Sunday, March 13, 2011

Exciting open access project in Vancouver!

I just spent a couple of days in Vancouver with the team at the Public Knowledge Project, a terrific example of an open source social enterprise. Their largest project is Open Journal Systems, software for running a scholarly journal. It takes an editor through the entire process of operating and publishing a journal, with a heavy emphasis on open access journals (where the articles are freely available to everybody from the moment they are published).

Amazingly enough, more than 8500 journals are published with OJS, with institutions mainly running their own servers. An exciting development is the recent offering of hosting services (through the help of PKP's main partner university, Simon Fraser U. of Vancouver), so that a new journal can be launched without even needing its own home server. A major set of OJS's users are from the developing world: the tools really put the power of expanding knowledge in the hands of scholars!

One metric that made a real impression: OJS users publish an open access article for around $200 per article, which compares to the typical number of $3000 that is frequently floated around in the open access field.

I had the privilege of getting in-depth demonstrations of OJS and some of the other open source software built by PKP. It was great to see another social enterprise successfully meeting the needs of a community!

No comments: