Diamond Open Access Journals platform launch at Cambridge

Dr Agustina Martínez-García, Head of Open Research Systems, Digital Initiatives

We are pleased to announce that our Diamond Open Access Journals at Cambridge platform has launched in May and can be accessed at https://diamond-oa.lib.cam.ac.uk/home. This service will be available initially as part of a one-year pilot project undertaken by the Open Research Systems (ORS) and Office of Scholarly Communication (OSC) teams within Cambridge University Library (CUL).  

Project overview

The main aim of the Diamond project is to support Cambridge’s research community in the context of a changing open research and scholarly publishing environment. To meet increasing demand to share research findings we are scoping, assessing, and implementing future services and systems that meet those needs, while contributing to a growing wider open research community and ecosystem. The pilot is being launched off the back of a project to understand the community-led publishing landscape at Cambridge (findings to be shared soon). Researchers in the Office of Scholarly Communication uncovered a vibrant ecosystem of DIY publishing projects at Cambridge that the library is exploring how to support through technical and resource-based approaches.  

As part of the project, we are engaging with Cambridge researchers and exploring whether open and community-developed platforms meet their needs around institutional publishing and can be used as the basis for service development in this area. We are using the DSpace repository platform to support this pilot. DSpace is a widely adopted, open-source repository platform, and it is currently the solution underpinning Apollo, Cambridge’s Institutional Repository. In its newest version, it offers advanced functionality and features that can potentially make it a suitable platform for journal publishing, an area we are keen to explore with this pilot. 

Where we are at

Main activities of the project are focusing on: 

  • Exploring the implementation of suitable infrastructure, built on interoperable, open, and widely adopted platforms. 
  • Gathering use cases of community-led open access journals at Cambridge, focusing on discipline, journal type, frequency of publication, production standards. 
  • Gathering insights and inform future service development in this area by a) assessing the suitability of the DSpace open-source repository platform as a journal publishing platform; and b) estimating the associated costs and resourcing requirements, both in terms of service management and infrastructure (long-term access, storage, and preservation costs). 

The following four Cambridge student-led journals have agreed initially to participate in the pilot, and we are also exploring opening participation to additional journals in the upcoming months. 

  • Cambridge Journal of Climate Research (Climate Research Society, first issue now available in the Diamond platform
  • Cambridge Journal of Human Behaviour (Anthropology) 
  • Cambridge Journal of Visual Culture (History of Art) 
  • Scroope (Architecture) 

What’s next

The next iteration of work for the pilot will focus on assessing the resources and costs involved in transitioning from pilot to service. Ensuring long-term preservation and access comes with several associated costs and it is critical to assess these when evaluating sustainable approaches to service development. Examples of cost elements that we will consider include onboarding (initial implementation) fees, hosting and maintenance fees, volume of content and storage costs, persistent identifier (DOIs and ISSN) minting and publisher databases indexing services costs, etc. We will also explore suitable long-term content preservation options, including approaches such as integrations with existing preservation services such as CLOCKSS (https://clockss.org/), or assessing in-house preservation via the services that are currently being developed as part of CUL’s Digital Preservation Programme. 

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