We recently welcomed HighWire as a new OASPA member in the Supporting Services and Infrastructure (Commercial) category. HighWire joins 185 OASPA members and more than 30 others in the supporting services and infrastructure category that provide significant services and/or support to open access publishing.
We asked Alison McGonagle-O’Connell, Senior Director of Marketing of HighWire, a few questions so we could learn more about the organisation and its connection to open scholarship and decision to become an OASPA member.
Tell us a bit about your organisation and the service it provides.
HighWire is a technology provider to the Research Communications sector. Our focus is innovation in service of the Scholarly Community. We also play the role of community organizers, for example, via our traditional Publisher’s Meetings, and in the time of Covid, via our Best Practice Webinar Series events.
I am the Senior Director of Marketing, which means I am responsible for community engagement and partnerships with industry organizations like OASPA.
Why did you decide to join OASPA and what do you hope to get out of your OASPA membership?
Our community members are at the forefront of working to improve research outputs, as well as the broader framework for communicating science. The future of research is open. For these reasons, in order to be a supportive partner, we need to be in ‘the room where it happens.’ Today, OASPA is that room.
What are the short and medium-term priorities for your organisation/publication in relation to open scholarship?
Our solutions are being optimized for the road ahead. Ultimately, publishers will decide the right levels of openness for their content and communities. It is critical that our solutions are ready to support their decisions, as well as accommodate experimentation along the way.
What do you think are the main challenges for the communication of scholarship generally in the near future?
Trust in science is being challenged. For communication of scholarship, signaling trust should be the number one priority. We should embrace the power of today’s web by leveraging services that improve research quality, like AI and machine learning tools, and utilize standards that highlight the connections underlying research, like DOIs, ORCID iDs, and other persistent identifiers.
An additional challenge is ongoing consolidation in the scholarly communications industry, which can lead to fewer voices dominating conversations, and then dominating the de facto standards/practices. For this reason, it is important to give voice to innovation in service to scholarship and communication.
How do you think OASPA can help mitigate those challenges?
OASPA — like some other community efforts — can assemble and aggregate the innovative voices so they have a larger presence, and can find common ground in ways to move forward. It can also give a stage to new voices or new ideas, so they can be discussed and debated and then shared in open ways. OASPA can give voice to a diverse ecosystem.