(24 Sept 2020) The Initiative for Open Abstracts (I4OA) calls on all scholarly publishers to open the abstracts of their publications, and specifically to distribute them through Crossref, in order to facilitate large-scale access and promote discovery of critical research. I4OA – a collaboration between scholarly publishers, academic librarians, researchers, infrastructure providers and other stakeholders – will launch at the online conference of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) on September 24.
I4OA has been established to advocate and promote the unrestricted availability of the abstracts of scholarly publications, particularly journal articles and book chapters.
Making abstracts openly available thus helps scholarly publishers to maximise the visibility and reach of their journals and books. Open abstracts make it easier for scholars to discover, read and then cite these publications; promotes their inclusion in systematic reviews; expands and simplifies the use of text mining, natural language processing and artificial intelligence techniques in bibliometric analyses; and facilitates scholarship across all disciplines by those without subscription access to commercial bibliographic services.
Many abstracts are already available in various bibliographic databases, but these sources have limitations, for example, because they require a subscription, are not machine-accessible, or are restricted to a specific discipline.
I4OA calls on all scholarly publishers using Crossref to make their abstracts openly available by depositing them with Crossref. This can be done as part of established workflows that publishers already have in place for submitting publication metadata to Crossref.
Crossref is a not-for-profit infrastructure organization used by many publishers to register and share Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) for their publications.
34 publishers have already agreed to support I4OA and to submit their abstracts to Crossref. Support for I4OA has also been expressed by over 50 other stakeholders, including global research funders, libraries and library associations, infrastructure providers, and open science organisations, demonstrating the importance and relevance of this Initiative to the scholarly community.
I4OA was inspired by the success of the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC), which encourages the submission of references to Crossref. Since the launch of I4OC in 2017, over two thousand scholarly publishers have chosen to make the reference lists of their journal articles and book chapters openly available through Crossref. I4OA, which will be announced at the OASPA conference on September 24, 2020, aims to replicate the success of I4OC by achieving a rapid jump in the open availability of scholarly abstracts via Crossref.
The original press release with the names of all 34 publishers is here.