Lucy Montgomery, Kathryn Napier
Year One of the Book Analytics Dashboard Project
The first year of the BAD project has flown by! We have achieved a huge amount and are excited by how far we have come.
The BAD project formally kicked off in April 2022. The project is being led by a truly international team located in Australia, the US and Europe. The PI team comprises Lucy Montgomery and Cameron Neylon (Curtin University, Australia); Niels Stern and Ronald Snijder (OAPEN Foundation, the Netherlands); and Katherine Skinner (formerly Educopia Institute, now Research Lead at IOI, based in the United States).
The first order of business for the project involved the recruitment of key staff; and integration of old and new staff into an effective project team through a combination of in-person and virtual meetings and work sprints.
Technical work is being led by Kathryn Napier, who is located at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. Kathryn and Senior Data Scientist Rebecca Handcock (Curtin University) were involved in the Mellon-funded predecessor to the BAD project: the OAeBU project. For this new project they have been joined by Software Developer Keegan Smith, who is also based at Curtin. Project Managers Laura J. Wilkinson and Sînziana Păltineanu are both based in Europe, having joined the OAPEN Foundation and the BAD project in July 2022 and January 2023 respectively.
Engaging with the BAD Stakeholder Community and Refining Technical Priorities
A priority in our first year of the BAD project was community consultation and the development of the first in a series of Annual Technical Roadmaps. A Draft Technical Roadmap was made available for community comment and feedback in June-July 2022. The Draft Technical Roadmap had two goals: 1. To ensure that technical systems and plans are visible to stakeholders; and 2. Creating a practical mechanism for involving those stakeholders in a conversation about where technical efforts and resources should be focussed.
The original BAD project plan placed focussed heavily on standardising technical workflows developed during the previous OAeBU project, in order to support the scaling of a dashboard service. However, as Kathryn explores in this blog post, consultation with the wider project team highlighted important differences between the technical needs associated with the OAeBU usage data trust; and the BAD use cases. Identifying these differences made it possible to re-focus the BAD project’s technical priorities in the updated technical roadmap released in January 2023. The end result was a complete redesign of the BAD dashboards, which formed the basis of focus group community consultations that took place in the first quarter of 2023.
The series of 6 focus group consultations captured insights from more than 20 diverse organisations involved in the publication of OA books. Our sincere thanks go to those who participated and so generously shared their perspectives and experiences. A summary of focus group findings can be found in this blog post. The information gathered via the focus groups is being used to help shape our Year 2 Draft Technical Roadmap, which is now open for comment. We would love your input on the document!
Engaging with key international partners and exploring the ways in which synergies and collaborations between the BAD project and major initiatives like the OPERAS-Plus project has also been an important highlight. This blog post reports on in-person meetings between the BAD project team and OPERAS-PLUS in Brussels in October 2022, highlighting the community governance aspirations of both projects, as well as our commitment to collaboration.
Appointment of the BAD Advisory Board
2022 also saw the appointment of the BAD project Advisory Board. The Board met for the first time in November 2022; and will continue to meet quarterly for the duration of the BAD project. The Advisory Board brings a depth of expertise and experience to the project that is truly valued by the project team, and which we feel will help to ensure the long-term success of this project. BAD Advisory Board Members are:
- Rupert Gatti, Trinity College Cambridge and Open Book Publishers
- Sy Holsinger, OPERAS AISBL
- Laura Mesotten, KU Leuven Libraries
- Peter Potter, Virginia Tech and Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem (TOME)
- Emily Poznanski, CEU Press
- Ros Pyne, Bloomsbury Publishing
- Charles Watkinson, University of Michigan Press
Welcoming New Partners
Perhaps the most important step in establishing a sustainable, community-focussed Book Analytics Dashboard Service is opening the project to new partners, and working with the Board and the community to refine a pricing and sustainability model.
The process of onboarding new partners is now underway, and behind the scenes work on pricing and sustainability models is now well advanced.
We are looking forward to inviting community feedback and comment on the pricing model in the next few months.
Join our mailing list for updates on how to get involved in community consultations on pricing, as well as how to sign up for the Dashboard Service.