The Knowledge Exchange partners issue a report that identifies the actions needed in order to help achieve a robust Open Access service foundation.
The report examines relevant services, many that operate on short-term funding or even goodwill, and finds that business development expertise should be embedded into service development. The report recommends that universities, policy makers and funders should consider how financial resources can be distributed to achieve system-wide sustainability. It also highlights that governance and coordination of the infrastructure underlying Open Access is also critical to long-term viability.
The Knowledge Exchange partners commissioned the report as part of a work programme to find solutions to the sustainability problem. In this first report from the work programme use cases have been developed in terms of the Open Access services used by the research-related community. The key free-to-use services are described as a series of value curves depicting the current and future value of each service type. Use cases described include establishing and running a repository, managing an academic profile and publishing an Open Access journal. The services are analysed in the context of Open Access scenarios for the future. The three scenarios used are Gold Open Access, fully Green Open Access and Green Open Access supplementing subscription access as Gold OA grows.
Different stakeholder groups – libraries, research and infrastructure funders, and service providers – can play various roles in the future scenarios. Libraries are already contributing directly to sustaining some services such as arXiv and the Directory of Open Access Journals by financial donations, or in-kind by supporting the development and offering of services, as in the case of BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine). Funders use many services, including commercial ones, and in general acknowledge they have a role to play in helping to sustain key components of the system. And of course some universities have taken steps towards support for Open Access by committing funds to pay for Open Access publication charges.
Seven recommendations are made, which fall into three strategic areas – as outlined earlier – embedding business development expertise into service development; consideration of how to move money around the system to enable the achievement of Open Access; and governance and coordination of the infrastructural foundation of Open Access. These recommendations will be further addressed through the Knowledge Exchange work programme
The report, authored by Alma Swan from Key Perspectives for the Knowledge Exchange is the first in a series of related work packages. These work packages will review potential organisational and business models of individual projects and services and review the conditions under which individual services and platforms can be sustained. Finally this will be translated into practical outputs which can be used by institutions and funders.
Direct to Full Text Report (54 pages; PDF)
Knowledge Exchange Members
The four Knowledge Exchange partner organisations are:
Denmark’s Electronic Research Library (DEFF) in Denmark
German Research Foundation (DFG) in Germany
Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the United Kingdom
SURF in the Netherlands
Knowledge Exchange has signed a memorandum of understanding with CSC from Finland and is now negotiating the terms on which CSC can become a member of Knowledge Exchange
See Also: Complete News Release (3 pages; PDF)