Vision and requirements for a new public open science platform

In the recent years, I published several blog posts and papers about the future of scholarly publishing. I also posted over 14k tweets via @SciPubLab which were discussed and commented quite often very intensively. At over 80 conferences and workshops to which I have been invited as speaker or to attend the panel since 2013, I was glad to receive so many feedback from all of you; from peers, researchers of any discipline, senior scholars and early career scientists. Not only from Europe, but also from so many countries worldwide. Not only researchers provided me with helpful feedback, but also librarians, funders, faculty members, or former colleagues of my time at some of the major international academic publishing houses.

Not everybody agreed with my statements or my vision about academic publishing in the 21st century. That’s OK, of course. However, sometimes those comments enabled me to think constructively about possible objections of stakeholders against certain ideas not only from me, but also from so many others, very active pioneers of open access and open science. All together, it was a very useful discourse which should be reflected also in a vision for tools and an environment for the next generation of scholarly communication. I spent over an decade in the management of publishing industry, and in total more than a decade in academia. From my perspective this appears to be a good mixture of experience and professional expertise meanwhile to start a new step towards that what most of you are seeking and asking for since years. Let’s do the next step together and don’t let us wait for others to do it. You have realized that this doesn’t work out. Or it seemed to work a little bit to finally result in a disappointing compromise which neither you nor others want to live with for another 10 or twenty years from now.

Our vision for open science combines immediate publication of new research results with platinum open access, open figures, tables and open data, transparent and open peer review, commenting and discourse. Such an open science platform is needed, now. Without any compromises or lobbyists from the old economy or retro-oriented organizations to have influence on it. We, the scholarly community want to keep control. We have everything what we need in our hands and in our head, and we can start now together to put together those pieces of a new, open and public environment for scholarly communication. You all know that the European Commission has announced last year in Lisboa to deploy such an open platform, and I was happy to learn more about this idea myself in the initial phase of that project 2014 and 2015. The call for that platform shall be published in these days, as I understood, and we all should not wait longer to get involved. It’s our choice and our chance to move on. Let me be very open: We still can and should prevent a situation in which the usual suspects will become involved again in that great project, after the tender has started. And finally we must prevent a situation in which we may give all control out of our hands – again. As we did in the recent decades of commercial publishing. Don’t let us make that mistake twice.

What’s next: I started to conclude all these thoughts from the recent years in a short, concise paper which is a draft only, but thanks to your input we can make use of it quickly to have the roadmap in our hands to develop and deploy OUR open science platform within the next 6 to 12 months. Let’s go for it, NOW!

Thank you very much for your help and support! The more concrete, the better! And please let me know if you want to get involved in that project (via Twitter @SciPubLab or by subscribing that blog).

Alexander Grossmann

Please find here the link to the open Google Docs document in which you can enter your comments or edit our joint ideas: Vision and requirements for a new public open science platform

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