Mon 27 Jan 2020 3:44PM

Alternatives to COS

TN Tom Narock Public Seen by 105

This thread is a place to collect the alternatives to COS. Several organizations and individuals are contacting members of the EarthArXiv community with options. This thread serves as a place to aggregate and discuss these ideas.


Bruce Caron Mon 27 Jan 2020 3:51PM

I'd like to have a separate thread on requirements and proirities... I'll put one up.


Bryan Lougheed Mon 27 Jan 2020 4:00PM

Is it not possible to work with the CERN/EU-backed Zenodo on this? An eartharxiv website could be built that sends pdfs to zenodo, where they are assigned an eartharxiv doi within the zenodo doi system(10.5281 I believe) . E.g. doi:10.5281/eartharxiv.12345 Assures long term archiving as well.

Failing that, is it not possible to simplyrequest an Earth Sciences category on arXiv.org? I'm sure it was considered by the founders of EarthArxiv, maybe there are reasons that route wasn't followed.


Bruce Caron Mon 27 Jan 2020 5:22PM

Zenodo is certainly an option. Not sure we have had a specific conversation with them. How/who do we contact there? ArXiv.org is a physics repository. I have not heard that they are interested in doing Earth sciences too.


Stéphanie Girardclos Tue 28 Jan 2020 9:33AM

It a local help is needed to meet potential contact at CERN in Geneva I'll be more than happy to do that for EarthArXiv.


Bryan Lougheed Fri 31 Jan 2020 5:16PM

They don't do only physics. There are a number of other categories in there now.


Victor Venema Mon 27 Jan 2020 4:33PM

I am on an email distribution list for scholarly communication, with lots of people working at libraries and on topics like repositories. Maybe interesting more for people here:


If someone in leadership is also on the list, it is probably best they write an email asking for advice, otherwise I would be happy to do so.


David Mon 27 Jan 2020 7:09PM

Hi all,

Figshare has contacted us via Twitter private message: "We host chemrxiv and techrxiv and could easily handle at scale/leave you to it etc."

@Tom Narock I have referred to you, in case we want to get more details on this they know your name :)

Contact @figshare is Mark: [email protected]



Bruce Caron Mon 27 Jan 2020 7:38PM

Hi David... BTW this is a public thread. Searchable too, I think. Hi to Mark at Figshare! Happy New Year. It's great to have Figshare as another alternative.


David Mon 27 Jan 2020 7:43PM

Thanks for the info @Bruce Caron!


Daniel Pastor Galán Tue 28 Jan 2020 2:02AM

We have mentioned in other threads: Universities, where Auckland and the U.C. system seems to be interested and probably can offer long term. Also Scielo. We could try J-store (the Japanese public storage system). Zenodo is a good option since the platform is there, and we will need just a sub-page or whatever to submit directly. They support 'communities' although I am not so sure how independent these communities are.

In addition to Zenodo, which is the CERN version there is the parental EU managed OpenAire. https://beta.connect.openaire.eu/ DOIS are via Zenodo, but it can hosts communities etc. Platform-wise it seems the easiest and quickest to migrate. Can they give us our long-term stability and financial security?


Tom Narock Tue 28 Jan 2020 12:38PM

Ubiquity Press has also reached out to us. They have a new repository platform (https://www.u-repo.io/), which is an open source platform with no technical or contractual lock-in. It is a platform developed in partnership with the British Library and the University of Virginia.

I don't know much about this platform and its features. I'm trying to schedule a call with them to learn more. As I understand it, this is not a hosting organization/location, but rather free open source software that we could deploy at a to-be-determined location.


Dasapta Erwin Irawan Wed 29 Jan 2020 12:25PM

Ubiquity repository. I just googled. It looks interesting.


Tom Narock Wed 29 Jan 2020 4:16PM

Ubiquity repository has offered to host a video call next Tuesday, Feb. 4, at 2pm Eastern time. Please let me know if you - or anyone else - is interested and I'll pass along the details when they become available


Bruce Caron Wed 29 Jan 2020 4:41PM

Ask them what their plan is to be self-funded for the next 30 years 🙂


Christopher Jackson Wed 29 Jan 2020 7:53PM

Send me details please when you have them.


