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Open Access via Open Source

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Panel talk given at the SSP conference in Boston about how open source has been key to enabling our company to become established and successful.

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Open Access via Open Source

  1. 1. brian.hole@ubiquitypress.com | www.ubiquitypress.com| @ubiquitypress Ubiquity Press: Open Access via Open Source Brian Hole, Founder and CEO SSP, Boston, May 31st 2017
  2. 2. brian.hole@ubiquitypress.com | www.ubiquitypress.com| @ubiquitypress To return control of publishing to universities, libraries, academic societies and researchers, and to drive the growth of open access. A quick introduction to Ubiquity Press Background Mission  Spun out of University College London in 2012  Researcher-led  Strictly open access  Grown out of the humanities  Comprehensive approach: journals, books, conferences, data, software, wetware…  Moved to a distributed publishing model in 2015  Offices in London and Oakland
  3. 3. brian.hole@ubiquitypress.com | www.ubiquitypress.com| @ubiquitypress Our genesis
  4. 4. brian.hole@ubiquitypress.com | www.ubiquitypress.com| @ubiquitypress Looked for a professional, affordable platform, especially for the humanities and developing world Went with OS, and a lean, low-cost approach from the start Legacy publishers not providing this, nor willing to go OS Decided therefore to run our own Didn’t want to build one: high risk, difficult Cheapest commercial provider we could find was $20-30K for one small journal Not overcharging the research community: a core principle Initial considerations
  5. 5. brian.hole@ubiquitypress.com | www.ubiquitypress.com| @ubiquitypress Getting started
  6. 6. brian.hole@ubiquitypress.com | www.ubiquitypress.com| @ubiquitypress Started having scaling issues at 10-20 journals on OJS System was not being used to the full extent by any users, so had some bugs and gaps Adding features for larger-scale journals Had to build own front-end: more professional and competitive Spent a lot of time fixing bugs Scaling issues The need to stay several versions behind to ensure platform stability has often meant we couldn’t contribute as much code back as we’d have liked to
  7. 7. brian.hole@ubiquitypress.com | www.ubiquitypress.com| @ubiquitypress Scaling up
  8. 8. brian.hole@ubiquitypress.com | www.ubiquitypress.com| @ubiquitypress and up
  9. 9. brian.hole@ubiquitypress.com | www.ubiquitypress.com| @ubiquitypress Found not all OSS products to be as reliable as we’d hoped Were forced to produce our own books platform to meet customer obligations Had to build our own back-end system to efficiently manage a large collection of journals and other content Scaling issues (2) Needed to provide alternative options to customers, e.g. different editorial systems. Not all OSS. New architecture means we can now focus more on: Front end Publishing services Innovation, not being locked in to any one system
  10. 10. brian.hole@ubiquitypress.com | www.ubiquitypress.com| @ubiquitypress An integrated, flexible platform
  11. 11. brian.hole@ubiquitypress.com | www.ubiquitypress.com| @ubiquitypress Committed to making our platform fully OSS in early 2018 Have started with our books platform, Rua Some modules (e.g. Rua) can run standalone, but the greater platform OSS code will be of more use for integrations etc. OSS is still core to our future Beginning an OSS book metrics project now: HIRMEOS Maintain compatibility with key OSS systems, to prevent client lock in Continue integrating other OSS products, e.g. CKF PubSweet, Editoria Strong preference for community-maintained OSS Key is developing a stronger internal OSS culture, and becoming active contributors to all OSS software we use