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Blog post - OA Switchboard Update

We're live!

28 January 2021 by Yvonne Campfens

The OA Switchboard moved to the operational stage on 1 January 2021 and we’re happy to be well underway. We’ll continue to keep you informed this year via regular updates and in this first blog of the year, I’ll tell you about our plans and priorities and how we continue to shape the collaborative nature of the initiative.

The OA Switchboard is now run from the new Stichting OA Switchboard, founded by OASPA in October 2020. The new set-up ensures a not-for-profit, collectively controlled collaboration between funders, institutions and publishers, where neutrality and independence are preserved by legal structure, governance and articles of incorporation. The OA Switchboard will be financed via a self-sustaining business model and participation and involvement is open to all who meet the OA Switchboard’s purpose and criteria. The OA Switchboard aims to support all OA business models, all policies and all types of scholarly output. OASPA is supportive and actively involved through a strategic partnership with the OA Switchboard.

2021/2022 is regarded as the ‘launch phase’ in which we’ll work closely with customers and stakeholders to further strengthen the solid basis we have established, both in terms of functionality and service level, but also in operational adoption of funders, institutions and publishers. We all recognise that we'll need adequate time to achieve wide adoption, to allow for (technical) integration and implementation, and to make continuous improvements. We're in this together to further develop the OA Switchboard and make it a success. There is already an impressive list of organisations that have confirmed their support as early adopters, launch customers or founding partners.

Together with matching 'pairs' (e.g. publisher A – institution B) we are defining specific pilots and use cases to get started with. Webinars organised in late 2020 brought together participants and our tech partner to present and discuss the real-life use cases. You can watch the recordings from the session from November and December to learn about specific challenges these partners implement the OA Switchboard for and how a simple communication hub can handle many different situations.

In addition, we’ve defined a shared use case with launch customers to work on together as a priority: uniform reporting from publishers to institutions/consortia and funders. This use case is based on existing, operational functionality in the OA Switchboard (described in more detail in Q18 in our FAQ’s). This shared priority covers all scenarios: no-prior-agreement, prior-agreement (with and without article-level financials), and also specifically the scenario whereby a funder is not directly involved in settling APCs. Participants engage by manual interaction with the OA Switchboard through the user interface, by integrating from their own (or their third party’s) systems with our API in the standard message structure, or by (intermediate) solutions using ‘connectors’. More about this shared priority use case and technical details in our next blog and webinar.

A second priority use case we’re working on with our early adopters is: locating central OA funds, and getting publication charges paid in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

How will we organise ourselves to deliver on our ambitions?

First, industry-wide representation and collaboration in developing open source solutions and services is ensured and formalised in our deed of incorporation. In line with the principles, the following bodies have been created in 2021: Client Advisory Board, Advisory Group and Working Groups. We extend our invitation for you to get involved.

If you want to stay tuned, you can also follow us on Twitter (, on LinkedIn ( and by signing up to our mailing list.

I hope to hear from you, if you’re interested in a 1-on-1 conversation to explore the possibilities of what the OA Switchboard could mean for your organisation, or if you have any questions at all about the OA Switchboard

Best wishes,

Yvonne Campfens, Executive Director

The OA Switchboard initiative is a not-for-profit collaboration between funders, institutions and publishers. It is taking charge of multi-lateral OA publication-level arrangements. Read more here.

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