Parallel Session 2

Parallel Session 2 – Claiming Community Ownership of Scholarly Communication

Moderator: Aysa Ekanger, Library of UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway
Location: Tassos Papadopoulos – Room 102 (1st Floor)

2.1) Unexpected but welcome: Leveraging repositories as Open Access platforms for scholarly books

Presenter: Iva Melinščak Zlodi, University of Zagreb Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Croatia

The presentation will explore the potential of utilizing institutional repositories infrastructure as a platform for publishing Open Access scholarly books. This topic aligns with the growing emphasis on publishing activities undertaken by not-for-profit academic institutions and organisations, as evident in the DIAMAS project, and emphasizes the role of libraries in institutional publishing, as advocated by the IFLA Library Publishing Special Interest Group.

The argumentation will be based on the case of the Croatian repository network DABAR (https://dabar.srce.hr). Initially, it was designed and developed as an infrastructure for institutional repositories with their typical functions of collecting and opening the scholarly outputs authored by the faculty and students of academic institutions, primarily through depositing versions of scholarly works that were previously published elsewhere (except for the theses, for which repositories were always a primary publication channel). However, some institutions, lacking technical solutions or dedicated publishing staff and expertise for e-book publishing, have come to a practice of using repositories as a primary publication venue for Open Access books (monographs, edited volumes, conference proceedings or textbooks). Here, librarians as repository managers are assuming new roles in institutional publishing. Although this role of institutional repositories was not anticipated by design, it is now recognised and further explored as a welcomed functionality that could greatly benefit the landscape of institutional publishing, through the use of standardised metadata and persistent identifiers, solving the problems of digital preservation and enhancing the discoverability and visibility of book content.

A distinctive feature of the DABAR infrastructure is its ability to create ‘umbrella’ repositories, paving the way for a potential national access point for all scholarly books. Drawing insights from Croatian national portals for OA journals (Hrčak – https://hrcak.srce.hr) and theses (ZIR – https://zir.nsk.hr and DR – https://dr.nsk.hr), the presentation underscores the impact of unique national portals on the acceptance by the wider national and regional audience and societal impact of scholarly outputs. Additionally, it examines the potential of this national access point to disseminate quality-controlled metadata for reuse by various national and international services.

The presentation concludes by showcasing the current advances, benefits, and challenges in the Croatian case, illustrating how it can contribute to global efforts in establishing a collaborative, efficient, and community-led ecosystem of scholarly publishing.

2.2) Building our Open Access Future: Empowering libraries to find solutions to sustaining community-led open infrastructures

Presenters: Joanna Ball, DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals), Denmark and Suzanne Tatham, University of Southampton Library, UK

Libraries play a crucial role in sustaining community-led open infrastructure. Through the SCOSS initiative alone, 340 libraries and institutions worldwide have pledged nearly €6m to support open scholarly infrastructure. As an example of global scholarly infrastructure, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) derives the majority of its income from the library community and in 2022, 350 European libraries in 20 countries supported DOAJ through its supporter model. Libraries are also involved in supporting and developing infrastructures within their own universities and communities to support open research.

Although many libraries want to support community-led open infrastructures, they face many challenges. These can include competing demands on over-stretched budgets, lack of alignment with institutional priorities, restrictive procurement policies of their parent institutions, and restrictions on the use of budgets to purchase only services or content. This creates problems for libraries wanting to demonstrate their commitment and support for open access, and for the infrastructures needed to sustain their service.

We will also explore the challenges faced by community-led open infrastructures in sustaining financially viable business models and we will argue that libraries need to understand these models so that they can make informed decisions about how they support essential open infrastructures. Alongside funders, publishers and our academic colleagues, libraries have a key role to play in shaping the future of a more open scholarly landscape. Supporting open infrastructures is an area where we can have a big impact.

This presentation will explore some of the innovative strategies both open infrastructure initiatives and libraries can use to overcome barriers to supporting open infrastructure. We will discuss how you can influence institutional decision-making and strategy; how you can advocate for open infrastructures; how you can rethink your library budget based on your values and how you can look for ways to innovate in this space.

The session aims to inspire and empower attendees to find creative and sustainable solutions to supporting open infrastructure that will fit their own local context. We will argue that there is a need for a new kind of relationship between libraries and community infrastructures that moves away from the traditional supplier-customer and towards a collaborative relationship exploiting the synergies and values shared by both.

2.3) SCOAP3, 10 years of Open Science global partnership, challenges and opportunities

Presenter: Anne Gentil-Beccot, CERN, Switzerland

The SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) is the world’s largest open access initiative, consisting of over 3,000 member institutions across 45 countries/regions and territories. In its continuous operation for a decade, SCOAP3 has supported barrier-free open access (i.e. no fees for authors or readers), across 11 leading journals, covering over 90% of research published in high-energy physics. Since 2021, SCOAP3 has expanded its efforts to deliver open access for key monographs and textbooks to support research and teaching in high energy physics and related fields.

In 2024, we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the initiative. At this occasion we will review how this global collective action achieved and sustained the disciplinary flip to open access, supporting the publishing of over 60,000 articles, with cost control and fair repartition of the funding among SCOAP3 partners, resulting in a model benefitting the entire scientific community. We will take this opportunity to discuss the reasons why this model was not yet replicated across other disciplines, and other lessons learned by SCOAP3 since its launch in 2014.

Following this reflection, we will outline the near future of the initiative: with a particular focus on the major new innovation being introduced in the next Phase commencing in 2025. This mechanism will competitively incentivise participating publishers to deliver on aspects of improved service quality related to open science. The open science elements included in this mechanism include, among others, the improved adoption of persistent identifiers, software and dataset linking, enriched metadata and improved accessibility standards. We will discuss the rationale behind the design of this new model, its objectives, and what role SCOAP3 plays in the framework of the global movement to further expand the uptake of Open Science.

53rd LIBER Annual Conference