Below are the results of the 2021 Open Publishing Awards. We present amazing projects that we hope you both learn from and help us celebrate.
The intention of the awards is to bring stories to you about the amazing diversity of open projects that exist today in publishing. If you tweet, blog, or you are a reporter or researcher we hope that you will join us and use your tools to explore and amplify each of these amazing stories about open publishing to the world.
Show them some love!
Next Open Content Award goes to a very cool project coming out of Western University in Canada, born in 2008. It has since expanded to traverse four languages: English, Spanish, French and Portuguese, and thus reaching many geographic regions and users globally.
The project stems from a passion to encourage and enable researchers and educators in the humanities to learn a wide range of digital tools, techniques and approaches, making them better teachers and researchers.
Programming Historian is a multilingual open access journal that publishes novice-friendly, peer-reviewed tutorials for digital skills development. The project now has published 147 lessons in 4 languages, reaching an annual audience of more than 1.6 million readers around the world - all without charging anyone a penny.
The project is committed to openness, tolerance, and diversity, constantly working to better meet the needs of a wide range of learners, living and working around the globe.
By adopting an open and inclusive approach, the Programming Historian has created a virtual community of enthusiastic people passionate about sharing their knowledge and building a better future. Amongst academic publications, it is unusual in its approach to sharing credit.
Openness is the cornerstone of everything we do in this project. That includes open access, open source, open review, and an open ethos to project planning.
Because all content is free (CC-BY), it has found an important niche in the Global South. The project’s global approach also means that editors consciously encourage authors to think carefully about readers’ needs from other cultural or linguistic backgrounds.
Authors are asked to assume that their reader does not come from their country, speak their language, or share their political or religious beliefs. This has meant that the resultant tutorials are culturally relevant to a wider number of potential readers, and with the readership growing five fold since 2016, now more than 1.6 million per year, it is clear that the appetite for knowledge of this kind continues to grow.
Programming Historian fills an important gap left by university teaching in the humanities, which makes it difficult if not impossible for scholars, teachers, and students to learn the digital skills that it will take to allow the field to grow in an increasingly connected world.
We love how this open publishing project considers not only the technical skill needs of those they serve, but also how to make the content they produce as high-quality and accessible to all as possible -- it shows true consideration of a global world and commitment to sharing across borders. A most deserved award!
First up in our Open Content Awards is what one of our judges called “an example of an open source, community volunteer effort to help anyone, anywhere get the books they wish to read on the platform of their choice and drawing from those books that are in the public domain”.
This volunteer-driven, globally reaching project harnessing existing open content, effective and openly documented tools and standards to bring quality content from behind access barriers.
Standard Ebooks takes ebooks from sources like Project Gutenberg, formats and typesets them using a carefully designed and professional-grade style manual, fully proofreads and corrects them, adds an attractive public domain cover, and then builds them to create a new edition that takes advantage of state-of-the-art ereader and browser technology. Hundreds of contributors from all over the world work together to produce these ebooks and release them for free. The ebooks themselves are available for free download for various platforms on our website. Additionally, the source code of our editions is hosted on GitHub so anyone can submit corrections or improvements, and inspect the complete change history of each ebook.
The style manual and the ebook production toolset are also openly available for public inspection and improvement at GitHub.
As a fellow open publisher, I truly appreciated the commitment to not only increasing accessibility of quality content, but the time and care it takes to also document and publish one’s tools, and standard such as the style guide -- this is such a valuable contribution to open publishing, and publishing in general which can be an heavily guarded, inaccesible world very much intentionally -- which in turn makes quality self-publishing fose those without experience in publishing themselves, almost impossible-- Standard ebooks have contributed valuably to this aspect of open publishing, as much as bringing a whole library of open content that much closer to their readers.
Coming from Australia Phone & Spear : A Yuta Anthropology is an astonishing document about how different worlds come together and produce something entirely new and exciting. Yuta means ‘new’ and so this is a document of new anthropologies. In these indigenous Australian stories, Phone and Spear looks closely at how mobile phones are used to create images - Yolngu social aesthetics - to remember and connect with people and the land.The images and stories are beautiful and they challenge us to think about mobile phones as a vehicle for possible deeper connections.
One of our judges said - “An excellent, visual and thought provoking project which invites us to stop and think about something that most of us take for granted, shaping us in ways we cannot imagine.”
We also very much appreciate the comments made by the project that illustrate that A Yuta Anthropology is not fully open content and deliberately so. The project highlights the difficulties in translating 'open' as it has been characterised by the various open movements when it comes to documenting these stories.
