September 6, 2022
From Vision to Reality: Bringing Resilient Open Source Infrastructure to Library PublishersBy Sarah Lippincott
The Next Generation Library Publishing project is building a sustainable open source alternative to commercial publishing platforms, expanding choices for values-driven publishers of all sizes. We are on the brink of realizing our vision as we move the pilot implementations of our software stack into production-ready service offerings.
From May through September 2022, NGLP ran three simultaneous pilots of the Web Delivery Platform (WDP) and interoperable components to test three different library publishing use cases.
- The Consortial Publisher: Led by California Digital Library, this pilot tested the WDP, Janeway, and DSpace as a replacement for the bespoke architecture developed to support eScholarship, a large multi-tenant digital publishing platform for the University of California System.
- The Turnkey Solution: Led by Janeway Systems, this pilot tested the deployment of the WDP and Janeway as a hosted, software as a service alternative to proprietary, commercial institutional repository and journal publishing platforms.
- The Journal Portal: Led by the University of North Carolina Press and its Longleaf Services division, this pilot tested Janeway and the WDP as a dynamic solution for a multi-campus journal publishing solution with a robust editorial and production service layer.
Over the course of the pilot period, seven pilot instances (and one test instance) of the WDP were launched and populated with content harvested from upstream systems (including Janeway, DSpace, and OJS), primarily using OAI-PMH. Our pilot partners tested the WDP’s features, helped the product team prioritize areas for enhancement and new development, and conducted quality control on the results of our harvesting process.
The next 18 months will be pivotal for NGLP and the library publishing community as we work to operationalize the technologies and pathways we’re testing and set them up for a self-sustaining future. During that time, we will aim to:
- Support the launch of a new journal publishing and IR solution led by Janeway Systems, which will provide a set of fully realized production services for library publishers.
- Support Longleaf Services’ launch of a new journal hosting and production service that can serve the 17 campuses of the UNC System, and that is ready to expand to encompass additional non-UNC customers thereafter.
- Support the California Digital Library’s (CDL) upgrade of eScholarship via its implementation of the journal and IR solution, which will support the University of California’s 10 campuses.
- Demonstrate how consortial publishing models can leverage community-governed open source technologies to host open access repository and scholarly publishing platforms and services that meet the publishing needs of multiple institutions. We are currently in discussion with two university consortia in the US about future, possibly self-funded, pilots–an indication of the readiness of the community to build sustainable services from the NGLP ecosystem.
Library publishers play a crucial role within the scholarly communication domain, supporting disciplines and voices that have been poorly served by commercial publishers as well as established publications that seek to flip from a commercial subscription model to an open access publishing environment. These publishers are counting on us to provide them with a values-driven, community-led alternative to the Elsevier-owned Digital Commons platform to support this important work.
Building new software from scratch, ensuring it interoperates with the tools library publishers already trust, and refining our minimum viable products, all with community input has required three years of intensive work. And procurement timelines, multi-year contracts, and other factors mean adoption will not happen overnight. We hope to devote the next 18 months to providing a critical onramp for library publishers, giving them the time to evaluate NGLP’s solutions, build a relationship with one of our values-driven service providers, plan for a migration, and launch their new platform.
With the enthusiastic support of our community, NGLP is seeding a resilient, self-sustaining system that empowers library publishers and advances a more open and equitable future for scholarly communications.
About the Next Generation Library Publishing Project
Educopia, California Digital Library (CDL), and Strategies for Open Science (Stratos), in close partnership with Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), Janeway Systems, and Longleaf Services are working to advance and integrate open source publishing infrastructure to provide robust support for library publishing. The project’s purpose is to improve publishing pathways and choices for authors, editors, and readers through strengthening, integrating, and scaling up scholarly publishing infrastructure to support library publishers. In addition to developing interoperable publishing tools and workflows, our team is exploring how to create community hosting models that align explicitly and demonstratively with academic values. The project is generously funded by Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.