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Accelerating Academy-Owned Publishing: An ARL Project

Delft University Library interior from above
image CC-BY-SA by Tom Sharlot

How can libraries accelerate research sharing and increase participation in scholarship? What funding and partnerships do scholarly communities, open repositories, and other public-goods platforms need to transform into true, academy-owned, open access publication systems? In an initiative formerly known as “Red OA,” these are the questions a group of Association of Research Libraries (ARL) member representatives are addressing through engagement with stakeholders. 

The current system of scholarly journal publishing is too expensive, too slow, too restrictive, and dominated by entities using lock-in business practices.

Fortunately, there are a growing number of scholarly communities embracing services and platforms that accelerate research sharing and increase participation in scholarship. Some of these communities are keenly interested in integrating journal publishing and peer review services into repository platforms, and bringing greater transparency and efficiency to the peer review process itself. At the same time, there is a global movement to build value-added services on top of distributed, library-based repositories, in order to “establish [open] repositories as a central place for the daily research and dissemination activities of researchers,” rather than the commercial sphere.

The ARL project group is particularly interested in models that are both free to read and free to publish, without article processing charges (APCs) to authors. This group of library leaders offers an alternative vision in which the academy assumes greater responsibility for publishing research articles, contributing to a more sustainable, inclusive, and innovative alternative to the existing system.

Read and comment on the group’s November 27, 2017, In the Open blog post, “Accelerating Academy-Owned Publishing.”  

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 123 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.

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