The Open Research Community in 2020: A Year in Review
Formally launched in March 2020, the Open Research Community has steadily evolved over the past year.
In the course of 2020, 153 posts and 151 documents have been added to the Open Research Community (ORC), which reflects its intention to serve as a resource for expert knowledge and content in the domain of Open Access. Likewise, last year saw 38 video recordings being added to the platform, as it seeks to accommodate multimedia content, while addressing a broad specialist and lay audience alike.
The top ten most read posts are representative of both what the ORC delivers in terms of the breadth of the topics it covers and how it has also been reacting to external developments in the scholarly publishing market. Thus, in 2020, the most read ORC post, The 2020 Installment of the Frankfurt Academic Conference Shines a Spotlight on Open Access, not only reflects the more general trend that, due to pandemic restrictions, trade and scholarly conferences have been moving online, but also demonstrates that blog-format, media-rich event reviews contribute significantly to audience exposure. Furthermore, as it is a relatively new platform, its second most consulted post, The Open Research Community: Reasons, Aims, Audiences, discusses the rationale for its launch. The third most read post at the ORC, Open Access in Africa, Institutional Repository Development and Open Science Challenges, indicates that it both reviews the latest developments in the Open Access sector and seeks to trace their global implications, such as with respect to the inclusion of scholars from underprivileged backgrounds in the field of scientific publishing.
Similarly, the ORC seeks to provide commentary and interpretation of recent findings from research publications covering various aspects of Open Access, Open Science and Open Research: Overlapping Lay and Professional Constituencies of Open Access Publishing in Specialized Research Domains. Likewise, the ORC makes efforts to triangulate between different information sources, in order to delve beyond the headlines covering current market trends: Pandemic Restrictions on Library Borrowing Showcase the Importance of Digital Collections and the Advantages of Open Access. The design of the ORC also allows it to focus on specialized topics or issues, the information about which is organized via dedicated platform channels or rooms: Open Access, Global Inequalities and Scholarly Journals. Not infrequently, research reports demand the interpretation or parsing of the conclusions that their key points or findings allow to make: Gold Open Access, Organizational and Discipline-Specific Barriers to its Adoption and Business Model Viability.
Additionally, the ORC not only enables handling registration for and holding video conferencing panels, but also has been used to organize a series of online events in parallel to the Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 featuring leading Open Access experts, such as on a Pathway to Subscribe 2 Open: A Panel on the Journey to Successful Flipping. The capabilities of the ORC platform also comprise the ability to integrate podcast episodes and other interactive elements, such as polls, into its posts or pages, as its item on Academic Books and Open Access: A Conversation with Charles Watkinson illustrates. Aside from featuring scholarly books and articles published in Open Access, the ORC has also served as a platform for presenting interviews with their authors from around the world: Meet the KU Select 2020 Author in the Field of Political Science: Bálint Magyar.
Consequently, in 2020 the ORC has managed to garner almost 104,000 page views, to attract close to 28,000 new and returning visitors, and to extend its audience exposure across the United States, China, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, France, Japan and Spain. From the second part of the last year, the ORC has been consistently experiencing the total unique visitor traffic in excess of 1.5 monthly visitors, while reaching about 2,000 unique visitors in December 2020.
By Pablo Markin