The Educopia Institute and California Digital Library, or CDL, received a $2.2 million grant in August in support of the Next Generation Library Publishing project, or Next Gen.
The grant was bestowed by the Arcadia Fund, a charity that supports environmental, cultural heritage and open-access projects. The Next Gen project is said to enhance the UC system’s open-access publishing infrastructure by providing noncommercial tools that support the dissemination of knowledge, according to a CDL press release.
“The mission of this project is to develop feature-rich, community governed and sustainable open-source library publishing infrastructure as a means of positioning academic institutions to better serve the scholarly communications needs of their academic communities,” said Catherine Mitchell, director of publishing and special collections at the CDL, in an email.
Mitchell also said in the email that the CDL partners with UC system libraries to provide open-access publishing services to its 10 campuses.
Mitchell added that the Next Gen project will be implemented in, and eventually improve, the eScholarship platform, which serves as a set of resources that enables departments, research units, publishing programs and scholars to achieve “direct control over the creation and dissemination of the full range of their scholarship,” according to its website.
Currently publishing over 80 academic journals, eScholarship is a platform that provides publishing services to the 10 UC campuses. According to Mitchell, both students and staff are eligible for these resources.
More specifically, the eScholarship publishing platform will see improvements from Next Gen by growing its support for a broad range of publication types and features, according to Mitchell. She added that the platform will be an “even better choice” for publishers in two and a half years.
Mitchell said in the email that an important element of Next Gen is to “work toward sustainable, community-governed, open solutions that rival current best-of-breed commercial tools and that will propel scholarly communication forward.”
According to the CDL press release, the growing needs for the publishing field to implement new tools, business models and workflows is critical for it to scale up its work.
In the press release, Mitchell also stressed the importance of ensuring that publishing tools and services are reflective of the values of academic institutions.
On its website, the Arcadia Fund states that open-access is one of its core tenets. Since 2002, Arcadia has garnered $61 million worth of grants geared toward open-access, according to its website.
“We also support projects that challenge barriers to open access, create new legal tools for open access to academic publications, and develop best practices for open access to library collections,” according to Arcadia’s website.