Journal Comparison Service

cOAlition S, a consortium of 25+ funders, as put together an ambitious plan to improve the state of Open Access and encourage more and more publishers to support that route. Cottage Labs provides several services to the consortium, including this tool to allow institutions to explore publisher cost models.


cOAlition S has an interest in convincing publishers to move to Open Access models of publishing. To enable institutions to make more informed decisions during negotiations with publishers over Open Access agreements, the coalition wanted to encourage publishers to share information about their cost models. This is a substantial challenge in its own right, and one that the coalition has taken on. Cottage Labs job here was to build a system sufficiently trustworthy to the publishers that they woud be comfortable sharing data that could lead to competition law issues if shared too widely, while at the same time building tools that are actually useful to institutions.


We designed a high-security environment, which ensured that publishers could not accidentally or intentionally gain access to each other's data. We then designed tools to allow institutional users to access the aggregated data and support data comparisons. We also designed and built an account approval workflow which allows the coalition team to adequately review and manage the users, and to ensure that they agree to the legal terms required to enable access to the data.


The system has started slowly but not without some successes. The security model has made it so that publishers are at least willing to interact with the system. Meanwhile the tools for end users have been seen as broadly useful, and we continue to discuss with the stakeholders further data or analytics that we can provide.