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20230814_FORM2022_Egypt_Alkhaja.pdf (3.83 MB)

Using Agile Methods to Navigate Complex Publisher Open Access Workflows: The Case of the Qatar National Library Open Access Fund

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submitted on 2023-08-14, 09:40 and posted on 2023-08-15, 06:22 authored by Alwaleed AlkhajaAlwaleed Alkhaja

Qatar National Library launched a national fund to cover the costs of open access (OA) publishing for Qatar-based researchers. The Library has adopted this role due to the absence of national mandates for OA and institutional OA funds. The fund leverages "read and publish" agreements that provide several article vouchers to be used by Qatar-based researchers. In parallel, the Library funds articles through agreements with fully OA publishers. The service proved popular, and as of August 2021, the Library received 5000 funding requests and confirmed funding of 3000 articles.

However, while the growing demand for service is positive, it led to several workflow scalability issues, such as fund request tracking and communication. Also, variations in publishers' workflows compounded the problems. Libraries need time and effort to navigate non-standardized workflows with varying complexities. Such variations include using different APC management systems, processing funding requests at different editorial stages, and policies regarding licensing requirements. At one point, the Library had 15 separate publisher agreements. A learning curve is associated with each new workflow or publisher system, causing issues with funding requesters.

This presentation describes how the OA fund team adopted methods and tools from agile project management to improve workplace and external communication and workflows to address the higher demand for the service. It explains how the adoption and use of agile tools such as Kanban boards, daily stand-ups, workflow visualization charts, backlogs, identification of waste, and author journey mapping were applied in managing the OA fund. The presentation also describes how agile tools allowed the team to identify preferences and recommendations for publishers' workflows and APC management systems. In addition, the presentation aims to provide guidelines for other libraries and institutions to manage their OA funding programs, including advice on navigating various open licensing options and approaches to have institutional support for OA.

Other Information:

The presentation was delivered at the First Annual Forum for Open Research in MENA (FORM).



  • English

Publication Year

  • 2022

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar National Library

Usage metrics

    Qatar National Library



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