PKP 2019 Five Reasons Why: #4 Open Infrastructure

September 10th, 2019 by  | Comments Off on PKP 2019 Five Reasons Why: #4 Open Infrastructure

In 1998, John Willinsky set out on a mission to make knowledge public – to reduce the barriers he and his students were facing in trying to access academic research. The solution, he found, was in open source software.

Open Journal Systems (OJS), our flagship software, followed as a free, open source solution to facilitate this goal. Today, OJS is the most widely used open source journal publishing platform in the world thanks to our many partners, sustainers, users, contributors, and yes, even competitors. Celebrating open infrastructure – and all the blood, sweat and tears that go into such – is our fourth reason why you should come to PKP 2019.

If you define open infrastructure narrowly, we could, in theory, be classified as such whilst working in isolation. You could still download OJS for free. And you could “inspect, modify, and enhance” OJS as you wish. But what makes us open isn’t just our code. OJS, and our larger PKP family, work in anything but isolation. If we did, the software we have today (and soon to be released OJS 3.2) would not have been possible. When we say open, we mean software shaped by numerous public sprints, edited on GitHub, discussed on social media and community forums, documented by countless volunteers, and translated around the world. It is this process, and openness in which we work, that makes us open source supporting open access.  

Through learning opportunities and shared experiences, PKP 2019 (our 7th International Scholarly Publishing Conference in Barcelona November 18-22, 2019) seeks to explore our version of open infrastructure. Presentations will include achievements and advancements in our software development, plugins, workflow, user experience, and more. We’ve also invited partners and related projects to share their stories as part of this year’s theme: Reflections and Directions. We’ll have lots of hands-on user-oriented opportunities, but a big part of our program is dedicated to theoretical conversations and critical analysis of today’s top issues in both open access and open infrastructure.

Open infrastructure has been a hot topic in scholarly communications this year. In May, Invest in Open Infrastructure was launched. Then in August, MIT Press released the Mellon-funded report titled “Mind the Gap: A Landscape Analysis of Open Source Publishing Tools and Platforms.” Most recently, Coko launched its first ever Open Publishing Awards including a category for open source software. And we’re thrilled that Educopia just announced its Next Generation Library Publishing project has been awarded $2.2M from Arcadia to improve scholarly publishing infrastructures. As the number of projects grow – some competitive and others complementary – so does the need to connect, collaborate, and occasionally commiserate. Let’s continue the conversation at PKP 2019 – how to fund, develop, and celebrate open infrastructure in scholarly publishing. 

Early registration has been extended to September 20, 2019. Don’t delay!


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