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Monday, 08.01.2018

Funding for Open Access infrastructures - BMBF pledges support for ZB MED project

SynOA-PUB is a project that aims to expand and consolidate Open Access publishing infrastructures. To obtain funding for this project, ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences submitted an application to the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). This has now been approved, with the BMBF agreeing to provide some 300,000 Euros of external funding. Over the course of the next two years, ZB MED will use this money to continue developing its Open Access publishing platform and to tailor it to the requirements of various academic and scientific disciplines. The new tools will make it quicker and easier for researchers to publish their results in a quality-assured Open Access format. 

The first step in the project is to conduct needs analyses and interviews with experts to identify what people want from publishing tools in the future and what is technically feasible. These analyses will form the basis for the subsequent step of developing an Open Access publishing platform for conference abstracts in the realm of life sciences, as well as various additional tools for books and journals. The new platform will be available to researchers working in any field, boosting support for interdisciplinary work.

All the new developments in the SynOA-PUB project will make use of the technical infrastructure of ZB MED’s PUBLISSO publishing platform. The decision to use the existing system will create synergies and keep development and maintenance costs to a minimum.

“By putting a needs analysis right at the start of the SynOA-PUB project, we get an opportunity to talk to both specialist user communities and developers. That will ensure we end up with a publishing tool tailored to their requirements,” explains Dr. Ursula Arning, who is responsible for all aspects of Open Access at ZB MED. “Our goal is to make it easier for researchers to use Open Access and to establish ourselves as a reliable and innovative partner to the academic and scientific community.”

Open Access – in other words free, unrestricted access to scholarly research – has successfully carved out a place for itself in the world of scholarly publishing alongside the model of subscription-based publications. ZB MED has been an ardent supporter of the Open Access movement since its inception. The Information Centre is constantly striving to develop new ideas and services based on Open Access principles. All these initiatives are grouped together in the PUBLISSO publishing portal.

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