Radical Collaboration: Library Publisher Partnerships to Advance the Global Knowledge Commons | CRL

“The present and future of research libraries and scholarly publishers are inextricably aligned. Both exist to advance the creation, dissemination, and preservation of a diverse scholarly record; and both are facing existential challenges, particularly in finding sustainable business models to advance open scholarship.  

Join us on May 25th, 2021 from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. Central to explore the shared aims and challenges of research libraries and scholarly publishers and discover how partnerships across professional and disciplinary boundaries are working to find sustainable models to support an open knowledge ecosystem. After an introduction by CRL President Greg Eow, this webinar will look at two innovative library-publisher collaborations, assessing the challenges and opportunities in this space, and ideating future directions….”

Guest Post – Scaffolding a Shift to a Values-driven Open Books Ecosystem – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Pressure from all sides of the ecosystem has propelled growth, experimentation, and commitment to making more scholarship accessible to more people. There is increased awareness, too, that making research open does not resolve all issues of equity and access to knowledge, that more critical engagement with the moral economy of open access is still to come. Living in a pandemic has accelerated the momentum and heightened the sense of urgency, not only in discourse, but in concrete steps being taken and strategies developed by institutions and publishers alike. Libraries, scholars, students, and readers of all kinds have had to move rapidly to adopt and adapt digital resources and tools. Open access books offer increased access to knowledge for the reader, but they also present an opportunity to remake a fragmented ecosystem, and to increase channels of communication about the processes involved in researching, writing, shepherding, financing, publishing, acquiring, and reading research….

Digital books, open or not, require infrastructure. Disintermediating hosting, distribution, and sales helps simplify cost structures. Non-profit presses are developing their own infrastructure to support greater strategic choice. Fulcrum, from Michigan Publishing, and Manifold, from the University of Minnesota Press, are two such developments that expand the new universe of values-aligned platforms. The MIT Press Direct platform launched in 2019 in an effort to disintermediate the relationship between the press and libraries. The platform aligns ebook distribution with the university press mission and opens space for dialogue with libraries. The greater connection with libraries has confirmed a gap in knowledge sharing between librarians, editors, library sales, and authors that, when filled, could make the monograph publication process clearer. Each stakeholder, internal and external to a press, holds valuable information about open access book development, funding, hosting, and discovery. Creating channels to share this information, and doing so through new, collective models, has the potential to benefit the system as a whole….”

Open access publishing and the promise of collaboration · COPIM

“In the discussions about the merits and demerits of collaboration, what tends to be missed though are the untapped potentials that exist in collaborations not just between academics, or between disciplines, or between academics and external organisations, or between academics and the public, but between academics, scholarly libraries, and publishers of scholarly work. This the subject of a new report co-authored by Elli Gerakopoulou, Izabella Penier and me. It focuses on the possibilities that might exist for collaboration between scholarly libraries and open access book publishers, including the kinds of open access publishers led by academics represented by ScholarLed, one of the partners in the COPIM project and with which I am also involved. The report draws on a combination of interviews, workshop discussions (including one workshop with librarians in the US, one in the UK, and one with publishers), and pre-workshop surveys with librarians and individuals involved in library consortia, as well as desk research.

In the report we examine various forms of collaboration that characterise the existing landscape of open access book publishing. This includes examining library membership programmes, of the kind run by both publishers — examples include programmes run by Lever Press, Luminos, punctum books, and Open Book Publishers — and infrastructure providers — notably the OAPEN library membership programme. We also look at intermediaries that aim to increase the likelihood of open access book publishers being able to receive financial support from scholarly libraries, such as Knowledge Unlatched and TOME. This forms part of a scoping exercise to enable us and our readers to understand the diversity of types of collaboration that already exist between and around open access publishers and scholarly libraries and where there are possibilities to learn from such initiatives….” 

The promise of collaboration: collective funding models and the integration of Open Access books into libraries | Zenodo

“This report tackles a simple question: how can open access books be more successfully integrated into scholarly libraries? While there are some important practical efforts being made to address this question in a variety of different contexts, we explore the areas where further work is required to progress from a situation in which supporting and integrating open access books often remains a peripheral concern for libraries.

The report draws on desk research alongside a combination of interviews, workshop discussions and pre-workshop surveys with librarians and individuals involved in library consortia. It explores issues such as the discoverability of open access content in library catalogues, the sustainability of open access monograph publishing, the difficulty of articulating the value of open access for supporting universities and the challenge of aligning open access values with those of stakeholders. It also reimagines a more diverse and inclusive system of scholarly communication in relation to open access monographs. As part of this, the report outlines some of the principles that could inform a new open access model/platform aimed at transforming the relationship between open access book publishers and libraries….”

Open Library Foundation

“The Open Library Foundation enables the development, accessibility and sustainability of open source and open access projects for and by libraries. The Foundation seeks to enable and support creative collaboration among librarians, technologists, designers, service providers and vendors to share expertise and resources and to create innovative new software and resources that support libraries….”


Decolonizing Open Access in Development Research Journal Open Access and Plan S: Solving Problems or Shifting Burdens?

