We have long wished for an open source ecosystem for research communication that included multiple, overlapping open source components that fit together to make new solutions combined with a healthy, competitive set of service providers. Now it looks like we’re going to get it.
The recent OSTP memo and the growing call for open access and open research will bring more attention and funding to the providers, platforms, and services needed to assemble and scale new solutions. The Next Generation Library Publishing project is seeding this new ecosystem, facilitating new services and introducing a new open source front end web delivery platform, Meru. The emerging solutions are ideal for Diamond open access and can be adapted to meet the needs of university presses, society publishers, and other nonprofit research communication efforts.
Sparc has long called for community-run open infrastructure to support open scholarship and research writ large. The dangers of proprietary and closed solutions has been demonstrated again and again as service providers are acquired and questions of the ownership of the content and data about it and its contributors remains murky at best. Sparc’s most recent post highlights how the NGLP project is making progress in this direction.
As attention turns to HOW we’ll meet the demand for open research, building out this budding ecosystem of interoperable components and services will be high priority. New standards for how open research outputs actually are and when they have complied with policy are needed. And, more importantly, measures of impact that can shift incentives towards early and open sharing will become available for careful evaluation.
The era for open research is well underway and projects such as NGLP are poised to help nonprofit publishers and providers scale.