OASPA has seen an exciting recent blossoming of inter-membership collaborations, partnerships, and instances of members working alongside each other in support of common goals. In honour of Open Access Week, which celebrates the global open access community annually and runs from October 22-28th this year, we are highlighting these inspiring instances of collaborative efforts of our members in their work to find new solutions to making research openly accessible for all.
OASPA publisher member Hindawi is partnering with member protocols.io to, as Hindawi’s Director of Open Science Catriona MacCallum describes in her blogpost on their partnership, ‘make it easy for authors to publish and adapt the methods they develop and get credit for them via a dedicated citation. Publishing your method not only helps to credit such outputs directly, it contributes to an open foundation of knowledge and is part of Open Science.’
The Protocols.io team work to provide a free, crowd-sourced ‘protocol’ (structured methods) repository for researchers, partnering with publishers like Hindawi in the process. Lenny Teytelman, CEO and Cofounder of protocols.io, said of the collaboration: ‘With this partnership, Hindawi just doubled the number of journals that have protocols.io in the author guidelines. For a small startup like protocols.io, such partnerships are invaluable. They increase our visibility and awareness of protocols.io at a time when many scientists simply don’t know that the platform exists. There are some publishers who ask, “What does adding protocols.io to our guidelines do for us in the business sense?” They pass on partnering with us because more detailed methods sections do not improve their revenues. This is why we treasure Hindawi and the many other OASPA publishers who took such an early lead on partnering with protocols.io; they do so not because it increases their margins but because this is good for reproducibility and the scientists reading their papers.’
Annotating open access books
Courtesy of OASPA member Ubiquity Press as part of the HIRMEOS project, member Stockholm University Press’s open access books and those of other presses on the Ubiquity Partner Network are now available with the hypothes.is annotation option for their online reading versions. More about Ubiquity Press’s supporting of EPUB annotations via Hypothes.is can be found on their website here.
Wilhelm Widmark, Library Director at Stockholm University & publisher at Stockholm University Press, said: ‘Our open access books just became more accessible and useful with the annotation tool from ‘Hypothes.is’ to facilitate a meaningful exchange of ideas about the content. We are happy to be a part of the Ubiquity Partner Network and HIRMEOS where we can collaborate to develop better technical platforms for the benefit of our readers and authors.’
Tim Wakeford, Head of Editorial, Ubiquity Press, commented: ‘Ubiquity Press are proud to be a development partner on the HIRMEOS project, which is creating open source tools to improve the usability and interoperability of open access monographs. By making all the project outcomes open source, the tools will be available for use and further development for any publisher. Such collaborative projects and open products help ensure that the ‘community’ are discussing the need for new tools more widely and can support each other in improving the quality of publishing by spreading the workload. This ensures that the industry will benefit with new and exciting features whilst, hopefully, bringing down the costs. The hypothes.is integration with epub.js is a perfect example of two open source services that complement each other well to provide the readers an exciting and valuable online experience, as now seen on all presses publishing on the Ubiquity platform.’
The Open Library of Humanities and the University of Huddersfield Press (with Birkbeck’s Centre for Technology and Publishing) are working together to migrate the Press’s journals to the Janeway platform. Janeway is an open source publishing platform developed by the Centre for Technology and Publishing and the Open Library of Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London, which is written in Python using the Django framework and allows for integration with scholarly communications tools such as Crossref, iThenticate, Portico and CLOCKSS.
Megan Taylor, University Press and Marketing Manager at the University of Huddersfield Press, said of the partnership: ‘We are excited to be launching on the Janeway platform in November this year – this new publishing platform is enabling us to make sure our content reaches those who can use it most, without the interference of paywalls or subscriptions. The user interface is impressive, and provides a much better experience for authors, editors, readers and publishing staff.’
Professor Martin Paul Eve, Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London and Founder, Open Library of the Humanities, added: ‘We are delighted to be working with the University of Huddersfield Press in a mutually beneficial partnership. In the Centre for Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London, we build the open-source technology that powers the Open Library of Humanities. By entering into service provision with other users — and OASPA members — we reach a sustainable route to the ongoing development of this software, from which anyone can benefit.’
Support for Plan S
Along with OASPA ourselves, members SPARC Europe and the FAIR Open Access Alliance (FOAA) have given statements of support to Plan S – a coalition of national research funders, with the support of the European Commission, who are committed to accelerate the transition to open access and foresee that from 1 January 2020, all scholarly publications resulting from public research funding must be published in Open Access journals or on Open Access platforms.
During our COASP conference in Vienna last month, FOAA enthusiastically welcomed and endorsed the proposal of cOAlition S to accelerate the transition to Open Access in Europe, and have now released extensive recommendations on the Implementation of Plan S, which can be found on their website here. The FOAA said of their recommendations: ‘The recommendations call for clarifying terminology, for support of no-fee Open Access initiatives, and for making any new infrastructure public and open. Perhaps the most important recommendation is to build cost transparency into the capped publication fee. Publishers should be required to provide the actual breakdown of costs contained in the publication fee, and make this information publicly available. A lack of transparency would establish the cap as a new price-point allowing publishers to renegotiate it every few years. It would also entice publishers whose actual costs are below the cap to raise their costs to meet the cap. Publishers will be reluctant to provide cost information, but it is essential for Plan S to work.’
Vanessa Proudman, Director of SPARC Europe, commented on SPARC Europe’s support of Plan S: ‘Aside from the concrete activities that SPARC Europe has immediately in the pipeline to support the implementation for Plan S, SPARC Europe looks forward to supporting the Plan S implementation group by sharing guidance on how to implement Plan S on a range of levels. It will furthermore clarify how academic libraries can support that implementation.’