalist repositories can house a vast array of data. This kind of repository does not restrict data by type, format, content, or topic. NIH has been exploring the roles and uses of generalist repositories in our data repository landscape through three activities, which I describe below, garnering valuable insights over the last year….”

Communiqué: Meeting participants agree to work together on a technical architecture for distributed peer review on repository resources – COAR

“On January 23-24, 2020, COAR (Confederation of Open Access Repositories) convened a meeting to investigate the potential for a common, distributed architecture that would connect peer review with resources in repositories. The aim of the meeting, hosted by Inria in Paris, France, was to share the current workflows of various projects and systems that are managing or developing overlay peer review on a variety of different repository types (institutional, preprint, data, etc.), and assess whether there is sufficient interest in defining a set of common protocols and vocabularies that would allow interoperability across different systems.

Meeting participants reviewed and discussed a number of different use cases. While each case has its own unique attributes, it was clear that there are significant similarities in terms of functionalities and objectives. A draft architecture for distributed peer review on repositories, applying existing web technologies and standards such as Linked Data Notifications and Activity Streams 2.0, was presented by Herbert Van de Sompel of DANS and prototyped by Martin Klein of Los Alamos National Laboratory. By the end of the meeting, there was a consensus by participants that it would be worthwhile to further specify the proposed architecture, through detailing the use cases, developing a common model, and further profiling the technologies. This work will be undertaken in the coming weeks and months.

The outcome of this work could be extremely powerful. It would allow us to move away from the current ‘system to system’ approach to a highly distributed, technically efficient overlay peer review architecture, which would enable any compatible repository and peer review service to participate in the network. This profiling builds on previous work of COAR such as Next Generation Repositories and Pubfair. COAR will provide regular updates about the progress of this work and all results will be widely shared once stable outcomes are available….”

Research Assessment Processes – Science Europe

“Science Europe has created a set of policy recommendations in 2020 for its Member Organisations and other research organisations. They were developed following an extensive study performed in 2019 (see the following section), and through a comprehensive consultation process. More information about the methodology followed is also available.

The recommendations will help research organisations to review and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their assessment processes for career progression and funding allocation. They also promote the sharing of knowledge so that organisations can learn from each other, which will enrich and strengthen national and international research systems as a whole….”

Next Generation Repositories – COAR

“Next Generation Repositories (NGRs) is an ongoing initiative of COAR to identify common behaviours, protocols and technologies that will enable new and improved functionalities for repository systems.

The widespread deployment of repository systems in higher education and research institutions provides the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication. However, in order to leverage the value of the repository network, we need to equip repositories with a wider array of roles and functionalities, which can be enabled through new levels of web-centric interoperability. In addition, to develop value added services on top of the distributed repository nework, the different repository platforms need to adopt a set of common technologies, protocols and behaviours.

In November 2017, COAR published the first Next Generation Repositories report which contains a list of 19 technologies and protocols for repository systems. The recommendations are based on a wide array of user stories and behaviours that were vetted and prioritized by the repository community.

Since then, COAR has been working with the community to have the recommendations adopted in the major open source platforms; to profile and pilot value added services; and continues to monitor new technologies on the horizon….”

Call 2020 Librarian Community Call – OpenCon

“Join us on August 11th for a demo and discussion of, a new tool from the non-profit Open Access Button that allows anyone to freely and easily make articles Open Access. integrates with your repository in less than 30 minutes and makes self-archiving a drag and drop process by automatically — completing forms, checking what can be archived legally, and verifying the correct version is shared — so that authors can upload their papers without libraries having to check their work.

This call brings together all librarians working with, or learning about, all things Open–and gives folks an opportunity to connect with each other to better their work and librarianship. …”


“FAIRsFAIR – Fostering Fair Data Practices in Europe – aims to supply practical solutions for the use of the FAIR data principles throughout the research data life cycle. Emphasis is on fostering FAIR data culture and the uptake of good practices in making data FAIR. FAIRsFAIR will play a key role in the development of global standards for FAIR certification of repositories and the data within them contributing to those policies and practices that will turn the EOSC programme into a functioning infrastructure.

In the end, FAIRsFAIR will provide a platform for using and implementing the FAIR principles in the day to day work of European research data providers and repositories. FAIRsFAIR will also deliver essential FAIR dimensions of the Rules of Participation (RoP) and regulatory compliance for participation in the EOSC. The EOSC governance structure will use these FAIR aligned RoPs to establish whether components of the infrastructure function in a FAIR manner….”

M3.5 Description of Transition Support Programme for Repositories for consultation – Google Docs

“FAIRsFAIR is working to better define good practice for repositories through our involvement in certification efforts that enable FAIR data. D3.5 “Description of transition support programme for repositories” describes a proposed programme of support which will help repositories to adopt these emerging good practices. There is a focus on supporting FAIR data provision, improved handling and integration of metadata, and an increased emphasis on data stewardship to ensure data remains FAIR in the long term….”

Europe PMC: unlocking the potential of COVID-19 preprints | European Bioinformatics Institute


Europe PMC is now indexing full-text preprints related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as the underlying data
The project will make COVID-19 scientific literature available as fast as possible in a single repository, in a format that allows text mining
Researchers and healthcare professionals will be able to access and reuse preprints more easily, accelerating research into better treatments or a vaccine….”