Christopher Jackson Tue 28 Jan 2020 9:02PM

Hi All, I've had a few chats with folks, mainly via Twitter DM! So, first, Marshall Brennan from ChemArXiv has been super-helpful and mentioned Cambridge OpenEngage's (current contact is Emily Marchant - [email protected]). They've not move to them yet, but are interested. He also mentioned FigShare...and was also slightly dismissive about partnering with a university, suggesting arXiv had had issues with Cornell. Next, Juan Pablo Alperin mentioned that PKP (Public Knowledge Project) can help somehow; they are building an OS preprint platform based on the OJS codebase. And then I had a weird message from someone at the Geological Society of London, who mentioned they would be interested in chatting...


Dasapta Erwin Irawan Wed 29 Jan 2020 12:24PM

Hi Chris. Thank you for sharing the offers from other initiatives/organizations. I think all are worth to consider.


Dasapta Erwin Irawan Wed 29 Jan 2020 12:21PM

Hi all. Apology for my late comment. Thank you for sharing the letter. I think it's a straight forward letter. FYI INArxiv has already sent a similar letter. So in our campaign since January (via Facebook page, blog, and twitter) we are putting INArxiv not as a server but as a self-archiving movement. We share some options for users to be independent to find their own convenient alternative (such as their own institutional repository, Zenodo -- we have setup an INArxiv community there, and other repository like Figshare, preprints.org, PeerJ).


Bryan Lougheed Fri 31 Jan 2020 5:25PM

That's an interesting idea. Indeed, as authors we can post preprints ourselves on available servers such as Zenodo or institutional repositories. All eartharxiv would have to be in that case would be a website with a searchable list of dois that have been approved/moderated. Not a preprint server, but a preprint directory, as it were.


Dasapta Erwin Irawan Fri 31 Jan 2020 10:28PM

Thank you Bryan. Along with that option, we still are looking an engagement with Indonesia's institution that willing to share some of their server space to contribute to the project. The name INArxiv is no longer ours (current committee) to keep, but it would be a co-branding to the contributed servers. One of the intensive discussion we have is with the committee of RIN (Repositori Ilmiah Nasional/National Scientific Repository/rin.lipi.go.id) using PKP's open source platform for preprint.


Christopher Jackson Fri 7 Feb 2020 9:20PM

Hi All! I hope you're well. Just re-emerging from an intensive teaching block! I just had a quick chat with Maggie Simmons, Publications Manager for the Geological Society of London (GSL). She heard about EarthArXiv leaving COS and wanted to know how, if at all, GSL could help/get involved. They can't do platform development, etc, but they could offer some sort of support/endorsement. I'm currently not sure if any of this could be financial, but we're meeting on Feb 26th to discuss further. Hope this is OK. Thanks, chris


Tom Narock Mon 10 Feb 2020 9:39PM

I recently had a chat with Ubiquity Press. They are an open access publisher based in the UK. They currently operate a set of open access journals and university presses. They have developed an open source 100% cloud-hosted publishing system that they'd like to adapt to preprints. They'd like EarthArXiv to consider using this as our next platform. They are really interested in getting into the preprint game and would host EarthArxiv for free; although, they would prefer to work with us on a donation-based model to offset some of the costs and cover engineer time for feature updates.

Just like Chris did with GSL, I'm posting here to keep everyone up to date on the conversations that are happening


Victor Venema Thu 13 Feb 2020 5:49PM

Nature has written a piece about COS and the closing repositories.

Brian Nosek, executive director of the COS, says the centre decided to introduce fees so that it could sustain its hosting service in the long term, which will cost about US$230,000 in 2020.

I know that house prices in SF are high, but where do they get such numbers from for such a simple service?

Irawan plans to use the closure of INA-Rxiv as an opportunity to develop an Indonesian platform to host repositories, similar to the one run by the COS.

Coding a repository from scratch likely costs a fraction of Silicon Valley prices.

We are only mentioned on the side:

Another, EarthArXiv, will leave COS's platform because of the fees. In a letter posted on the site on 21 January, the repository’s advisory council said it would move to another platform that offered long-term financial security. The council described the COS’s new business model as especially damaging to groups serving under-represented and financially challenged communities.


Dasapta Erwin Irawan Thu 13 Feb 2020 9:33PM

Dear all.

