This guest post is one of a series from sponsors of the OASPA Conference in 2020. Please note that the views in this post do not represent an official view or statement from OASPA. The post is from Martin Jagerhorn of Chronos Hub.
More and more funders are adopting publishing policies, and quickly Plan S is becoming a reality for many researchers, institutions, and publishers. Europe is aiming for an Open Science future, which changes the current academic practices and the way of working for everyone involved in the research publishing process. We must act fast and rise to the challenges of implementing an Open Access and Open Science strategy that is both financially sustainable but also flexible enough to meet the rapidly evolving needs.
In response to the changing face of scientific research, we’ve been reflecting upon Chronos Hub’s work to advance OA publishing through our operations and to support researchers, institutions, funders, and, last but not least, publishers. By working with all these types of stakeholders daily, including Plan S funders like the Luxembourg National Research Fund and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we have a holistic picture of different perspectives and have learned a few lessons.
Data is king
It’s clear. Open Access has more colors than the rainbow, and this leads to complexities for everyone involved. How should we deal with APCs, transformative agreements, underlying research data, access to the AAM, embargoes, hybrids, vouchers, waivers, and so much more? It’s a nightmare for everyone. But there is a solution. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is data.
If we get the data right, we can automate all these processes. At Chronos Hub, we work hard to ensure all data becomes FAIR upon inception. We use globally unique identifiers for all required entities (authors, affiliations, funders, grants, journals, articles, datasets, etc.). This way, we can make automated compliance checks and approvals seen to funders’ and institutions’ policies. Publishers can also use Chronos Hub as support, regardless of the chosen business model, whether it is Gold, Green, Bronze, Diamond, Hybrid, or Subscribe-to-Open, and include any elements of Read & Publish agreements, vouchers, waivers, or transformation commitments to be Plan S compliant.
Let researchers focus on research – not the process of publishing research
Lesson two: a researcher-centric approach is key. Without researchers, there would be nothing to publish, no peer-review, no readers, no grantees, and no research. It’s vital to ensure the author’s experience is fast and east so they can spend their valuable time on research on not on administration.
At Chronos Hub, we put the researchers first. We collect data to enable authors to quickly see which journals offer a compliant route, based on their funding and institutional affiliation. We try to lower the threshold for the initial submission by auto-completing the submission form with FAIR data on the authors, grants, funders, etc. and enabling a direct submission through Chronos Hub into thousands of journal titles. Most importantly, we make sure authors don’t worry about APC payments, approvals, or reporting back to funders or institution.
With the use of FAIR data, we can enable full automation and let funders and institutions access data directly in Chronos Hub for their approvals across all publishers and populating repositories and other internal systems, without the need for time-consuming data collection.
Collaboration. Collaboration. Collaboration.
Not all challenges are solved. There is no silver bullet. We have many obstacles ahead of us, and our greatest lesson learned is that collaboration is the only possible way to mend the research ecosystem and streamline the communication between researchers, publishers, funders, and institutions. Alone we stay siloed. When we work together, we can build bridges and get our different systems to communicate, breaking down barriers. We are delighted to be part of OASPA that brings many of the key stakeholders together to further debate and explore solutions.
One thing is sure. Whether it is forced upon us, or if we are happy advocates, Open Access is moving forward. And from our end, we wish everyone a great conference and encourage you to reach out to continue the conversation and build bridges.
Martin Jagerhorn has more than 20 years of experience in business development and investments in tech companies that serve the research domain. As Business Development Advisor at Chronos Hub, Martin establishes new collaborations with funders, institutions, publishers, and sales & technology partners.
We are grateful to Chronos Hub and all of our 2020 conference sponsors for their support.