KOALA-AV and P2P.OA.HAW: Two more Open Access projects

Team Open Science now has two new Open Access projects, and the first milestones have already been reached.

Open Access means permanently accessible scientific literature on the Internet. Readers do not pay any fees for access to scientific articles on the Internet. The aim is to make literature accessible and reusable for everyone free of charge. In its current funding programme, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting projects to "establish a lively Open Access culture in research and scientific practice" [1].

Two of these new BMBF-funded Open Access projects started last autumn in the Team Open Science. The projects, which the KIM is implementing with partner institutions, deal with different aspects of Open Access:

  • KOALA-AV mit alternative Finanzierungsmöglichkeiten für Open-Access-Publikationen
  • P2P.OA.HAW organises a strategy consultation to establish an Open Access culture at universities of applied sciences (HAW)

An overview of the new Open Access projects

KOALA-AV: Building, expanding and anchoring consortial Open Access solutions

How can consortia be used to sustainably finance open access without fees for authors? In cooperation with the TIB Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology in Hanover, the KOALA-AV project is dedicated to establishing, expanding and anchoring consortial Open Access solutions. This financing model enables Diamond Open Access, i.e. Open Access publications without publication fees for researchers. Instead of passing on the costs incurred to the authors and thus possibly excluding them from the scientific discourse due to financing hurdles, consortial models enable a science-friendly alternative to fee-based publishing and promote a sustainable, inclusive and fair open access transformation.

Building on the experiences of the previous KOALA project and the consortia initiated and established there, the experiences of participating libraries, periodicals and the consortium-leading institution, the challenges of the existing model will be analysed and approaches for improvement developed in an initial project phase. These include, for example, barriers to participation for libraries, the simplification of consortium processes through improved workflows, the development of new sources of funding in Germany and abroad, and better visibility through a new website providing an overview of current consortium offers. The aim of these measures is to promote the dissemination of the KOALA model and increase the number of consortia and participating libraries.

To achieve these goals, a web survey was conducted at the start of the project to identify barriers to participation. The publication of the results is planned for the second quarter of 2024. The survey showed that libraries often decide against participating in KOALA due to a lack of subject-specific fit with the bundles on offer. To overcome this obstacle, KOALA-AV is planning to set up its own Diamond OA consortium based on the KOALA model in cooperation with the SLUB Dresden.

In addition, the KOALA Consortium Service at the TIB launched a new pledging phase in May, during which new funding commitments are being collected. The cooperation agreements with the journals to be funded have already been signed. Institutions now have until the deadline (probably the end of October 2024) to submit funding commitments for the planned new consortia. The deadline will determine whether the pledging target has been reached. If the pledging target is reached, legally binding contracts will be concluded with the supporting institutions. This secures the financing of the offered journal bundles for three years. Currently, the KOALA sponsors are already financing the following journals from three subject-specific bundles:

  • KOALA Mathematics and Computer Science 2024-2026 with the following journals:
    • Electronic Journal of Qualitative Theory of Differential Equations
    • SMAI Journal of Computational Mathematics
    • Logical Methods in Computer Science
    • Australasian Journal of Combinatorics
    • TheoretiCS
    • Epijournal de Géométrie Algébrique
  • KOALA Media Studies 2023-2025 with the following series:
    • Bewegtbilder
    • Yearbook of Moving Image Studies
  • KOALA Social Sciences 2023-2025 with the following journals:
    • GENDER
    • sub\urban
    • Open Gender Journal
    • Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung

Furthermore, the KOALA-AV team is currently working on the internationalisation of the consortia so that not only access to and publication in the journals offered is possible worldwide. Libraries and journals can also become active as KOALA players on an international level.
KOALA-AV is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) for a project duration of 24 months.

P2P.OA.HAW: Peer-to-peer strategy consulting on Open Access for universities of applied sciences

In the project "Peer-to-peer strategy consulting for university management as a tool for establishing a living Open Access culture at universities of applied sciences" (P2P.OA.HAW) at Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences and the University of Konstanz, the successful peer-to-peer strategy consulting approach of the Hochschulforum Digitalisierung (HFD) is to be used and further developed in the field of Open Access at universities of applied sciences (HAW) over a period of 30 months.

The approach of the peer-to-peer strategy consulting for Open Access consists of supporting HAW over a period of around eight months in identifying the university's own development goals in the area of Open Access and in designing and implementing corresponding development paths. The project will test a tool and make it openly reusable, with which HAW can support the Open Access culture practised at their institution and the change towards more Open Access. The first milestone has already been reached: together with the University of Applied Sciences Jena and Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences, the 2024 consultation round will begin.

In the next step, the peers are selected from the experienced community of open-access.network and beyond in close consultation with the participating institutions. The peers act as "critical friends": university management teams from HAW are supported and counselled by management teams from other universities or scientific institutions in a structured process. Consultation rounds are planned for 2024 and 2025, each with two participating universities, with P2P.OA.HAW coordinating the consultation process and bringing both sides together. Finally, the counselling process will be evaluated and shall be made permanent.

[1] See www.bildung-forschung.digital/digitalezukunft/de/wissen/open-access/foerderung_einer_gelebten_open_access_kultur/foerderung_einer_gelebten_open_access_kultur_node.html