This academic thought piece provides an overview of the history of, and current trends in, publishing practices in the scientific fields known to the authors (chemical sciences, social sciences and humanities), as well as a discussion of how open access mandates such as Plan S from cOAlition S will affect these practices. It begins by summarizing the evolution of scientific publishing, in particular how it was shaped by the learned societies, and highlights how important quality assurance and scientific management mechanisms are being challenged by the recent introduction of ever more stringent open access mandates. The authors then discuss the various reactions of the researcher community to the introduction of Plan S, and elucidate a number of concerns: that it will push researchers towards a pay-to-publish system which will inevitably create new divisions between those who can afford to get their research published and those who cannot; that it will disrupt collaboration between researchers on the different sides of cOAlition S funding; and that it will have an impact on academic freedom of research and publishing. The authors analyse the dissemination of, and responses to, an open letter distributed and signed in reaction to the introduction of Plan S, before concluding with some thoughts on the potential for evolution of open access in scientific publishing.

Collaboration between research institutes and large and small publishers for publishing open access journals

Abstract:  Research institutes frequently collaborate with for-profit publishers for the publication of open access journals. This study uses a structural break test to examine the effects of the collaboration between research institutes and large and small for-profit publishers for the publication of 15 gold open access journals on the journals’ internationality and academic influence. The results reveal an improvement in the internationality and academic influence for most of the journals following the collaboration. Additionally, the scale and persistence of the effects are not dependent on the size of the publisher. The findings indicate that large publishers do not have any advantage over small publishers in publishing journals for research institutes. This implies that small publishers can compete with large ones in publishing official journals on behalf of research institutes. However, as collaboration with research institutes strengthens the large publishers’ presence in the open access journal market, it is necessary to monitor their activities, including large publishers’ acquisitions of small ones.


Librarians’ perceptions and motivations for supporting collaborative models for Open Access monographs · Commonplace

“While the survey revealed several discoveries regarding librarians’ confidence in collaborative OA models for monographs, one of the key findings was that librarians still support the basic principle of OA—despite the obstacles standing in the way—and are willing to support OA models for scholarly books via crowdfunding to help make them available worldwide. They also do not overlook the importance of local benefits (i.e., the benefits for their own communities) derived from their participation. Previous studies on OA already confirmed librarians’ positive attitudes about supporting OA monograph publishing: OAPEN-UK 2014 librarian survey, for example, revealed that 80 of librarians would support OA monograph publishing merely in principle (Collins & Milloy, 2016). The study did not focus on a particular model, but it did show librarians’ commitment to OA, not only in the context of journals but also monographs….”

Data Together: Fostering Cooperation Among Open Science Platforms

“In alignment with RDA’s core mission to ‘set international Research Data and Protocol agreements and standards’11 , the RDA Global Open Research Commons Interest Group (GORC IG)12 is helping to support coordination amongst regional, national, pan-national and domain-specific organizations. Those organizations are developing the interoperable resources necessary to enable researchers to address societal grand challenges across disciplines, technologies and countries….

The Global Open Science Cloud (GOSC)13 initiative has its roots in the same series of meetings. It was proposed in 2019 at the CODATA conference in Beijing with the objective to assist the alignment and interoperation of open science cloud activities. GOSC aims to co-design and build a cross-continental, federated e-infrastructure and virtual research environment for global cooperation and open science using harmonized policies, interoperable protocols and transparent services. Network connectivity, secure AAI (Authentication and Authorization Infrastructure), computing federation, FAIR data, and policy alignment are the key components….

 While the GORC initiative focuses on a roadmap for commons integration, the GOSC is creating a cooperation mechanism and testbed implementations for science clouds that arise from that roadmap. Developing and sustaining collaboration between GORC and GOSC, through the Data Together partnership will enhance the impact of each initiative and result in sustainable benefits for the wider research community. In addition, members of the Data Together group are working with the various platforms to convene a roundtable of senior representatives from the organizations to facilitate these efforts.”

» Data Together: Fostering Cooperation Among Open Science Platforms

“Collectively referred to as Data Together, the four collaborating international data organisations—CODATA, GO FAIR, RDA, WDS—have a joint commitment (published in March 2020) to work together to optimise the global research data ecosystem and to identify opportunities that will trigger federated infrastructures to service the new reality of data-driven science.

These infrastructures are typically referred to as science clouds or platforms, or research commons, and can be defined at a high level as forming a global trusted ecosystem that provides seamless access to high quality interoperable research outputs and services. Science clouds and commons are developing around the world to address the need for infrastructures to support cross-geographical and cross-disciplinary open science.

Both CODATA and RDA have major initiatives to work with the development of such open research infrastructures: CODATA’s Global Open Science Cloud (GOSC) and RDA’s Global Open Research Commons (GORC), developed in collaboration with the WDS. These came out of a series of meetings held at International Data Week, RDA Plenaries, CODATA Conferences and the FAIR Convergence Symposium, and ultimately include all the Data Together organisations as partners. The GOSC and GORC initiatives aim to encourage cooperation, alignment and interoperability among these infrastructures….”