B!SON – a tool to make OA journal selection easier 





Open Access journals, bibliometrics, open scholarly infrastructure, publication support services, machine learning



Researchers’ task of finding a suitable open access journal for their work is becoming more and more complex: they have to comply with funder's conditions; their institutions hold various agreements with publishers; the number of journals is constantly growing (DOAJ 2018: 11.250 journals, 2021: >16.000 journals); so-called Predatory Publishers cause uncertainty. In order to reduce this complexity, TIB and SLUB Dresden, two major German research libraries, are developing B!SON, a web-based recommender for finding suitable Open Access journals. The tool calculates the similarity between a user's manuscript (title, abstract, references) and already published articles. Based on this similarity measure, B!SON will suggest Open Access journals in which similar articles have appeared. Researchers can use this information as guidance for their decision in which Open Access journal to publish. In addition, librarians can use B!SON for their publication support services and an API will allow the integration into existing library services. The results can be adapted to local conditions (e.g. price caps for institutional funding, Open Access agreements).

The tool will use machine-learning techniques combined with a technical implementation of bibliometric algorithms proven in library practice. For this purpose, we will rely on the DOAJ article-level metadata corpus and the OpenCitations Index. We will analyze which article components give most reliable results in textual similarity analysis. Due to the ever-changing corpus of underlying data, the training process will be repeated regularly in the final tool. The information about journals (keywords, license, fees, etc.) will be provided by the DOAJ as well.

We have built a community of researchers and librarians that we regularly consult in terms of specifications for the tool as well as – later in the project – acceptance and quality of its results. We plan to provide a beta version of B!SON in spring 2022. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

We present our schedule, facts and figures of the B!SON project and focus particularly on technical concepts of the project. 

Author Biographies

Anita Eppelin, Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB), Hanover

Anita Eppelin has been involved in initiatives and projects that aim to drive the transformation of Open Access for more than 10 years now. She has been contributing to the development and implementation of OA policies for a big German Research Performing Organization (Leibniz Association) as well as on the level of a federal state (Brandenburg), in which she is still involved. Also, she managed a platform for OA society journals in the field of medicine in the earlier times of scholar-led OA journals. Currently, she is coordinator of the project B!SON at German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB), Germany, which she will present at the conference.

Elias Entrup, Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB), Hanover

Elias is responsible for software development in the B!SON project as Reseach Assistant in the Visual Analytics Research Group at TIB. Before that, he studied Computer Science in Hannover, Germany as well as in Spain and Switzerland. 



Josephine Hartwig, Saxon State and University Library (SLUB)

Josephine has been working in the B!SON project at SLUB Dresden since 2021. Her work concerns requirement analyses for human-machine interfaces and bibliometric methods of similarity determination.

Anett Hoppe, Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB), Hanover

Anett is a postdoctoral researcher at TIB. Her research focuses on supporting scientific work as well as school and higher education with the help of technology.