Better data exchange for Open Access publications: TIB, ZB MED

TIB, ZB MED and ZBW sign agreement with OA Switchboard

Kiel/Hamburg, 16 January 2023: The three specialised German National Libraries will fund participation in the OA Switchboard initiative for universities and research institutions in Germany until the end of 2024.

Open Access makes research results freely available to all, and the Open Access transformation is progressing steadily. Many stakeholders are involved in this process: Researchers, academic institutions including libraries, research funders, and publishers.

The OA Switchboard provides a central interface for the rapid standardized exchange of information and messages between universities, universities of applied sciences or research institutions on the one hand and publishers or research funders on the other hand. It was developed to improve communication about submitted and published articles by transmitting relevant metadata about each article in a timely manner and in a standardized data format. In this way, the OA Switchboard can support institutions such as libraries or universities in the necessary documentation of Open Access publications by their own researchers.

The three specialised German National Libraries, TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology, ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences and ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics are jointly funding access to the OA Switchboard for universities and research institutions throughout Germany for a two-year pilot phase covering 2023 and 2024.

”The idea for the OA Switchboard was born in 2018 by a group of diverse stakeholders in response to common challenges, such as the requirements to implement OA policies from institutions and research funders, or the increasingly complex (transformative) agreements between publishers and institutions,” said Yvonne Campfens, director of OA Switchboard. ”We are very pleased that through this national agreement, German institutions now have the opportunity to use this '´metadata communication system' and be part of the OA Switchboard initiative,” she continued.

Olaf Siegert, Open Access Officer at ZBW, is convinced of the initiative's benefits for scientific institutions: ”As part of the Open Access transformation, processes between all parties involved must be reorganized and, where possible, automated and simplified. We see OA Switchboard with its non-profit approach as a step forward, especially for the exchange of information between publishers and research institutions. Therefore, we support the effort to make this tool available to German research institutions and their libraries without financial barriers.”

German universities and research institutions interested in free access to OA Switchboard can contact (in English).

About OA Switchboard:

The OA Switchboard is a mission-driven, community led initiative designed to simplify the sharing of information between stakeholders about open access publications throughout the whole publication journey. It provides a standardised messaging protocol and shared infrastructure that is designed to operate and integrate with all stakeholder systems. It is built by and for the people who use it, and is leveraged with existing PID’s.