OASPA calls for community feedback on draft recommendations to increase equity in open access

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Following the background and foundations described at the start of 2024 this post reveals OASPA’s draft recommended practices to increase equity in open access (OA). These are open for feedback until 1 July 2024. 

OASPA is addressing challenges of inequity in all routes to OA through this body of work. We also want to avoid erosion of trust in the very concept of OA due to exclusionary practices. There is scope for improvement in all approaches, and our recommendations cover all models of OA, across book and journal publishing, and across hybrid and fully OA publishing.

If you are involved with scholarly publishing, or have an interest in it, then please read on because we want to hear your thoughts. 

The rest of this post covers:

  • The context
  • The recommendations and who these are for
  • How OASPA plans to use these

The context

Our recommended practices to increase equity in OA have been drafted considering that: 

  • A successful transition to full OA is one where everyone can read and publish OA. 
  • There is scope to improve equity in all approaches to OA. 
  • There is a need to evolve practices in per-publication-charges/APC/BPC models to make them more equitable for researchers – and currently waivers do not go far enough.
  • More trust is needed between publishers and payers to financially support and scale OA publishing for all – all scholarly outputs and all authors. Building this trust relies on greater transparency. 
  • What we are presenting here is an initial framework of suggestions for how to increase equity in OA specifically considering the issue of financial exclusion. Your feedback is welcomed to make these better.
  • We expect to develop this work and add/modify recommendations over time because of how broad and multifaceted the subject of equity is, and also because further work is needed beyond addressing financial exclusion of scholars.

The recommendations and who these are for

You are invited to review OASPA’s draft recommendations to increase equity in OA and let us know what you think by 1 July 2024. 

In addition to practices suggested for publishers, some recommendations are relevant to payers contributing to funding-flows in the ecosystem – libraries, research performing organisations and research funders (public and private). OASPA will also request infrastructure/service providers and supporter-members to help enable publisher adoption to the extent relevant and possible. 

We welcome feedback from anyone interested in open access in scholarly communications. You can also read our background post dated 18 January 2024 for a summary of what led to this work, what OASPA means by equity in OA, and why we are interested in releasing these recommendations.

How does OASPA plan to use these?

The final set of recommendations emerging from this consultation will be relevant to all OASPA publishing members and all others who wish to adopt them. OASPA will not mandate that members adopt these practices, but they will be strongly encouraged for adoption to the fullest extent possible, regardless of business model, across book and journal publishing.

Our intention is that the finalised version of these recommended practices will be a helpful and supportive framework for all publishing organisations seeking to build more equity and facilitate broader participation in OA. We also expect to learn from inputs from the community, iterate as needed, add to this body work and convene constructive cross-stakeholder discussions on an ongoing basis to support positive change.

This body of work is long and detailed. After revisions, our finalised version will be released in a more engaging format, with a doi, under a CC BY license. We also expect to generate a checklist for the more objective aspects of these recommendations. This should offer a simpler way to engage with the lengthy and complex details. 

In the future, we intend for OASPA’s annual data collection and reporting about members’ OA publishing activity to include some reflection of adoption around certain aspects of these recommendations.

Please click here to download and read our recommended practices to increase equity in OA. We will not have thought of everything, and will not have represented everything correctly or completely. We warmly invite your feedback on our work by 1 July 2024 and if you would like to preview the feedback form before sending us a response please see our questions here.

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