Thank you Victor for raising this news in conversation. We from INArxiv agreed to answer an interview by Nature.

In the past week, INArxiv has also held conversations with Juan and his team from PKP regarding OJS preprint (we call it the OJS-p). PKP is trying to release OJS-p later this month. We have also communicated with the LIPI's (Indonesian Science Institute/ a gov't organization) technical team who have agreed to host INArxiv-X as a preprint server along with 200 OJS ver3-based journals. Apparently they have been communicating long enough with PKP to develop OJS cloud.

For INArxiv itself, we ourselves have used the pre-moderation mode and rejected 90% of documents uploaded since February 1, 2020. In all campaigns, we use the term "INArxiv is hibernating". We are waiting for the number of documents to be quite low and stable, while continuing to work on setting up the INArxiv-X server with LIPI.


Victor Venema Fri 14 Feb 2020 1:31PM

I forgot an important point.

But Nosek acknowledges that repositories run in emerging economies are most likely to struggle to raise funds. The centre will be flexible about when groups pay this year’s fees, but if no money is received, the services will be frozen so that they are no longer able to accept new submissions, he says.

People we worrying whether the old preprints would be lost or whether it would no longer be possible to update them. That does not seem to be the case. That also makes finding a new home easier because transferring the old preprints would have been a large part of the work, for which we would thus at least have all the time we would need.


Dasapta Erwin Irawan Fri 14 Feb 2020 10:09PM

Dear all. I got 3 offers so far: Brian Hole from the Ubiquity Press (I think it's similar to the one discussed above), Jason Berkeloo from Knowbella, and Martyn Rittman from preprints.org (MDPI).


Tom Narock Mon 17 Feb 2020 11:26AM

That's good news @Dasapta Erwin Irawan. I'm interested to follow how things work out for you. Yes, Brian is who we talked to at Ubiquity. He gave an interesting demo. Have you also looked at PKP?


Dasapta Erwin Irawan Mon 17 Feb 2020 1:02PM

I took a note during our chat last week with Juan Alperin and PKP Team.


Devin Sun 16 Feb 2020 5:07PM

I'm not a part of EarthArxiv, but I am the director of engrXiv so I'm trying to follow what's going on here closely. I will say that I'm particularly interested in the upcoming offering from PKP. I am partial to an open source solution that can be hosted on my own server and provide greater control. Of course there are downsides to that as well. I would personally be on the hook for maintenance and repairs. I would also have to register to be able to assign DOIs and pay for that ability. Would probably be looking at $2-3k per year in expenses assuming I could administer it myself (for free).


Tom Narock Mon 17 Feb 2020 11:24AM

That is certainly a concern and something we've been discussing as well. My understanding is that several universities and some libraries are already using PKP. We are exploring partnership options that would enable the use of existing infrastructure. As you've probably seen, some of the COS systems are interested in collaborating, which could also help with maintenance and fees.


Evan Goldstein Fri 21 Feb 2020 3:08PM

Hi everyone,

I ran into Brooks Hanson (AGU) at a meeting this week and we had a super friendly discussion about EarthArXiv. Brooks mentioned many interesting ideas during the brief conversation. I think it could be very productive/intersting to discuss the future of EarthArXiv further with AGU...


Evan Goldstein Mon 24 Feb 2020 9:03PM

The release of the PKP preprint system was announced: https://pkp.sfu.ca/2020/02/24/the-road-to-preprints-part-1-introducing-open-preprint-systems/


Jamie Farquharson Wed 11 Mar 2020 2:31AM

Hi everyone. Just to highlight my thoughts regarding PKP's Open Preprint System <https://github.com/ajnyga/ojs/tree/preprints>. I haven't had much time to scour through the code, but I have used their OJS (Open Journal System) extensively. Although it's currently in beta stage, the features look pretty promising:

  • Responsive reader front-end with multiple options for content organization

  • Author-led rapid publication workflow

  • Online submission and management of all content

  • Customizable to suit your screening policies, with several options included

  • Integrated with scholarly publishing services such as Crossref and ORCiD

  • Locally installed and controlled

  • Community-led and supported

  • Built-in support for a wide array of features from the OJS and OMP ecosystem

  • Available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, with more languages to come

Given the positive experience I've had with OJS, I'd definitely suggest that this is worth looking into.