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2020 Project

Throughout 2020, a project was run to prepare for the OA Switchboard to go live as an operational solution.

As a priority, the following types of information exchange were addressed:

  1. Eligibility Enquiry: Help authors (and their publishers) understand - in the specific article-metadata situation at hand - whether a particular journal that they want to submit to has the potential to fulfil the requirements of their institution and/or research funder and whether central funding is available to pay for any open access publication charges that may be required.
    Note: prior agreements between parties are not required.

  2. Publication/Payment Settlement Notification (previously referred to as Payment Request): Help, at the point of acceptance or publication, to ensure the financial settlement between publisher on the one hand, and institution and/or research funder on the other, can be done. Either via an open access publication charge, or via an applicable open access membership arrangement or offsetting/hybrid/transformative agreement.
    Note: the OA Switchboard will not serve as central payment intermediary and will not therefore process any OA financial transactions.

The roadmap for the OA Switchboard project was:

  • Phase 1: Project set-up

  • Phase 2: Detailed needs analysis and definition of product specs, including assessment of existing products and services that could be leveraged

  • Phase 3: Selection of a third party software development provider to build an MVP

  • Phase 4: Pilot and final deliverables: the MVP and a sustainable governance and funding set-up

In August 2020, the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) was delivered, i.e. the smallest feasible product, developed as an open source solution by our third party tech provider ELITEX. The MVP was developed in close collaboration with our Advisory Group and a small number of stakeholders. We’re now in the pilot phase (until the end of the year) and have already obtained sufficient proof that the MVP is viable in itself and adds value for the stakeholders: it reduces inefficiencies, and saves time and cost. The OA Switchboard has the potential to make things more manageable and more efficient.

Throughout the whole project we’ve regularly reported to and collaborated with representatives of all stakeholder groups. Status updates and demo videos can be found here.

Organisation and governance of the 2020 Project

  • A Steering Committee consisting of an equal balance of publisher representatives, library/institutional representatives, funder representatives, and a representative from OASPA. The Steering Committee is intended to be a core unit that can provide oversight by representation of the main stakeholder groups who are facing these shared challenges.

  • An Advisory Group consisting of individuals and representatives of stakeholder groups who will contribute by expertise to supplement the work of the Steering Committee. Members will be invited and appointed at the discretion of the Steering Committee. We’ll aim to work with existing structures and organisations as much as possible.

  • In the course of 2020 Working Groups were established to gather ideas, prepare for further continuous improvement cycles and to ensure we tie-in to existing initiatives and groups.

  • In close collaboration with a small number of Pilot Users and our Advisory Group the initiative and MVP were further shaped.

  • A Project Manager appointed by OASPA to lead the OA Switchboard project.

Steering Committee of the 2020 Project


Ivy Anderson

California Digital Library


Rachel Bruce



Liam Earney


Liz Ferguson.jfif

Liz Ferguson


H Hope.jpg

Hannah Hope

Wellcome Trust


Paul Peters


Claire 2.jpg

Claire Redhead



Ralf Schimmer

Max Planck Digital Library

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Stuart Taylor

The Royal Society

Advisory Group of the 2020 project

The Advisory Group consists of individuals and representatives of stakeholder groups who will contribute by expertise to supplement the work of the Steering Committee.

  • Geoffrey Bilder, Crossref - Technical Advisor

  • Adam Hyde, Coko Foundation - Technical Advisor

  • Kamran Naim, CERN - Technical Advisor

  • Colin Adcock, IOP Publishing

  • Roheena Anand, Royal Society of Chemistry

  • Stacey Burke, American Physiological Society

  • Brian Cody, Scholastica

  • Fiona Counsell, Taylor & Francis

  • Matthew Day, Cambridge University Press

  • Gunther Eysenbach, JMIR

  • Jennifer Fleet, Aries/Editorial Manager

  • Rupert Gatti, Open Book Publishers

  • Max Haring, University of Amsterdam

  • Ruth Harrison, Imperial College London

  • Alison Hope, Emerald

  • Martin Jagerhorn, Chronos

  • Roy Kaufman, Copyright Clearance Center

  • Alex Kohls, CERN

  • Leah Kristensen, Manuscript Manager

  • Nick Lindsay, MIT Press

  • Michael Markie, F1000Research

  • Tasha Mellins-Cohen, Microbiology Society

  • Dan Morgan, PLOS

  • Max Mosterd, Knowledge Unlatched

  • Bill O'Brien, Aptara

  • Stephanie Paalvast, Brill

  • Louise Page, Gates Foundation

  • Damian Pattinson, eLife

  • Emily Poznanski, De Gruyter

  • Lucy Robinson, Sage

  • Johan Rooryck, cOAlition S

  • Elisabeth Shook, Boise State University

  • Anne Simoneau, EDP Sciences

  • Jeroen Sondervan, University Utrecht

  • Nick Taylor, Atypon

  • Bryan Vickery, Crossref

  • John Willinsky, PKP

Contributors and sponsors of the 2020 project

The 2020 project was funded via generous contributions and donations of our contributors and sponsors who financially support the initiative:

  • Aries Systems

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • CERN

  • Copyright Clearance Center

  • EDP Sciences

  • eLife

  • Hindawi

  • Imperial College London

  • JMIR Publications

  • Max Planck Digital Library


  • SAGE Publishing

  • The Royal Society

  • UKRI/Jisc

  • Wellcome Trust

  • Wiley

Project Management


Yvonne Campfens

Project Manager

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