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End of the year 2019

While Open Engineering Inc. has existed since 2016, it wasn’t until this year that the organization became officially recognized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and ramped up our fundraising efforts. This action was largely driven by the growth of the Engineering Archive and the need to meet the growing financial requirements of operating such a preprint server.

Our primary effort towards financial sustainability for the Engineering Archive was the creation of the Engineering Archive Membership Circle. The Membership Circle creates the opportunity for institutions, libraries, and other organizations to support the sustainability of the server through a $500 annual contribution. Since launching in September, 10 academic libraries have signed up to pledge their support.

More detail on the status of the Engineering Archive can be found on the year-end wrap-up post over at the engrXiv blog.

We are continuing to work through the development of The Journal of Open Engineering, where there are currently four articles submitted and available for peer-review. With new updates to the PubPub platform planned for 2020, we hope that the peer-review workflow will become more streamlined and friendly for authors and reviews alike.

With that, we wish a Happy New Year to all and hope that you will join us in our efforts to create greater, more equitable access to engineering scholarship in 2020.

Driven by access: opening up the world of engineering research

Access to our shared human knowledge is a basic human right. This is particularly true when public finding is used to generate that knowledge. However, for engineering scholarship, the results of engineering research are largely not publicly accessible ​(Piwowar et al., 2018)​. This may be due to a lacking culture of preprinting or open access in most engineering disciplines, or to a lack of support from traditional society and commercial engineering publishers.

The case for open access in engineering is particularly strong from both a societal and a social justice point of view ​(Fleischfresser, Niemeyer, & Berg, 2016)​. In particular, lack of access to engineering knowledge can further disadvantage those living precariously with limited access to education and insufficient resources with with to purchase access to engineering expertise ​(D. Berg, 2017)​.

This is where we see opportunity, in the expansion of the impact that engineering scholarship can have on the world. As engineering researchers, it is our obligation to support such efforts. We can push our institutions to further these efforts as well by, for example, incentivizing impact over commercialization ​(D. R. Berg & Niemeyer, 2018)​.

We hope that you agree with this vision and will help Open Engineering while we continue to push for “access for all” for engineering scholarship.

References

  1. Berg, D. (2017). Open in order to open engineering. Authorea. doi: 10.22541/au.151029608.80979987
  2. Berg, D. R., & Niemeyer, K. E. (2018). The case for openness in engineering research. F1000Research, 501. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.14593.2
  3. Fleischfresser, L., Niemeyer, K., & Berg, D. (2016). [Editorial] Open Publishing in Engineering. PubPub. doi: 10.21428/12302
  4. Piwowar, H., Priem, J., Larivière, V., Alperin, J. P., Matthias, L., Norlander, B., … Haustein, S. (2018). The state of OA: a large-scale analysis of the prevalence and impact of Open Access articles. PeerJ, e4375. doi: 10.7717/peerj.4375