Open Scholarship as a mechanism for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Abstract:  Traditional methods of scholarly publishing and communication are ineffective in meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has demonstrated that, in times of need, the global research community can activate and pool its knowledge and resources to collaborate on solving problems. The use of innovative Web-based technologies, including open source software, data-sharing archives, open collaboration methods, and the liberation of thousands of relevant research articles from proprietary sources show us that the fundamental components of a fully open system are readily available, technologically efficient and cost-effective. If we are to achieve the SDGs by 2030, systematic reform and explicit adoption of open scholarship strategies at scale is necessary. We propose that the United Nations and parallel entities take a position of leadership by creating or funding an organisation or federated alliance of organisations to implement these reforms.

Seeking Sustainability: Publishing Models for an Open Access Age

“Hardly a week goes by, it seems, without the announcement of a cancellation of a Big Deal, the signing of a Transformative Agreement, or a policy action to drive open access. Library consortia around the world are turning to new, non-traditional models as thinking shifts on how to provide researchers with access to content as well as support for publications. Publishers are grappling with subscriptions losing value and needing to develop new revenue models. Complicating these efforts are emerging institutional and funder mandates, including the evolving Plan S requirements and the rumored Executive Order in the United States, as well as the ecosystem of needs and pathways of development for different disciplines and regions. 

This interactive virtual event seeks to engage questions such as: What models are emerging for the open access publishing age? Are these models adaptable to meet the needs of different types of institutions and publishers? Are they sustainable over the long term? Do they serve the needs of authors as well as funders, governments, institutions, etc.?  Hear from publishers and librarians exploring new models and their sustainability as well as concerns of those organizations, including small and society, who fear they may be left out of the discussion. The program will include a keynote overview of current models, a panel exploring models-in-progress, and an interactive discussion focusing on key issues and possible next steps….”

How can we afford Open Access in the humanities disciplines? — Expert voices – European University Association

09 March 2020 | Martin Paul Eve, Birkbeck, University of London

Open Access publishing needs new business models for universities and disciplines that want to support Open Access but are short on resources. Martin Paul Eve explains how the Open Library of Humanities has pioneered an inexpensive and efficient approach for Open Access publishing with the support of many universities in Europe and beyond.

How can we afford Open Access in the humanities disciplines? — Expert voices – European University Association

09 March 2020 | Martin Paul Eve, Birkbeck, University of London

Open Access publishing needs new business models for universities and disciplines that want to support Open Access but are short on resources. Martin Paul Eve explains how the Open Library of Humanities has pioneered an inexpensive and efficient approach for Open Access publishing with the support of many universities in Europe and beyond.

2nd Basel Sustainable Publishing Forum – The Global Transition to Open Access: Challenges and Solutions

“The 2nd Basel Sustainable Publishing Forum (BSPF) will be held in Basel, 26–27 October 2020. The aim of the forum is to offer a platform for open and constructive conversation between researchers, learned societies, university librarians, funding agencies, scholarly publishers, publishing platforms, and other concerned stakeholders (professional associations, etc.) to identify implementable solutions for a sustainable global transition to open access. A main topic of discussion of BSPF2 will be the challenges facing learned societies in this transition to Open Access, but the conference will also cover a broad array of topics relevant to these challenges, like the development of alternative metrics, the evaluation and promotion of researchers, the OA price transparency, the current situation and limitations of transformative agreements, copyright, etc….”

Open Access eXchange (OAeX): an economic model and platform for fundraising open scholarship services

Abstract:  This article describes the Open Access eXchange (OAeX) project, a pragmatic and comprehensive economic model and fundraising platform for open scholarship initiatives. OAeX connects bidders with funders at scale and right across the open scholarship spectrum through crowdfunding: financial expenditure is regulated by a market of freely competing providers and financial transactions and transparency are assured by a clearing-house entity. Specifically, OAeX seeks to facilitate open access publishing without the barrier of article processing charges (APCs), as well as contribute to solving challenges of transparency and economic sustainability in open scholarship projects in the broader sense.

Service fees for OSF preprint hosting and maintenance – AfricArXiv continues its services – AfricArXiv

“We are continuing our services throughout 2020 and are working on a roadmap and finance strategy to sustain operations for years to come and embed AfricArXiv in the growing Open Science landscape on the African continent….”

