OAeBU Data Trust | July - September 2021 Update

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Christina Drummond

Oct 19, 2021, 3:32:03 PMOct 19
to ebook-data-trus...@googlegroups.com, ebook-data-trus...@googlegroups.com, TAG for Developing a Data Trust for Open Access Ebook Usage

Greetings Everyone: 

This past quarter, transition planning for 2022 and beyond began in earnest. We formalized the mission split of our project’s dashboard and data exchange functions via governance planning, and began preparing separate funding applications for both for 2022-2025. As of this update, I will separate the updates pertaining to 1) the work that will continue as the OAeBU Data Trust, i.e. the trusted data exchange, aggregation, and benchmarking service for OAeBU data, and 2) an OA eBook usage data dashboard service, which will continue on in 2022 as a demonstration project distinct from the Data Trust effort.  

Special thanks are due this quarter to our incredible Advisory Board’s Governance Task Team members, who have each contributed over a dozen hours to inform and shape the future directions of these efforts. Their insights have directly informed both services’ mission, value, and the intended impacts for scholarly communications and research metrics, clarifying what is being developed for ebook stakeholders. 

I am truly honored to be working with such dedicated professionals and look forward to stewarding their outputs during the coming transition period. 

- Christina Drummond, OAeBU Data Trust Program Officer

Raising Awareness

This July through September, our project efforts and outputs were shared via the August NISO eBooks and Library Collections event and the September Data for Policy Conference

Multiple presentations were proposed and accepted for the remainder of 2021. Project team members are scheduled to speak at Educause 2021, LibPMC 2021, and the Charleston Library Conference. Invited presentations are occuring at the AUPresses OA Committee and the TOME Annual Meeting.

Technical Updates

1. Usage Data Benchmarking 

Note: The provisioning of such benchmarks as a service is expected to migrate to OAeBU Data Trust / Exchange function, instead of continuing to be developed within the follow-on dashboard demonstration project. 

We have technically demonstrated both the capacity to combine and pool data across sources and publishers, and that usage data combination and processing pipelines can be created based on agreed upon benchmarks and processes. However, due to issues of data completeness and quality, and due to the limitations of data sourced from the current data dashboard partners, we elected not to display benchmarks in the proof of concept dashboards. The limited set of dashboard partner data is not complete enough to inform strategic decision making in a trusted fashion. 

Future development of benchmark processes and quality assurance will be an important function of the Data Trust. The development of agreed processes and appropriate comparisons will require further work, based on more complete and representative data. However, technical groundwork has been laid, allowing the straightforward implementation of comparison approaches once they are agreed upon by the community.

2. Usage Data Dashboard Pilots

Current dashboard versions have been well received by partners. While there is much refinement to be done, the technical capability of bringing multiple data sources together and presenting them in a coherent fashion has been demonstrated. While dashboard development continues, the University of Michigan Press and OAPEN have already provided comments on prototypes. Other dashboard partners will go through this process over the next few weeks, after which the proof of concept dashboards will be in a near final form.

This proof of concept usage data dashboard pilot process surfaced a wide range of data issues in the supply chain. Visualizations must bring together usage data associated with different ISBNs. However, usage data is not consistently linked with the “correct” ISBN, and information on the connections between ISBNs is frequently incomplete. For example, in more than one case in our pilot we’ve seen digital usage data ascribed to the print edition ISBN (which is naturally not captured within the set of open access ISBNs for ebooks). This points towards an important role of the future Data Trust project in supporting and strengthening standards.

Organizational and Sustainability Modeling

1. OAeBU Data Trust (Exchange Function)

Informed by an initial set of foundational Core Principles drafted by the project’s Advisory Board, a task team of six members of the Advisory Board and project team began bi-weekly work sessions in June to develop an initial mission, vision, and service model for the Data Trust service, with facilitation from Katherine Skinner and Christina Drummond. The draft model was shared in an open community call on September 8th. After feedback was incorporated, the resulting first version was published in Zenodo. After completing this impact-to-service model, the task team pivoted to developing a governance structure to guide the 2022-2025 phase of Data Trust operations. Nearly concluded task team effort is focused on documenting the process by which an initial Board of Trustees for the Data Trust will be formed and documenting guidelines for the initial Board of Trustees roles, responsibilities and procedures.

In parallel, Christina Drummond led the project team in documenting the Data Trust’s need for fiscal, administrative, and human resources support in a Secretariat Host Request for Proposals.  Questions from potential hosts were responded to via an online FAQ. In September, 19 invitations were issued to a diverse set of stakeholders representing: both not-for-profit and commercial OA publishers, funding agencies, standards efforts, OA eBook distributors, a OA publishing platform/service, libraries, and other platforms and services. Ultimately, eleven individuals agreed to serve on the proposal review panel, nine participated in the panel discussion (due to capacity challenges), and seven voted on recommended next steps (two abstained due to conflicts of interest).

Informed by feedback offered by the review panel, the project’s Advisory Board, and the evolving OAeBU Data Trust governance documentation, the project team is actively negotiating to secure the future fiscal sponsor for the 2022-2025 OAeBU Data Trust grant.

2. Usage Data Dashboarding Service

Informed by the same set of foundational Core Principles noted above, and also facilitated by Skinner and Drummond, a Data Dashboard focused task team of nine members of the Advisory Board and project team began bi-weekly work sessions in June to develop an initial mission, vision, and service model for a usage data dashboard service such as that piloted during this project. The resulting model was shared in an open community call on September 8th and published in Zenodo so that it could inform community partners looking to drive the work forward.

Christina Drummond
OAeBU Data Trust Program Officer
Educopia Institute
Working from Columbus, OH USA | EDT Timezone (UTC-4)
Schedule a meeting via: http://calendly.com/drummond_ei
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