Open Publishing Awards

Eleven outstanding projects celebrated.

The Awards were announced at the FORCE 2019 conference, held in Scotland. Categories celebrated include: Open Content, Opening Publishing Models and Open Source Software.  The Public Knowledge Project was celebrated for its ‘lifetime contribution’ to open publishing over the last 20 years.

Examples of outstanding projects

Open Content

Book Dash

A not-for-profit, social-impact publisher of South African picture books for young children. Their vision is for every child in South Africa to own one hundred books by the age of five. Book Dash leverages open to achieve enormous impact with very few resources.


Wikidata stands out for its scale and the quiet development of a set of massive data resources. Specifically it allows users to connect the millions of research outputs and concepts, organisations and individuals and to understand how they relate to each other. Openness and open content are central to Wikidata. It is built on open data and demonstrates the necessity of clear permissions for building integrated systems at scale. The impact of Wikidata is developing but it already underpins a range of tools and systems such as Scholia, and has enabled the scaling of other massive datasets.

Open Source Software


Recogito has a very open model for the ongoing development of the tool, actively involving its constituency in conversations about what they want to see in the tool. The tool itself is obviously impressive and has impact, but including the people that need to use the tool in the development process has undoubtedly led to the tools successful uptake and adoption by researchers. It is an enlightened open source development process addressing a real use case.

Open publishing models

Open Library of Humanities

The Open Library of Humanities is a born open-access publisher which specialises in rigorous and peer-reviewed scholarship across the humanities disciplines in 27 journals. The platform is 100% open-access, but unlike every other major humanities OA journal publication platform, it has no fees for authors. Instead, OLH is supported by approximately 250 academic libraries worldwide.

Special mention to the Public Knowledge Project

The Public Knowledge Project (PKP) has been developing open source software for scholarly publishing since 1998.  The project gives academic communities, including researchers, librarians, students, and staff, opportunities to develop scholarly capacities with a global reach. PKP has made a clear and important impact on the world of open publishing over the last 20+ years and has cut a path for many that have followed. The open publishing sector, and particularly those in scholarly communications, owe a debt of gratitude to this essential and pioneering project.

For more information on the projects, visit the website.