We recently welcomed IWA Publishing as a new OASPA member in the Professional Publisher (Medium) category. IWA Publishing joins 181 total members.
We asked Rod Cookson, Managing Director of IWA Publishing, a few questions so we could learn more about the organisation and its connection to open scholarship and their decision to become an OASPA member.
Tell us a bit about your organisation and the service it provides
IWA Publishing is a society publisher with a global membership. We want everyone to benefit from the life-saving research we publish on clean drinking water, safe sanitation and flood management.
Why did you decide to join OASPA?
IWA Publishing has been on a journey to Open Access since 2015. We flipped Water Reuse to OA in 2017 and Hydrology Research in 2020, and launched two new OA journals, H2Open Journal and Blue-Green Systems. This year, 2021, we flipped our 10 subscription journals to Open Access on an S2O model, making us a completely OA publisher for the first time. We have found the advice and shared experience of other publishers invaluable in this transition. We hope that as a member of OASPA we will continue to learn about good practices and intelligent ways to keep improving our OA offering from our fellow OASPA members.
What do you hope to get out of OASPA membership?
We would like to meet more like-minded publishers (as well as librarians and funders) and explore how to keep improving our OA offering for both journals and books.
What are the short and medium-term priorities for your organisation/publication in relation to open scholarship?
The short term challenge is simple. We have flipped 10 journals to OA on an S2O model this year. We want to embed the S2O model and make it a normal purchasing choice to librarians around the world. Longer term, we want to fine tune our journals so that they serve their research communities in all countries. If we get that right, we are confident that our journals will continue to thrive commercially as Open Access publications. Roughly half the books we publish are OA at present. We would like all of them to be OA ultimately.
What do you think are the main challenges for scholarship generally in the near future?
1) Embedding S2O as a permanent model for journals. 2) Making it simple for smaller publishers to agree Read + Publish deals with consortia and single universities. 3) Finding ways to keep funding OA books.
There are plenty of other issues that need to be resolved (eg providing robust data for libraries /consortia in R+P deals, and broad initiatives like Plan S). My feeling is that those issues are being addressed by various players. The three points flagged above are more in play and need constructive stakeholders to combine and develop solutions.
How do you think OASPA can help mitigate those challenges?
Most current OA challenges can be solved by bringing interested parties together, identifying good practice and solutions that may resolve the challenges, and then sharing good practice. OASPA can be an excellent mechanism for bringing such groups together on questions that genuinely matter.