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2020: year in review

Jane CharltonBy Jane Charlton
Category - Blog

Monday 18th January 2021

As we review 2020, it’s with a huge sigh of relief that we say good-bye to 2020. Without exception it’s the same the world over. Never has any single event affected us all on a global scale.

While Covid 19 may form the backdrop for much of what has happened this year, it has by no mean defined OpenAthens in 2020.

Here are our top highlights and reasons we are proud of our collective achievements this year:

1. 25th Year anniversary

We have been operating for a quarter of a century! We are proud of our heritage coming from the University of Bath and being one of the first organizations to provide electronic access to library databases.

2. Award win

It seems a long time ago, but we started 2020 with an award win of our own. We were given the prestigious accolade of Product of the Year at the Modern Library Awards.

3. Supporting libraries with remote working

This year has put remote working and online education very much into everyone’s consciousness (as well as onto the kitchen table!).

We’re very proud of the support we have been able to offer libraries all over the world to provide continuity of access to materials and resources. One of these libraries is the Museum of London. We worked with the team there to quickly implement systems so their researchers could continue their work.

4. NHS Nightingale

Our team played an important part in the fight against Covid. We worked with the NHS in the UK to put in place a solution to ensure access to information for healthcare professionals who would need to work in the Nightingale hospitals.

5. Access Lab 2020

Our annual conference – usually held in person in London in March – had to move online in lightning speed as it coincided with the start of the UK lockdown. The team proved anything is possible online and, as a result, we attracted a wider global audience than ever before. Access Lab 2021 will be held online 16-17 March 2021.

6. Best Publisher UX Award

At Access Lab 2020 we announced the winners of our inaugural award – best publisher user experience. The first ever winner was Emerald Publishing. The awards are running again this year and the winners will be announced at Access Lab 2021.

7. NISO members

We joined NISO (National Information Standards Organization) this year. Its roots date back to 1939. NISO’s mission is to build knowledge, foster discussion, and advance standards through collaboration among the cultural, scholarly, scientific, and professional communities.

8. New service launched

In October we launched our new publisher consultancy service, designed to improve user experience and support business goals.

We look forward to working with all our partners, publishers and libraries again in 2021 and with everyone a happy and healthy new year.

Photo by Red Morley Hewitt on Unsplash


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