NISO approves OA working group

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Voting members of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) have approved the formation of a Working Group to develop a Recommended Practice for operationalizing open access (OA) business processes. NISO is seeking members from across the information community to join the Working Group, which will address the lack of infrastructure supporting OA content by helping stakeholders in scholarly communications to track, assess, and report on OA publications, authors, and funding more easily. 

The volume of OA content has proliferated in recent years, but the systems and workflows currently used by publishers and librarians were designed for traditional, pay-to-read models. NISO says that business processes are currently inadequate to address the requirements of – for example – transformative agreements, which require complex financial management and the tracking of authors and publishing outputs across large institutions. Libraries face challenges in managing micropayments and assessing the financial impact of such agreements, and authors often have difficulty determining whether their manuscript is eligible for OA publication under agreement terms. These complexities also impact publisher editorial and financial systems. As a result, organisations often adopt manual processes for managing these agreements, giving rise to inefficiencies across the ecosystem.

NISO’s Working Group will address the problem by identifying gaps in the infrastructure for OA publications and agreements, developing terminology to describe the surrounding processes, and outlining best practices for exchanging data and analytics and metrics. The work will focus first on the metadata required for exchange prior to publication as well as for article-level financial transactions, and then address reporting following publication. As the new Recommended Practice will be of interest to publishers, libraries, authors, funders, and OA advocates and community initiatives, the group is seeking volunteers representing a range of stakeholder groups from across the scholarly communications industry. 

Jack Maness, Associate Dean, University of Denver Libraries, who helped develop the Working Group proposal, said: “The industry clearly needs better infrastructure to support the volume of OA publications and agreements. The new Working Group has an excellent opportunity to address this problem with NISO Recommended Practices that will standardize business processes around OA content and make workflows more efficient for multiple stakeholders.”

“In the 1990s, the shift from print to digital transformed systems and workflows in scholarly communications,” said Nettie Lagace, NISO Associate Executive Director. “NISO is excited to help facilitate a new transformation in business processes, one that will accommodate the growth in OA publications and complex business models we’re seeing today.”

For more information or to volunteer to join the Operationalizing OA Business Processes Working Group, contact

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