For this award we assessed on various parameters such as the works to be Open Source, Community led, versatile product and that can support collaboration in the notoriously walled garden world of academia.
The award goes to a well-designed open-source solution for easy cross-platform management of literature. It works with a variety of excellent connectors that make it possible to comfortably collect a variety of information sources beyond your classic journal article and can work with metadata embedded in websites so as to semi-automatize adding new sources to a bibliography. This is why we thought Zotero deserves this award.
Zotero has an excellent implementation of metadata extraction to feed one's bibliography - this effectly allows one to add elements with one or two clicks, and bibliographic info becomes inserted into your Zotero project. Also, when working with communities of scholars on a given paper, the group library feature is extremely useful to enable the whole group to collect references and sources that can then be fed into a paper.
The Open Source Software award goes to Stencila - a powerful web platform which provides researchers with a set of tools that enable seamless collaboration.
Stencila bridges the gap between reproducible documents and legacy formats such as Word documents. Stencila Open is built on web standards, and improves machine-readability and accessibility of articles. This software is designed for researchers. It allows the authoring of interactive, data-driven publications in visual interfaces, similar to those in conventional office suites, but is built from the ground up for reproducibility. By using Stencila Open, a researcher can share a link to a preview their work, and their collaborator could view the link. They can also download a reproducible Word document or Google Doc to review and edit. This way, Stencila allows open and transparent research to be shared more effectively between colleagues of varying workflows and technical skill levels.
The jury finds this project impressive as it empowers open research and open collaboration, by making publications easier and more accessible. Kudos to the team behind the project for their work and dedication!
With so few semantic web and linked open data initiatives available in the scholarly communication landscape we wanted to present this award to a project that represents the open principles so well, so effectively and so adamantly.
For OpenCitations, “open” is the crucial value and the final purpose. OpenCitations fully espouses the UNESCO founding principles of Open Science. It complies with the FAIR data principles proposed by Force11 that data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable, and with the recommendations of I4OC that citation data in particular should be Structured, Separable, and Open. By connecting publications documenting our individual scientific and cultural achievements, citation data provide the primary record of the growth of scholarly knowledge, and an explanation for how we know facts. OpenCitations consider the free availability of bibliographic citation data a necessary condition for the establishment of an open knowledge graph. Having citations “open” helps achieve a more transparent, accessible and comprehensive research practice. OpenCitations believes in the power of the scholarly community to change previous practice and, by reclaiming ownership of its own data, to create an open and inclusive future for science and research.
I would like to highlight a significant comment given on behalf of the jury panel. “At the time of writing this review, the largest database provided by OpenCitations contains more than 1.23 billion citations. Compiling this database in a license-friendly way is a feat on its own, but combine that with OpenCitations’ persistence (established 11 years ago), their active and consistent involvement with the community, and the number of works that were made possible by their effort (Google Scholar lists 1440 results), it is clear that OpenCitations is one of the fundamental projects in open publishing, specifically in open scientific publishing”.
This year turning 20, Creative Commons is established as a central, universally respected non-profit organization that creates and manages Open licenses for digital artifacts. While a big barrier to lifelong learning can be the cost and access to resources, and initiatives such as Open Access aim to change this, it remains important for people and organizations to know how to use their resources legally. The CC project have been crucial for us to overcome legal obstacles to the sharing of knowledge and creativity.
Creative Commons licenses and its public domain tools give every person and organization in the world a free, simple, and standardized way to grant copyright permissions for creative and academic works; ensure proper attribution; and allow others to copy, distribute, and make use of those works.
The impact of CC in open access over the years has been enormous, so we’d like to celebrate this project today, and express our gratitude for the impact it has brought in the past decades.
O’Connell’s nearly 20 years of experience in scholarly communications include 10 years working for commercial publishers, and more recently, leading marketing and community initiatives for software as a service providers in the space including Ebsco Information Systems, Aries Systems, and Coko, where she was building the community around Editoria. She’s an active participant in industry initiatives and professional development organizations including the NISO CRediT initiative, Council of Science Editors, Peer Review Week, and more.
Bhuvana Meenakshi Koteeswaran
Women In Tech Collectives
Bhuvana Meenakshi Koteeswaran is a Socio-tech Researcher, Mozillian, Wikimedian, and VRAR/ multidimensional space enthusiast. She is one of the recipients of the ShuttleWorth Flash Grant awards 2021. Bhuvana initiated the Women In Tech community in India to enable more voices of women who are interested in pursuing a career in tech or want to learn tech and to give opportunities for those who lost their careers in tech due to the pandemic. As part of this initiative she has joined hands with Coko Foundation where the organisation has collaborated to support the members of the community in furthering their careers and interest in advance technologies. She is the cofounder of EmergeAbility, an initiative to make the digital world inclusive and accessible.