SCOSS Expression of Interest (EoI) 2020 Invitation to open science infrastructure and services

“Over two years into helping financially sustain vital, non-commercial infrastructure and services within the Open Science community; the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS) is once again searching for new potential candidate organisations to fund during the 2021 to 2023 SCOSS funding cycle. We welcome applications from across the world: particularly from South America, Asia and Africa although all regions should apply….”

Strengthening the Open Science Ecosystem Through Preprints

“When rapid and open sharing occurs, it is usually in venues (like scientific conferences or within networks of collaborators) accessible only to researchers from well-resourced and established institutions, creating additional barriers to researchers from emerging countries or under-resourced areas, preventing them from participating in the scientific discourse.

Preprints are poised to change this. In addition to enabling rapid sharing, preprints also 1) offer novel opportunities for feedback and peer review; 2) improve the overall quality, integrity, and reproducibility of research outputs; and 3) help prevent scooping and incentivize early collaboration.

These benefits can be dramatically enhanced by third-party services (authoring tools, commenting platforms, and machine extraction projects) that act as both inputs and outputs to preprints. As arXiv founder Paul Ginsparg envisioned in the early 1990s, preprints can provide “a relatively complete raw archive, unfettered by any unnecessary delays in availability” on top of which “any type of information could be overlayed… and maintained by any third parties,” including tools for validation, filtering, and communication….”

arXiv Annual Update, January 2020 | arXiv e-print repository

“Our next-generation arXiv (arXiv-NG) initiative to improve the service’s core infrastructure by incremental and modular renewal of the existing arXiv system continues to progress. This includes significant effort towards laying the foundations for the NG submission system, which the team hopes to alpha test in Q12020. Existing search, browse, accounts, documentation NG components received incremental improvements. The team also took the initial and essential steps to improve the overall accessibility of arXiv’s user interfaces, both through behind-the-scenes structural improvements and user-facing changes (e.g. support for a mobile-friendly abstract page)….

Key Accomplishments in 2019 and Plans for 2020 Since we started the arXiv sustainability initiative in 2010, an integral part of our work has been assessing the services, technologies, standards, and policies that constitute arXiv. Here are some of our key accomplishments from 2019 to illustrate the range of issues we have been trying to tackle. Please see the 2019 Roadmap for a full account of our work.

We continue to improve facilities for administrators and moderators in order to streamline their workflows, and to improve clarity and transparency of arXiv communications. During 2019, the arXiv team expanded quality control flags.
Our development team continued to improve and extend various search, browse, documentation, and other features as we reimplement, test, refine and continue to improve the arXiv platform. The team made significant progress reimplementing the submission user interface towards an alpha release, new and legacy APIs, as well as backend services. Wherever possible, new software components are developed in public repositories and released under permissive open source licenses. With a reduction of effort in Q42019 due to staff departures, the team shifted most of its remaining resources towards improving and maintaining the operational stability of the arXiv services.
Our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), under the leadership of Licia Verde, has clarified roles and responsibilities for the arXiv Subject Advisory Committees and the Committee Chairs. The effort for outreach and recruitment of new moderators has increased in 2019 with an aim to increase diversity among moderators. We have also modified the SAB membership to include greater representation and engagement with the newer fields that have joined arXiv.
Two major policies were adopted in 2019 including the arXiv Code of Conduct and a Privacy Policy. We thank the staff, moderators, advisory boards, and arXiv users who have contributed to the development of the Code of Conduct.
The arXiv team wished farewells to Janelle Morano (Community Engagement and Membership Coordinator), Jaimie Murdock (arXiv NG Developer), Erick Peirson (Lead System Architect), Liz Woods (User Experience Specialist) and Matt Bierbaum (arXiv Labs). We were pleased to welcome Shamsi Brinn as our new User Experience Specialist in October 2019 and Alison Fromme as new Community Engagement and Membership Coordinator in January 2020. We also initiated a search for a new Backend Python Developer in the last quarter of 2019.
We moved information about our governance, business model, and reports to, to improve overall accessibility to pertinent information about arXiv’s operations. This information was previously available on the arXiv Public Wiki. We continue to regularly update our community at the blog.
As part of the organizational change to Cornell CIS we moved offices in 2019. The arXiv team now has its own dedicated space in historic Uris Library.

The 2020 Roadmap includes our goals as we strive to improve the technical infrastructure, moderation system, user support, and the sustainability framework….”