After the success of the inaugural LyrOpen Fair in 2022, Lyrasis again held this virtual event April 25-27, 2023, comprising three sessions that discussed open content and infrastructure, available for free to all interested parties.
Session recordings and presentations are available at the LyrOpen Fair webpage, and following are key takeaways from each session.
Speakers: Michael Rodriguez (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2919-5588), Senior Strategist, Content & Scholarly Communication Initiatives, Lyrasis; Jill E. Grogg (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5136-4507), Senior Strategist, Communities & Scholarly Communication Initiatives, Lyrasis
This webinar introduced Open Access (OA) scholarly publishing. Coverage included terminology, OA revenue models, examples of OA programs, and evaluation of OA investment opportunities.
Most of the presentation focused on OA terminology and models. KU Leuven offers a glossary of OA terms. If you are unsure of the distinction between gold and diamond OA, this glossary is for you! A COPIM study demystifies various OA revenue models, describing models such as earned revenue (publication fees, advertising, fundraising), embedded institutional support, third-party subsidies (such as grants), and consortial (membership, crowdfunding, and Subscribe-to-Open programs such as Open Library of Humanities, Annual Reviews, Punctum Books, OACIP, and the University of Michigan Press Fund to Open). Transformative agreements, commonly termed read-and-publish agreements, are an APC-based earned revenue model. Lyrasis supports journal transformative agreements with ACM Open and Cambridge University Press.
Libraries and other institutions should develop (1) values-based frameworks to guide evaluation of OA investment opportunities, such as Iowa State’s and UMass Amherst’s; and, (2) mechanisms for operationalizing these values, such as the University of California’s detailed STAR workbook. The webinar also discussed the benefits of participating in OA for teaching-oriented institutions and specific local considerations for OA investments (e.g., authorship, course adoption, DEIA).
The webinar concluded with a five-point call to action for library staff: (1) learn continuously; (2) start small and explore what’s available; (3) develop mechanisms for values-based evaluation of OA investment opportunities; (4) invest in OA that aligns with institutional missions and values; and, (5) diversify and balance institutional OA investments and shift funds toward OA over time.
Speaker: Sheila Rabun (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1196-6279), Program Leader for Persistent Identifier Communities, Lyrasis
This session discussed open research infrastructure, which refers to technical components that can be used within or alongside software systems to enable assessment, openness, and FAIRness in the research and scholarly communication ecosystem (FAIR = Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reusability). When research outputs (and metadata about research outputs) are FAIR, organizations can begin to gather information needed to assess the reach and impact of research activities at the organization. Lyrasis supports three open research infrastructure programs that help to lay a foundation for gauging research activity and impact.
First, the ORCID US Community is a national community of practice for organizations that are members of ORCID (Open Researcher & Contributor Identifier), led by Lyrasis in partnership with the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Greater Western Library Alliance, and the NorthEast Research Libraries. Organizations such as publishers, funders, and research institutions can use ORCID to gain insight into researcher activity and reach/impact. For example, the ORCID US Community has created openly available data visualization resources allowing anyone to create a map of institutional publication collaborations based on public data from ORCID records and Crossref DOIs.
Secondly, the Lyrasis DataCite US Community is a consortium for non-profit organizations in the U.S. dedicated to creating and maintaining DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) for research data and other scholarly resources. DOIs are a cornerstone of FAIRness because they make resources easier to find, access, and reuse. The more we can use DOIs, ORCID iDs, and other persistent identifiers (PIDs) across all stages of the research lifecycle, the more easily we can get information about research activities and usage as a basis for assessing impact (and comply with the 2022 White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memo on public access for federally-funded research, which includes directives for using PIDs across scholarly communication workflows).
Thirdly, the IRUS US Community is a U.S. program for institutions using IRUS (Institutional Repository Usage Statistics), a COUNTER-conformant, open stats service managed by Jisc. IRUS can be used with multiple repository platforms to track the number of item investigations (views) and requests (downloads) of individual items in the repository, usage of items authored by an individual (via ORCID iD), stats by DOI, and platform-wide aggregated usage. IRUS data is open for anyone to see, and COUNTER-based standardized statistics allow for benchmarking against peer repositories.
Speakers: Eric Schares (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6292-8221), Engineering & Collection Analysis Librarian, Iowa State University; Sharla Lair (https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4847-0469), Senior Strategist, Open Access & Scholarly Communication Initiatives, Lyrasis
This session began by exploring Eric Schares’ research, “Impact of the 2022 OSTP Memo: A Bibliometric Analysis of U.S. Federally Funded Publications, 2017-2021,” Quantitative Science Studies, published in 2023, along with his companion website that allows users to delve into the data discussed in the article.
In 2013, the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a public access memo (the “Holdren Memo”) regarding publication for federally funded research, including an embargo period of 12 months, agencies of research and development budgets over $100 million, peer-reviewed manuscripts, and more. In 2022, the OSTP released another memo (the “Nelson Memo”), which significantly expanded the previous one, removing any embargo period and expanding to all U.S. federal funding agencies.
Announced in 2022, the guidelines outlined in the Nelson Memo are set to go into effect by the beginning of 2026, and there continue to be reactions from multiple stakeholders, including librarians, universities, consortia, research centers, and more, including questions such as:
- How many papers does this memo affect per year?
- Which papers and/or journals will be affected?
- Which institutions are authors affiliated with?
- How were U.S. federally funded articles being published? Open or closed (behind a paywall of some sort)?
In an attempt to answer some of these questions, Schares conducted a bibliometric analysis. The five-year average (2017-2022) is 265,000 publications a year, or 1.3 million total over five years, which represents 33% of all U.S. output over those years, and 4.5% of all global output. Large publishers with greater than 1 million total publications over five years tend to have relatively low percentage of federal funding, around 3-10%. Alternatively, lower volume publishers tend to have a higher percentage of federally funded output. The same overall trend holds true for journal titles. Those with greater than 50,000 overall publications have output being 3-16% being federally funded. These percentages increase as total numbers get smaller. It’s important to note that national laboratories are in the 75-85% range of publications being federally funded whereas, typically universities are in the 30-60% range.
Ultimately, federally funded research is more likely to be published in some form of Open Access than a “typical” paper, but publishers and journals continue to publish federally funded research behind a paywall. Thus, significant amounts of previously published and forthcoming research will need to transition from paywalled content to open access of some sort.
This research allows stakeholders to examine data in concert with many other concerns surrounding open access in the U.S. and globally, such as how monopolization and commercial interests have led to a reduction in bibliodiversity. Where we focus our concerns determines our reality. If we only focus on article processing charges or gold OA as a means for sustaining scholarly publishing, that has real-world implications for how we think about OA as a whole coupled with the library community’s influence in transforming scholarly publishing.
Another way to achieve our open content goals has emerged with diamond OA, and a recent study from 2021, “OA Diamond Journals Study”, offers explanations about a model wherein articles are free to read and publish, with alternative funding models than APCs. The Lyrasis Open Access Community Investment Program (OACIP) is one such diamond alternative, a community-driven framework that enables multiple stakeholders to efficiently and strategically evaluate and collectively fund OA.
While the Nelson Memo specifically relates to the U.S., there are many projects and communities around the world who are successfully engaging with OA.