Her projects of interest range from bridging the gender and technology gaps in Open Source Or Open Knowledge movements and unorganised labor sectors to developing technology products for good. She has also facilitated global events like MozFest, and Hack4OpenGLAM. She has been a mentor at Creep-a-thon hosted by Codam college, Amsterdam. She is one among the International Jury panel for the Wikipedia Pages wanting Photos campaign 2021.
She is a state-level awardee in Bharathanatyam and Chess. She is also a performing artist in Bharathnatyam and Kathak dance forms.
Brianna Laugher has been heavily involved in open source and related communities since 2007. She has worked on a Tagalog-English machine translation engine in Prolog and an automated weather forecast generation program in Python. Brianna is a software test lead at Planet Innovation and an organiser at PyLadies Melbourne. She has spoken at various events ranging from local user groups and workshops to international conferences. She is passionate about solving the problems of real users and bridging the communication gap between domain experts and developers. She is a core contributor to the pytest library.
Cameron Neylon (Chair)
Cameron Neylon is Professor of Research Communication at the Center for Culture and Technology at Curtin University. He is interested in how to make the internet more effective as a tool for scholarship. He writes and speaks regularly on scholarly communication, the design of web based tools for research, and the need for policy and cultural change within and around the research community.
Cameron Neylon is a one-time biomedical scientist who has moved into the humanities via Open Access and Open Data advocacy. His research and broader work focus on how we can make the institutions that support research sustainable and fit for purpose for the 21st century and how the advent of new communications technology is a help (and in some cases a hindrance) for this.
Gimena del Rio Riande
Gimena del Rio Riande is Associate Researcher at the Seminario de Edicion y Crítica Textual (SECRIT-IIBICRIT) and Director of Humanidades Digitales CAICYT Lab at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET, Argentina). She is co-Director of the Digital Humanities Master at LINHD-UNED(Madrid) and Professor at the Literary Studies Master’s degree at the University of Buenos Aires.
With her MA and PhD in Romance Philology (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) with a critical edition of King Dinis of Portugal’s Songbook (Texto y contexto: El Cancionero del rey Don Denis de Portugal: estudio filológico, edición crítica y anotación. Summa cum Laude), Gimena’s main academic interests deal with Digital Scholarly Edition, Open Research, free technologies and the interaction of the global and the local in the Digital Humanities. She has been working since 2013 in building different DH communities of practice in Latin America and Spain, especially in Argentina, where she founded the DH association (AAHD). She is, among others, the co-founder of the first Spanish Digital Humanities journal, the Revista de Humanidades Digitales(RHD), president of the Asociación Argentina de Humanidades Digitales(AAHD) and member of the Board of Directors of the TEI Consortium, FORCE11, and Pelagios Commons. She is vocal at Humanidades Digitales Hispánicas Association, and member of the board of editors at Hypothèses/Open Edition, Open Methods-DARIAH, Revista Relaciones (México), Bibliographica (México) and Digital Studies/Le Champ Numérique (Canada).
Jennifer Gibson is the Executive Director of Dryad. Jennifer is also the Chair of Board of Directors for the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association (OASPA). She is a former member of the board for FORCE11 (2018-2020). She has 15 years’ experience, driving openness in research through advocacy and leadership. She has worked with scientists, funders, publishers, libraries, developers and others to explore fresh paths toward accelerating discovery through open research communication and open-technology innovation. She is known for leading teams, designing strategies, and engaging communities of researchers, funders, institutions and publishers. She has beena principal part of esteemed organisations like eLife Science Publications Limited, and SPARC.
California Digital Library
John Chodacki is Director of the University of California Curation Center (UC3) at California Digital Library (CDL). As Director of UC3, John works across the UC campuses and the broader community to ensure that CDL’s digital curation services meet the emerging needs of the scholarly community, including digital preservation, data management, and reuse. In addition, John represents CDL in the global research community (funders, libraries, archives, publishers, researchers) and defines and prioritizes new and improved services for UC3. Prior to CDL, John worked at Public Library of Science (PLOS) where, as Product Director, he was responsible for product strategy and led key organization-wide initiatives in taxonomy development, data policy, and article-level metrics. John serves on the FORCE11 Board of Directors, the DataCite Board of Directors and the Coko Advisory Board.
