Back in December 2020, UKRI, The Wellcome Trust and Jisc announced that we were the first organisations in the UK to support the establishment of something called the OA Switchboard. Shortly thereafter, Jisc announced that any higher education institution (HEI) who is a Jisc member could participate in the Switchboard for free for a three year period, concluding in December 2023. We are pleased to announce that the agreement has been extended in principle for an additional three years starting in January 2024, again allowing HEI who are Jisc members full participation in the OASB.
Participants use the OA Switchboard in a number of different ways. Research funders, institutions/libraries or consortia and publishers can discover a multitude of benefits and applications in a range of participants’ use cases presented on the OASB website. The OASB is a hub that allows for the standardised communication of these very important stakeholders.
Throughout 2022 the Switchboard was also engaging with a group of prominent research funders who are supporting the initiative in a ‘funder pilot’ (extended from a smaller pilot in 2021). The aim was to get insight into the quality of metadata on research funders and grants acknowledged in published articles and also in the desired standardised reporting format. The goal of the reporting via the OA Switchboard is to enable research funders to demonstrate the extent and impact of their research funding and deliver on their commitment to open access.
As an intermediary, the OA Switchboard brings transparency and simplicity, reducing administrative burden, while shared infrastructure and standards drive efficiency and cost reduction. They complement existing systems and drive interoperability, using a standard messaging protocol and leveraging existing PIDs. They are committed to exploring collaboration with other mission-driven initiatives to keep overheads low and build on each others’ lessons learned and best practices. These are things Jisc is keen to participate in within their overarching strategy, as well as the emphasis on reducing bureaucracy. HEI who are Jisc members will be able to have easy access to the messages within the Switchboard via the integration of Monitor Open – a beta of the new Monitor will be available later in 2023.
The OASB has been actively sharing information about their developments and bringing in the experiences of their partners:
- Presentations, sessions, etc – online conferences/events
- Three events at 2021 Open Publishing Fest– for three time zones
- International Conference on Innovations and Challenges in Research Publishing: OA Switchboard presented a keynote (22 February 2022, initiative of The Chitkara University)
- ICOLCMeeting Panel: OA Switchboard participated in a member-only meeting on 21 April 2022
- Attending physical events:
- London Book Fair Research & Scholarly Publishing Forum. OA Switchboard took part in the “Tech-decks” session
- There were two “Come meet us and OA Switchboard participants”
- UKSG, Telford (UK), 29-30 May 2022
- Bibliotheks Kongress (Leipzig, Germany), 1-2 June 2022
- 2022 Webinars presented the OA Switchboard to the wider community:
- Making reporting easy and increasing visibility of open access publication output – a how-to webinar from OA Switchboard publisher participants (April 2022). The recording of the webinar is available here.
- Lessons Learned to Make Reporting Easy: source data, PIDs, interoperability and a simple messaging tool (March 2022). The recording is available here.
If you want to sign up or if you want to learn more, it’s very easy to do by going to the link on our website: https://www.jisc.ac.uk/open-access-switchboard. You will need to sign a separate contract with the Switchboard, but you will be covered by the deal that Jisc has in place with the OA Switchboard. Please note: the link above on the Jisc portal is for HEI who are Jisc members only. If you are not a Jisc member, you can still participate in the Switchboard, but you need to go directly to the OASB’s website, but you do not get the Jisc consortium deal.
Currently, there are 30 HEI/Jisc members who have signed up to participate in the OA Switchboard and Jisc is committed to supporting its development, particularly as we are set to release to new version of Monitor. Get in touch with either Yvonne Camfens, Executive Director of the OASB or firstname.lastname@example.org, Policy&Engagement Manager, Jisc if you have any questions.