Copenhagen November 11, 2021

RECAP: Webinar – OA challenges & solutions for publishers, funders, and institutions

In celebration of OA week 2021, ChronosHub hosted an engaging talk that included panel members, Sybille Geisenheyner from American Chemical Society, Tom Jakobs from Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), Dr. Micaela Crespo Quesada from University of Lausanne, and Christian Grubak from ChronosHub – all contributing with valuable insights into the commonalities and differences that exist between funders, institutions, and publishers.

The webinar was moderated by Martin Jagerhorn from ChronosHub and initiated with individual presentations, giving each speaker the opportunity to present the latest on their OA activities and their perceptions of today’s challenges within academic publishing and with OA. 

The subsequent panel discussion looked at how the respective stakeholders in the research ecosystem can leverage each other to make life easier – particularly for the researcher. The panel saw eye to eye on several aspects, agreeing on complexity as a pervading issue. It can be overwhelming for the researcher who wants to publish a paper to know and understand all the rules. What’s the funder’s policy? What’s my license? Which boxes have I checked, and what do those actually mean? As information is often processed internally between funders, institutions, and publishers, there’s a need for more clarity and transparency for the researcher and greater alignment between stakeholders.  

Evidently, collaboration is key – even if there appear to be more friction and ‘fights’ between especially funders and publishers at times. Nonetheless, there are a lot of initiatives that allow for all stakeholders to come together. Especially third parties, such as submission systems, OA Switchboard, IRs, CRIS, JCT, etc., can play a prominent role in facilitating engagement and interaction.  

Likewise, best practices are important to consider. Every institution should consider adopting a clear OA strategy, and the author experience should always come first. Part of this means to ensure that OA vocabulary is transparent or, at the very least, ensure that the researcher is always thoughtfully guided. The centralization of OA funds for an institution is a great means to implement an OA strategy to help centralize and control activities. 

Standardization comprises a lot of challenges as there is no one model fits all. It’s undoable, Sybille Geisenheyner underlined. The number of business models will most likely continue to increase and, consequently, this will increase the complexities – instead, we better try to work together to reduce complexity wherever possible.