Julia Norrish is a book-lover and publisher passionate about increasing access to the joys and benefits of reading to all, especially the young children. She is the Executive Director at Book Dash, a South African publisher of open, African picturebooks and a previous Open Publishing Awards winner for Open Content. Before Book Dash, Julia was involved in other open-licensed publishing projects in the healthcare and literacy fields, and education-based outreach projects in impoverished communities.
Jure Triglav is a software developer focused on collaboration, previously working with PLOS and Academia.edu. For 5 years he was also the lead developer at the [Collaborative Knowledge Foundation]( a Lead Developer in Collaborative Knowledge Foundation (Coko), where he developed PubSweet and led its community. Now he is focusing on WebXR at FRAME, a VR meetings project.
Kat Walsh is a technology, copyright, IP, and internet policy lawyer with the goal of building and maintaining legal infrastructure for social good. Kat is the co-author of version 4.0 of the CC license suite, author of Blockstream's patent pledge, and former chair of the Wikimedia Foundation. Her primary aim is to create a world where everyone can be a creator, a learner, a scholar, and a builder.
Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe
University Library at the University of Illinois
Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe is Professor/Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction in the University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also an affiliate faculty member in the University’s School of Information Sciences. At Illinois, she has also served as Acting Head of the University High School Library, Head of the Undergraduate Library, Acting Coordinator for Staff Development and Training, and Coordinator for Strategic Planning in the University Library. Previously, she was the Library Instruction Coordinator at Illinois State University and Reference Librarian at Parkland Community College.
Natasha Simons is Associate Director, Skilled Workforce, for the Australian Research Data Commons (formerly ANDS, RDS and Nectar). With a background in libraries, IT and eResearch, Natasha has a history of developing policy, technical infrastructure (with a focus on persistent identifiers) and skills to support research. She works with a variety of people and groups to improve data management skills, platforms, policies and practices. Based at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, Natasha is co-chair of the RDA Interest Group on Data Policy Standardisation and Implementation, Deputy Chair of the Australian ORCID Advisory Group and co-chair of the DataCite Community Engagement Steering Group.
Neil Chue Hong
Software Sustainability Institute
Neil Chue Hong is the founding Director and Principal Investigator of the Software Sustainability Institute, and is based at EPCC at the University of Edinburgh. He enables research software users and developers to drive the continued improvement and impact of research software and his current research is in barriers and incentives in research software ecosystems and the role of software as a research object. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Open Research Software.
West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN)
Omo Oaiya is the Chief Strategy Officer of the West and Central Research and Education Network (WACREN). Omo facilitates WACREN strategy and business development planning and assists the CEO in implementation and monitoring oversight. Before WACREN, he was CEO of Datasphir, a private sector consultancy offering software development and project management support to the education sector in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. He currently leads LIBSENSE, a pan-African initiative to build the information management capability of librarians and researchers and strengthen local services to support open science and research in Africa."
Pete Forsyth is an Internet and communications consultant with deep expertise in online peer production communities, specifically the production of open educational resources using wiki-based web sites like Wikipedia. He is the founder and principal of Wiki Strategies As the Wikimedia Foundation's first Public Outreach Officer, Forsyth worked with the vast international network of volunteer Wikipedia contributors. He was a key architect of the Wikipedia Public Policy Initiative, an innovative pilot project to support professors in using Wikipedia writing as a teaching tool.
Shun-Ling Chen is an associate research professor and the associate director of Information Law Center at the Institutum Iurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica (Taipei, Taiwan). She received her S.J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2013. She works in fields where society, information technologies and the legal system intersect, including the allocation of resources related to intellectual property law. She spent years studying the development and enforcement of communal norms in online peer production communities, as well as how these communities negotiate externally with established institutions.
Silva Arapi is an Online Privacy and Free Software Advocate. Both her professional and volunteer work consist in promoting technological innovation through open standards, open source software and information security. She is one of the co-founders of Cloud68.co, working to build a sustainable company which makes the use of open source digital infrastructure easy and convenient.
Violeta Ilik is the Dean of Adelphi University Libraries where she is responsible for directing all activities of the institution’s libraries, which includes the Garden City, Manhattan, Hauppauge, and Hudson Valley libraries. She has been a long time member of many open source projects and non profit organizations that work to advance open initiatives. She served as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of FORCE11 (The Future of Research Communication and e-Scholarship), on the Steering Committee of FSCI (FORCE11 Scholarly Communications Institute), and served as a member of the Leadership and Steering Groups of the open source project VIVO. She currently serves on on the Board of Directors of ConnectNY.