Open Access perspectives from Europe, – Part 1 – Hungarian Electronic Library Consortia Conference

Blog post by Sofie Wennström.

The Hungarian Academy of Science. This is part of the interior in one of the old library rooms, now used as a meeting space.
The Hungarian Academy of Science. This is part of the interior in one of the old library rooms, now used as a meeting space.

The The Library and Information Centre of Hungarian Academy of Sciences (EISZ) in collaboration with the Hungarian Academy of Science arranged a one-day conference on Sep 12th, 2016. The theme was ‘The Use and Generation of Scientific Content – Roles for Libraries’, focusing on implementation of Open Access.

The hosts had worked together with their regional sales agent Scientific Knowledge Services (SKS) to put together the program. Lectures and presentations were held by several main actors in academic publishing. Stockholm University Press was among those invited to present their case to the audience of about 120 librarians and university representatives from all over Hungary, gathered at the beautiful premises of the Hungarian Academy of Science in central Budapest.

The presentation about Stockholm University Press about the strategies and drivers to start a university press and the results so far can be found here (presentation) and here (manuscript).

Open Access in Development – the DOAJ perspective

Lars Bjørnshauge, Managing Director of DOAJ, held a lecture about the DOAJ services and on the current developments in Open Access (OA) where he stated that OA is here to stay, but that we need to create better incentives for researchers to publish more openly.

This can be done for example by creating a library culture of openness, where librarians take the responsibility to adapt learned institutions to use new forms of impact measurement, as well as to move towards a role of curating information rather than being gatekeepers for paywalls. Lars noted the recent shift towards a Gold OA standard in favor of the embargoed Green OA route as a positive development, where the latter have been used as an instrument to reach a certain level of openness in terms of research results.

Green OA is however not of a future as many of the platforms are not keeping the same standard as the published versions of record, and has also allowed the traditional publishers to keep their hold of the market with long embargo times. Bjørnshauge suggests an action plan to continue on this path towards full OA; Foster competition, make change happen, and create new channels of publishing. He mentioned initiatives like Stockholm University Press and UCL Press to be good examples of such alternatives. For more updates on the recent review of the DOAJ registry, see this report.

Shift to OA in the UK

Carolyn Alderson from Jisc (Joint Information Systems Committee) gave an overview of the ongoing work about the transition to Open Access in the UK. Her presentation includes the analysis of usage and APC (Author Processing Charge, or Publication fee) data from two major publishers for UK research, which could become beneficial not only for future budgeting of publications.

More work is needed to boost the shift to OA while at the same time as constraining costs is important, and how the quality of the metadata about publications are to monitor this development. The metadata is also important to show the benefits of OA to enhance discovery and impact.

Open Access in Hungary

Zsuzsanna Nagy, from the Corvinus University of Budapest presented the Hungarian Open Access landscape, where the main actors are the Hungarian Open Access Repositories (HUNOR) and the University Libraries as well as the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Hungary adopted the OA policy at an early stage, and hosted one of the first gatherings of OA advocates, which resulted in the Budapest Open Access Initiative in 2002. At the moment, the country applies a mandate for researchers to publish their results with (at least) Green OA (in repositories) since 2013. They are also continuing to develop their legislation to allow for better management of bibliographic data (i.e. publications and citations).

The different initiatives in the nation is however diverse, as there are several repositories and platforms for each university. Nagy noted that the future for the Hungarian initiative would be to continue the advocacy work to for example convince authors that the OA journals can be just as good as their traditional communication channels. Another future challenge is to add research data to the same open paradigm. They also need to further align institutional policies and adopt more of the international standards to succeed in their goal to allow open access to all research in Hungary.

Future roles for libraries – the new LIBER strategy in the making

The Vice President of the European library organisation LIBER, Jeanette Frey, presented a preview of the organisations’ coming strategies, which will include the input and work from their over 400 members. LIBER has analyzed the political, economical, societal and technological aspects of the library development in the next few years.

They have also conducted interviews with researchers, to ensure that the strategies are influenced by the needs of the most important user group of university libraries. The presentation included a vision statement for the years 2018-2022, which will in time be formed into new strategies for the association, where they believe that the future publishing landscape will be predominately Open Access and where research data is FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable).

The vision further states that digital skills will become more important for all involved, that the research infrastructure is participatory and that the current digital information is possible to reuse as tomorrow’s cultural heritage. The future role of libraries will thus include providing platforms for publishing, to act as centers for digital skills and services in order to be a reliable partner in the global research infrastructure.

The conference was filmed and broadcast as a live stream.

The contributors to the conference was: LIBER, JiSC, DOAJ, Alexander Street Press, Oxford University Press, Taylor & Francis, Cambridge University Press, UCL Press, Royal Society of Chemistry, BioOne, IoP, ProQuest, and 1Science.

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