You may have seen the paper published recently by COAR presenting a distributed framework for open publishing services called Pubfair (version 2, after community input), also available in Spanish.

Pubfair is a conceptual model for a modular, distributed open source publishing framework, which builds on the content contained in the network of repositories to enable the dissemination and quality-control of a range of research outputs including publications, data, and more. 

This idea is not new. It is based on the vision outlined in the COAR Next Generation Repositories report  and builds on earlier conceptual models developed by Paul Ginsparg, Herbert Van de Sompel and others. And there are already overlay journals on arXiv, such as Discrete Analysis and Advances in Combinatorics, and other platforms such as Episcience in France, that demonstrate that this can be done at a very high level of quality, for a low price.

We are proposing to expand on these initiatives by developing a highly distributed architecture for overlay services. With decentralization, comes tremendous power. It takes us beyond an environment with many silos, in which every organization maintains its own separate system; to a global, interoperable architecture for scholarly communication. This model can scale; respond to different needs and priorities related to language, region, and domain; and has the potential to set free scholarly communications.

To advance this vision, we need to develop the standards and protocols that define the relationships between content resources (articles, data, etc.) and peer reviews, assessment and other publishing services. To that end, COAR will be convening a meeting in mid-January 2020 with technical experts (and other parties already working on this) to develop and begin to profile the technologies and architecture that can bring this vision to reality.

We will share the outcomes of this meeting widely for community input, consideration and possible implementation. Please stay tuned!