OASPA and the Initiative for Open Citations

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One of the goals of OASPA is to support the transition to a world in which open access becomes the predominant mode of publication. As we have charted in the annual statistics on the growth of open content published using various Creative Commons licenses, steady progress is being made (see for example the most recent update). We are now introducing a new membership requirement for OASPA to increase openness, specifically of citation data.

Another area where have helped to make progress towards greater openness is in the provision of metadata. Many members of OASPA already deposit metadata with Crossref and make this data openly available. There are good reasons for publishers to do this – it can help with the discoverability of content whether it is open access or behind subscription barriers. To find out whether a particular publisher deposits metadata and makes those data available, Crossref has introduced a service called Participation Reports (example here).

Citation data are also deposited at Crossref by many publishers but until recently these data were not openly available. A little over two years ago, the Initiative for Open Citations (https://i4oc.org/) was launched to encourage to make these data open. At the outset only about 1% of the data were openly available but now that figure has risen to more than 56%. The decision to open up citation data has been taken by fully open access and mixed-model publishers alike and has already provided a rich and open dataset of more than 500 million citations, which can be used for research and the development of new services to navigate and interrogate the literature.

To encourage further progress towards making 100% of citation data openly available, from January 2020 OASPA will introduce the requirement that members who deposit their citation data with Crossref must also make their data openly available in line with I4OC. All that is necessary is to send an email to support@crossref.org to request this. We recognise, however, that not all publishers have the resources to deposit such data in the first place, in particular our smallest members, however we do encourage members to take this step if they can.

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