OA needs planning, says report

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The sustainability of the services that are used around the world to underpin open access is critical and this requires business planning, according to a new report from the Knowledge Exchange (KE). The report identifies the actions needed in order to help achieve a robust open access service foundation.

Many such services currently operate on short-term funding or even goodwill, says the report, which advises that business development expertise should be embedded into service development. The report recommends that universities, policy makers and funders should consider how financial resources can be distributed to achieve system-wide sustainability. It also emphasises that governance and coordination of the infrastructure underlying open access is also critical to long-term viability.

'Achieving sustainbility of new services has always been a challenge but now with the maturity of open access fully recognised it is incumbent on us to address this challenge and have the difficult discussions to ensure this can be achieved. Successful research is dependent on it,' said David Prosser, member of the KE Open Access Working Group and executive director of Research Libraries UK (RLUK).

The Knowledge Exchange partners commissioned the report, which was written by Alma Swan of Key Perspectives, as part of a work programme to find solutions to the sustainability problem.

Seven recommendations are made, which fall into three strategic areas – embedding business development expertise into service development; consideration of how to move money around the system to enable the achievement of open access; and governance and coordination of the infrastructural foundation of open access. These recommendations will be further addressed through the Knowledge Exchange work programme.