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OA Switchboard provides back office services -

The OA Switchboard initiative, a not-for-profit collaboration between funders, institutions and publishers, is providing essential infrastructure, standards and back office services to achieve a breakthrough in the transformation of the market such that Open Access is supported as the predominant model of publication. OASPA has been involved since the initial discussions in 2018, and led the way by exploring the feasibility for making the OA Switchboard a reality and by initiating and overseeing the 2020 project.

For 2021 and beyond OASPA is building everything in accordance with core principles, and operating with a governance structure and funding model that will ensure sustainability and preserve the goals of the OA Switchboard into the future. On October 16, 2020, OASPA founded the independent Stichting OA Switchboard.

Today’s problem in accelerating the move to open access/science for funders, institutions and publishers is that it is complex to implement multi-lateral Open Access publication-level arrangements. The reasons are: OA business models are becoming more and more diverse; funders and institutions are expanding the requirements about how various research outputs should be published and increasingly they pay for OA centrally; and a myriad of systems and processes, and relationships are to be maintained with many parties.

Part of the solution is the intermediary – The OA Switchboard – which is a central information exchange hub, connecting parties and systems, streamlining communication and the neutral exchange of OA related publication-level information, and ensuring a financial settlement can be done.

Throughout 2020, a project was run to prepare for the OA Switchboard to go live as an operational solution. The project was funded via generous donations of contributors and sponsors who support the initiative. Throughout the whole project regularly reported to and collaborated with representatives of all stakeholder groups. Status updates and demo videos can be found at https://www.oaswitchboard.org/news.

In August 2020, the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) was delivered, developed as an open source solution by third-party tech provider ELITEX and in close collaboration with Advisory Group and a small number of stakeholders. OASPA in the pilot phase (until the end of 2020) and have already obtained sufficient proof that the MVP is viable in itself and adds value for the stakeholders.

2021/2022 is regarded as the ‘launch phase’ in which OASPA is closely working with customers and stakeholders to further build a solid basis, both in terms of functionality and service level, but also in operational adoption of funders, institutions and publishers. Following close involvement with many organisations during the project phase to explore a range of use cases, organisations have already confirmed their support by signing up as early adopters, launching customers or founding partners, starting from January 1, 2021.

When the OA Switchboard moves to the operational stage as of January 1, 2021, it will be run from the newly founded Stichting OA Switchboard. This structural governance and funding model will supersede the organisation and governance of the 2020 project, and the sponsorship model. The new set-up ensures a not-for-profit, collectively controlled collaboration between funders, institutions and publishers, whereby neutrality and independence are preserved by legal structure, governance and articles of incorporation.

The OA Switchboard will be financed via a self-sustaining business model and participation and involvement is open to all who meet the OA Switchboard’s purpose and criteria. The OA Switchboard seeks to support all OA business models, policies and types of scholarly output and industry-wide representation and collaboration in developing open source solutions and services is ensured and formalised (amongst others via an Advisory Group and regular reporting).

OASPA remains fully supportive and actively involved through a strategic partnership with the Stichting OA Switchboard.

The Steering Committee has been crucial in providing guidance throughout the project phase, and some of the committee members are willing to serve as the first directors for the Stichting OA Switchboard.

The Board delegates the day-to-day management of the OA Switchboard to an Executive Director Yvonne Campfens, the project manager of the 2020 project.

Webinars are being organised to present the OA Switchboard to the wider community, supported by demonstrations/presentations of real-life use cases by launching customers.

Brought to you by Scope e-Knowledge Center, a trusted global partner for digital content transformation solutions - Abstracting & Indexing (A&I), Knowledge Modeling (Taxonomies, Thesauri and Ontologies), and Metadata Enrichment & Entity Extraction.

Click here to read the original press release.

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