March 17, 2022
NGLP Releases “Growing a FOREST, Values-Aligned Approaches to Transformative Scholarly Communication”By Sarah Lippincott and Kate Herman
Our newest publication, Growing a Forest: Values-Aligned Approaches to Transformative Scholarly Communication, provides a detailed account of NGLP’s second-year accomplishments, outputs, and increasing impact and describes in depth the values-based framework through which we approach our work.
The Next Generation Library Publishing (NGLP) project is working to improve and increase open publishing pathways and services for scholarly authors, editors, and readers. Today’s dominant, profit-centered approach to scholarly publishing (estimated to be a $26 billion per year industry) treats information as a commodity, limiting its circulation to increase its value. The end-to-end environments designed and sold by profit-driven publishers create significant barriers to autonomy and choice within this industry, and the price tags associated with both publishing and accessing content, data, and infrastructures in these systems prohibit the fair and equitable production and circulation of knowledge for wide numbers of prospective authors, editors, and readers.
NGLP aims to transform the scholarly publishing landscape by empowering academic institutions to reclaim research communication as a core activity. Library publishers, along with university and scholar-led presses and other nonprofit publishers, provide a crucial counterpoint and potential competitive alternative to commercial publishers. These mission-aligned library publishers need interoperable and flexible tools and values-driven partners to actualize a change in ownership and control of scholarly communication.
NGLP is helping library publishers to build holistic solutions that combine technology development with collaborative network development to sustain an open, scalable, values-aligned publishing system. We are doing this by:
- integrating open source platforms already widely used in the community by producing a modular architecture that allows service providers to mix and match these existing components to deliver hosted solutions geared towards different library publishing community segments;
- building a unified web delivery front end so that library publishers can publish institutional repository and journal content from multiple content production systems in one place;
- building an analytics tool that provides a comprehensive view of usage and workflow metrics from multiple platforms; and
- seeding a range of hosted solutions and support options that are reliable and sustainable and meet the needs of different library publishers;
- producing, vetting, and refining a framework to help library publishing stakeholders to assess and improve their alignment with academic values and principles.
In the second year of the NGLP project (September 2020-August 2021), we delivered research findings based on extensive community engagement, produced specifications for technologies to unite and complement existing open source tools, progressed towards minimum viable products (MVPs), and initiated coordination of three pilot implementations of publishing solutions that represent different service use cases. We also produced, vetted, and refined the FOREST Framework (forthcoming 2022), a values and principles alignment mechanism that undergirds and supports the NGLP approach.
Our second year work and outputs include:
- Scholarly Communication Technology Catalogue, SComCat (February 2021), a tool to assist stakeholders in making decisions about which technologies they will adopt by providing an overview of the functionality, organizational models, dependencies, use of standards, and levels of adoption of each.
- Living Our Values and Principles (October 2020), a white paper that examines varied “values and principles” efforts in scholarly communication, and that proposes a methodology for incentivizing stronger adherence to agreed-upon academic values and principles.
- “Library Publishing Infrastructure: Assembling New Solutions“ (March 2021), a report that shares what we learned from our extensive research with more than 150 library publishing stakeholders and how it guides our work.
- Specifications for a Web Delivery Platform (WDP MVP) and an Administrative Dashboard (AD MVP) and their potential connections to existing open source platforms to facilitate end-to-end repository and publishing
- Development on the WDP and AD components (with MVP completion in early 2022)
- Definition of three distinct publishing use cases with three pilot partners (pilots to launch April 2022)
- Attracted 40 library publishers to serve as user-group volunteers throughout the remainder of the project period
NGLP’s approach is grounded in values and principles. We seek to empower values-aligned organizations, center values-based practices in scholarly communication, and hold communities accountable to these values.
About the Next Generation Library Publishing project
NGLP aims to transform the scholarly communication landscape by empowering institutions to reclaim research communication as a core activity. Library publishers, along with university and scholar-led presses, provide a crucial counterpoint and potential competitive alternative to commercial publishers. These mission-aligned library publishers need interoperable and flexible tools and values-driven partners to actualize a change in ownership and control of scholarly communication. You can find a lot more information and background about our project on our newly launched website, nglp2022.org.
Our work is generously funded by Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.