LYRASIS has signed an Expression of Support for working with small independent publishers as recommended by the recent report, How to enable smaller independent publishers to participate in OA agreements. This report was released on behalf of cOAlition S and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers by Information Power, a consultancy service specializing in Open Access and research information. 

Small independent publishers include society publishers without a larger publishing partner, university presses, library publishers, and many OA native publishers. The report describes these publishers as “…highly valued by the research community for their activities in promoting excellence in research, for the scholarly communication services they provide, and for the key role they play in ensuring a diverse, open scholarly publishing landscape.” 

One of the main reasons that we became a signatory of this document is because ACTION is its foundation. The Expression of Support states:

“We, the undersigned, will work together to minimize complexity and maximize efficiency and to support the transition of smaller independent publishers to sustainable, equitable, immediate Open Access publishing models.”

How does LYRASIS plan to put this commitment to action? 

LYRASIS will facilitate an experimental incubation space for emerging open access funding and business models.

LYRASIS has already been working collaboratively to support sustainable, equitable, and immediate open access programs for many years and is committed to continuing this work. We have served as the U.S. national contact point for the open content programs SCOAP3, Knowledge Unlatched, and Open Library of Humanities since each of these programs launched. The LYRASIS open access content portfolio has been growing in the last few years largely due to smaller publishers bravely dipping their toes in the OA waters. These programs include books and journals supported by a variety of non-APC open access models including Subscribe to Open, Diamond OA journals, and membership models. These models are attempting to equitably and sustainably support the content published by native OA publishers, library publishers, and university presses. You can learn more about each of these programs on the LYRASIS Open Access Programs webpage

LYRASIS will provide a funding hub for specialized programs, output from smaller publishers, and niche scholarly output to maintain the diversity of scholarship.

A growing number of small publishers wish to transition to open access publishing and maintain their program, but due to their size, they often lack the resources and bandwidth needed to transition sustainably. They require an infrastructure that connects them to the broader community to support sustainable funding of their programs. Libraries need an infrastructure to support their collaborative efforts as well. LYRASIS is building a place to bring everyone together to address the one-off-investment administrative and procurement woes. We are calling it the Open Access Community Investment Program. Having one place where one can go and see what opportunities exist, find consistent types of information about those opportunities there, and track how much funding they need is key to sustainably funding open access.

LYRASIS will enable investors to make principled, data-driven spending or reinvestment decisions that align with their missions

Libraries do not always have sufficient information about emerging open access programs to evaluate them and make an informed investment decision relative and relevant to their institutional values. LYRASIS is committed to providing potential library investors with useful information or criteria about the publications and publishers so they can make informed funding choices. It is increasingly important for libraries and consortia to have sufficient information about OA investment opportunities in order for them to make principled or data-driven spending or reinvestment decisions. 

An invitation 

The transition to open access will not be accomplished by signing statements or expressions of support. Changes in habits, workflows, budgets, and human behavior are all necessary to succeed in creating a more open system of scholarly communication. Libraries, institutions, and publishers all will need to adapt and address these challenges. Only those publishing programs with a community and an infrastructure to support their new efforts will be able to make meaningful and long-lasting change. A network of support among community partners fosters the trust that is required to make these bold steps forward. 

LYRASIS signed this Expression of Support as a further declaration of our commitment to building something new together. We are motivated to take action and do something different, working shoulder to shoulder with others to find the right answers. We need a stronger, more effective connection infrastructure to make sustainable transitions to open access. We invite all who are ready to take action to build it with us.