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….”

The Open Library of Humanities merges with Birkbeck — Birkbeck, University of London

“Today, extending their existing partnership, and cementing the future of the platform, the Open Library of Humanities (OLH) has merged with Birkbeck. 

The merger allows OLH to maintain its charitable status, while ensuring its ongoing financial sustainability and reducing redundant administrative overhead….”

Developing an objective, decentralised scholarly communication and evaluation system – YouTube

“This is our proposal for how we might create a radically new scholarly publishing system with the potential to disrupt the scholarly publishing industry. The proposed model is: (a) open, (b) objective, (c) crowd sourced and community-controlled, (d) decentralised, and (e) capable of generating prestige. Submitted articles are openly rated by researchers on multiple dimensions of interest (e.g., novelty, reliability, transparency) and ‘impact prediction algorithms’ are trained on these data to classify articles into journal ‘tiers’.

In time, with growing adoption, the highest impact tiers within such a system could develop sufficient prestige to rival even the most established of legacy journals (e.g., Nature). In return for their support, researchers would be rewarded with prestige, nuanced metrics, reduced fees, faster publication rates, and increased control over their outputs….”

OA Publishing Tools and Systems: 3 things you need to consider

“If you’re working with a scholarly organization or group of researchers to run an academic-led open access (OA) journal, you’re likely approaching all areas of journal management with the same core question in mind: How can we maximize our limited time and resources to keep improving our journal and expanding its reach? In order to meet the needs of readers and grow your journal, you need to be able to produce modern articles on a budget and with limited editorial resources.

Ultimately, the success of your OA journal will depend on the publishing tools and systems you leverage to maximize your efforts. Your journal team should seek tools and services that you can easily manage and that will enable you to keep up with the evolving digital publishing landscape.

There are certain considerations OA journal teams should keep in mind when choosing which peer review and publishing tools and systems to use. In this post, we outline 3 things to consider….”

Diamond unearthed: shining light on community-driven Open Access publishing | Plan S

“cOAlition S and Science Europe are pleased to announce the publication of an in-depth report and recommendations arising from a study of community-driven open access (OA) journals across the world that are free for readers and authors, usually referred to as “OA diamond journals”.

“The study uncovers the full dimension of an important part of the world of scholarly dissemination that is as old as science itself: that of the scientific community assessing scientific quality and managing scholarly communication on its own“, highlights Lidia Borrell-Damián, Secretary-General of Science Europe. Specifically, the study examines the areas that are critical for OA diamond journals, from legal structures and governance to technical capabilities, editorial processes, and funding models. The report finds that diamond journals represent a vast archipelago of relatively small journals serving a wide variety of scientific communities. They largely depend on volunteer work, universities, and government funding. Diamond journals are making headway towards Plan S compliance but face a number of operational challenges despite multiple scientific strengths. They need to be more efficiently organised, coordinated and funded to better support researchers in disseminating their work.

The study’s recommendations are to prepare an International Workshop and Symposium within 6 months, set up a funding strategy within 12 months, and establish a Diamond Publishing Capacity Center within 24 months. This may allow research funding organisations, institutions, scholarly societies, and infrastructures to sustainably strengthen OA diamond journals in the context of open science….”

LYRASIS and Michigan Publishing Advance Community-owned, Publishing Ecosystem for eBook Distribution and Reading with Open-source System Integration

“LYRASIS and Michigan Publishing announce the successful integration of the Fulcrum platform with Library Simplified/SimplyE and The Readium Foundation’s Thorium Desktop Reader. 

This initiative brings together three open source reading and content delivery platforms, utilizing entirely open standards and technologies. By working together, the partners are improving discovery and access for ebooks and supporting the sustainability and scalability of two community-led social enterprises. …”

Open Scholarship Knowledge Base

“The Open Scholarship Knowledge Base (OSKB) is a collaborative initiative to curate and share knowledge about the what, why, and how of open scholarship. This includes reviewing, organizing, and improving the discoverability of content to support the education and application of open practices for all aspects of the research lifecycle….”

Workshop: Building an Open Scholarship Base Together

“The goal of the Open Scholarship Knowledge Base (OSKB) is to broadly collate and disseminate the excellent content developed by the open scholarship community, helping colleagues adopt and keep up to date with open practices. Hosted by the Center for Open Science, the OSKB is an openly accessible, community-driven resource that sustained by contributions from fellow scholars. We continuously add new material and ideas, and work with the larger open research community to keep track with best practices as they evolve. By building a living resource, the OSKB aims to reduce knowledge gaps and increase the speed with which transparent research practices are adopted in the field.

We work together as a community to gather and share knowledge about the what, why, and how of open scholarship. We collect, review, consolidate, and organize content to support the education and application of open scholarship practices for all aspects of the research lifecycle. All content is available through our OER Commons portal via https://www.oercommons.org/hubs/oskb. In the spirit of openness, we welcome a diversity of ideas, tools, and methods, as well as researchers from a multitude of fields and backgrounds….”

Duke University Press now offering journal publishing services to nonprofit scholarly publishers | Duke University Press News

“Duke University Press is pleased to partner with nonprofit scholarly journal publishers and societies to provide journal services including subscription management, fulfillment, hosting, and institutional marketing and sales in a collaboration called the Scholarly Publishing Collective (SPC).

Beginning in 2021, the SPC will provide subscription management and fulfillment services, in partnership with Longleaf Services, to Cornell University Press, Texas Tech University Press, and the University of North Carolina Press. The SPC online content platform will launch in 2022, hosting journals and fulfilling digital access on behalf of Michigan State University Press, Penn State University Press, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the University of Illinois Press….”

The case for an inclusive scholarly communication for social sciences and humanities

Abstract:  This article presents a vision for a scholarly communication research infrastructure for social sciences and humanities (SSH). The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the pressing need to access research outputs without the traditional economic and temporal barriers. This article explores the current scholarly communication landscape, assessing the reasons for the slower uptake of open access in SSH research. The authors discuss such frontiers as commercial interests, sources of academic prestige and discipline-specific genres.

This article defines and discusses the key areas in which a research infrastructure can play a vital role in making open scholarly communication a reality in SSH: (1) providing a federated and easy access to scattered SSH outputs; (2) supporting publication and dissemination of discipline-specific genres (e.g. monographs, critical editions); (3) providing help with evaluation and quality assurance practices in SSH; (4) enabling  scholarly work in national languages, which is significant for local communities; (5) being governed by researchers and for researchers as a crucial factor for productive, useful and accessible services; (6) lastly, considering the needs of other stakeholders involved in scholarly communication, such as publishers, libraries, media, non-profit organisations, and companies.
They conclude that a scholarly-driven, inclusive, dedicated infrastructure for the European Research Area is needed in order to advance open science in SSH and to address the issues tackled by SSH researchers at a structural and systemic level.