OA Switchboard initiative: progress report July 2020 – OASPA

“Delivering the Minimum Viable Product (MVP)  for the OA Switchboard initiative is almost a reality. With August around the corner, there will be a solution available to streamline the neutral exchange of OA related publication-level information between funders, institutions and publishers. This offers the potential to provide a breakthrough in the transformation of the market to enable Open Access as the predominant model of publication.

The MVP has been shaped throughout the 2020 project, overseen by OASPA and the Steering Committee, in close collaboration with representatives of all stakeholder groups. To this end, numerous individual and group meetings have taken place, open to anybody who wants to contribute to this industry-wide intermediary solution, that aims to provide standards, infrastructure, and back office services. Every month we’ve provided an update or report to ensure full transparency and allow everybody to participate. It has been amazing to experience how so many people, with such a variety of interests and representing a wide range of stakeholders, selflessly have shared their time and expertise to collaborate towards essential open source OA infrastructure – for the greater good of progress in scholarly communication….”

OA Switchboard demonstration – Research Libraries UK

“On 27 July 2020, the RLUK OAPP Group hosted a webinar demonstration of the OA Switchboard initiative. The demonstration was led by Yvonne Campfens, Project Manager of OA Switchboard.

The OA Switchboard initiative is a not-for-profit collaboration between funders, institutions and publishers. The OA Switchboard is a central information exchange hub, connecting parties and systems, streamlining the neutral exchange of OA related publication-level information.

This initiative is currently being overseen by Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA). When the OA Switchboard moves to an operational stage, following a successful 2020 project, a sustainable governance structure and funding model will be in place….”

OA Switchboard demonstration – Research Libraries UK

“On 27 July 2020, the RLUK OAPP Group hosted a webinar demonstration of the OA Switchboard initiative. The demonstration was led by Yvonne Campfens, Project Manager of OA Switchboard.

The OA Switchboard initiative is a not-for-profit collaboration between funders, institutions and publishers. The OA Switchboard is a central information exchange hub, connecting parties and systems, streamlining the neutral exchange of OA related publication-level information.

This initiative is currently being overseen by Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA). When the OA Switchboard moves to an operational stage, following a successful 2020 project, a sustainable governance structure and funding model will be in place….”

OA Switchboard initiative: progress report May 2020 – OASPA

“Open Access (OA) output is growing year-on-year and increasingly, funders and institutions are paying for OA centrally. OA business models are becoming ever more diverse, some with or without individual publication fees, some through agreements with publishers. Meanwhile, funders and institutions are expanding their requirements about how various research outputs should be published.

With all of these developments, it has become complicated to find out how to get the service charges for certain OA publications settled, to enable such financial settlement, and to monitor funds and track spending in real time.

It has also become complicated to find out if and how specific OA publications meet publishing requirements given multi-lateral arrangements (with possibly multiple authors involved, each with multiple institutional affiliations and funder arrangements), while dealing with many stakeholders and relationships, and a myriad of systems and processes. 

This complexity necessitated the initiation of the OA Switchboard project that is now in the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and Pilot stage….”

OA Switchboard initiative: progress report May 2020 – OASPA

“Open Access (OA) output is growing year-on-year and increasingly, funders and institutions are paying for OA centrally. OA business models are becoming ever more diverse, some with or without individual publication fees, some through agreements with publishers. Meanwhile, funders and institutions are expanding their requirements about how various research outputs should be published.

With all of these developments, it has become complicated to find out how to get the service charges for certain OA publications settled, to enable such financial settlement, and to monitor funds and track spending in real time.

It has also become complicated to find out if and how specific OA publications meet publishing requirements given multi-lateral arrangements (with possibly multiple authors involved, each with multiple institutional affiliations and funder arrangements), while dealing with many stakeholders and relationships, and a myriad of systems and processes. 

This complexity necessitated the initiation of the OA Switchboard project that is now in the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and Pilot stage….”

Third-party software development provider selected for the OA Switchboard – OASPA

“Following an RFI (Request for Information) for the OA Switchboard issued on 18 March 2020, OASPA is pleased to announce that it has chosen to partner with ELITEX to build an MVP (minimum viable product) and help run a Pilot this year….

The OA Switchboard initiative (www.oaswitchboard.org) is a not-for-profit collaboration between funders, institutions and publishers to provide essential infrastructure to facilitate the fulfilment of open access strategies across business models, policies and agreements. Throughout 2020, a project (overseen by OASPA, funded through a sponsorship model) is being run to prepare for the OA Switchboard to go live as an operational solution. When the OA Switchboard moves to an operational stage, following a successful 2020 project, a sustainable governance structure and funding model will be in place.”

The OA Switchboard – OASPA

On December 6th 2018, a group of stakeholders representing research funding organizations, academic libraries, scholarly publishers, and open infrastructure providers met in London to discuss a proposal for addressing the growing set of challenges in the implementation of institutional and funder policies supporting open access publication. The result of this initial stakeholder meeting was broad support for this initiative, tentatively titled the OA Switchboard, and in the weeks since this initial meeting the support for this initiative has continued to grow. What follows is an overview from Paul Peters of the key challenges that the OA Switchboard aims to address, a description of the proposed solution, and a roadmap for the development and initial roll-out of this new system….

The problems that have begun to arise in the central funding of open access publications are likely to grow in scale and complexity in the coming years. If successful, initiatives like OA2020 and Plan S will likely result in a rise in the number of open access publications being centrally funded, either by universities or research funders. Not only will this result in higher administrative costs for institutions, funders, and publishers, but it may also lead to a more pronounced imbalance in the ability of small and large publishers to compete on equal footing. Already there are signs that a handful of large commercial publishers will be best positioned to negotiate open access agreements with individual institutions and consortia, often as part of existing “Big Deal” subscription agreements.

 

Many smaller publishers, including scholarly societies and fully open access publishers, have been unable to negotiate these kinds of central open access funding agreements. Not only do these smaller publishers lack the internal resources to make and implement agreements with a large number of institutions, but they often struggle to get a seat at the table in these sorts of discussions. The total open access output from any single institution may only amount to a few articles each year for many smaller publishers, making it difficult for these institutions to devote their scarce time and resources to setting up open access agreements with small and mid-sized open access publishers. Unless a solution to these problems can be found, negotiated deals with a handful of large publishers may be the only viable option for funders and universities to support the transition towards open access, which is likely to result in a publishing landscape that is even less competitive, transparent, and inclusive than the traditional subscription-based publishing market….

The OA Switchboard aims to leverage the benefits that a central payment intermediary can provide while avoiding the aforementioned challenges and risks that could be associated. The inspiration for this proposed solution has come from other examples of community-governed scholarly infrastructure, namely the Crossref DOI registry and ORCID, which have successfully brought together a large and diverse community of stakeholders to address complex challenges. An important distinction between the OA Switchboard and the sort of central payment intermediary described above is that the OA Switchboard is designed to enable publishers, academic institutions, and research funders to seamlessly communicate information about open access publications, without trying to serve as an intermediary for any payments that may be associated with these publications. In that sense, the OA Switchboard is simply another tool for passing metadata about scholarly publications between publishers and other stakeholders….”