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New report on the future of open access policies

The success of the implementation of open access policies depends on a broad and diverse landscape of services. A new report entitled "Putting down roots: Securing the future of open access policies” from Knowledge Exchange details currently essential OA infrastructure and services (OpenAIRE amongst them) and seeks dialogue on their future maintenance, security and development.

The organic growth of OA services means that there are many different platforms that provide a variety of different tools. Underpinning services such as providers of identifiers, providers of repository or open access publishing services, indexing tools to find those repositories and open access journals were examined, as well as support, dissemination and monitoring services.

Tree services OA licensedHighlights of the report include:
  • An analysis of several OA services and policies currently in use.
  • A summary of the many different positions on OA that research funders and institutions have adopted.
  • A set of case studies that illustrate the direct or indirect dependency of OA policies on key services.
  • Your views on the services that enable compliance with OA policies.
  • A matrix of dependency risks and possible risk reduction options.
  • Use cases, presented in accessible formats and language for a non-technical audience.
Recommendations
The broad direction is clear: good services are indispensable when it comes to the success of implementing OA policies. These services are crucial and should be supported. But the diversity and financial insecurity of many of the services presents risks for implementing OA policy as well as for the proper functioning of these services.

To develop a fully functioning open access infrastructure, four priorities for action were identified:
  1. Adopt sound governance structures with greater representation from funders and policy makers, promoting the wider use of crucial identifiers and standards.
  2. Ensure the financial sustainability of critical services, particularly the DOAJ and SHERPA services.
  3. Create an integrated infrastructure for OA repositories based on central ‘nodes’, interoperability across the broader landscape, and increased engagement with the European Commission’s OpenAIRE project and the work of the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR).
  4. Invest strategically in OA services in order to create a coherent OA infrastructure that is efficient, integrated and representative of all stakeholders.
Chances for OpenAIRE

The key message that emerges from this study is that systematic policy implementation will require a fully functioning OA infrastructure that connects, improves and integrates the current disparate collection of services.  There is a pressing need for leadership and co-ordination to further develop these crucial ‘nodes’ in the OA repository infrastructure, and to deliver greater interoperability across existing institutional and subject repositories, thereby improving discoverability and enabling policy compliance. The fragmented repository landscape encompasses a diverse range of services and work methods. Here OpenAIRE offers great potential. OpenAIRE promotes greater consistency by improving interoperability between repositories, creating an integrated network.

services support
Conclusions
  • Open Access policies are increasingly part of funding demands and scientific research practice. 
  • Effective open access infrastructure is a key element in the delivery of open access policy. 
  • Policy makers, funders and other stakeholders must consider invsting to create efficient and integrated tools representative of all stakeholders. 
  • A move from a broad spectrum of services to a functioning, interoperable open access infrastructure is needed to deliver open access policy compliance.
  • Strategic investments from funders, policy makers and institutions are needed to create coherent open access infrastructures.
  • Ultimately, the delivery of OA policy compliance at scale must proceed hand-in-hand with the development of an effective OA infrastructure.

Read the full report: Putting down roots: Securing the future of open access policies

Images taken from the report (CC-BY 4.0 licensed)

A new report entitled "Putting down roots” from Knowledge Exchange details currently essential OA infrastructure and services (OpenAIRE amongst them) and seeks dialogue on their future maintenance, security and development.