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We have heard it all: preparing to broadcast the Voices on OA books

Over the past three months, the Open Access Books Network (OABN) has been running a series of workshops, Voices from the OA Books Community devoted to exploring different aspects of OA book policies. The events evolved around five main themes: the policy scope, quality assurance, green OA, discoverability and metadata, and rights retention and licensingThe aim is to bring OA community needs to cOAlition S to inform them when defining a policy for OA books.

The series concluded in May and gathered 476 registrants in total. They came from all over the world: from Europe to the United States to Latin America. This exceptional attendance proved that the research community is willing to take action when it comes to shaping a Plan S policy for OA books. 

For the past month, SPARC Europe has worked on synthesising the voices we heard and creating a policy document, which we will share for the final round of comments with the community this summer. After we have heard from you, as the closing act of the Voices project, we will share its final version with cOAlition S as they consider a policy for OA books.

The summary will be made available for the final round of comments from the community here
Watch all Voices sessions recordings via the OABN YouTube channel

Learn more about the OABN and become a member
What’s next? Help us develop the SCOSS strategy for the upcoming years 

Over the last several years, SCOSS – a SPARC Europe initiative dedicated to raising funds to sustain Open Science Infrastructures – has successfully supported two pledging rounds helping OSIs become more sustainable. We are about to announce organizations included in the third cycle and we find ourselves in the position of both looking back at what we have achieved and thinking forward, about SCOSS’s future. 

What’s next for us? Before formulating a strategy for the upcoming years, we are seeking views of infrastructures, libraries, funders of open infrastructure, and the wider research community. How can we evolve in order to best support Open Science Infrastructure, what role should SCOSS play in the scholarly communications ecosystem? Which services should we provide that would be of use for the community?

By taking the SCOSS strategy survey, you now have a chance to help shape our goals and priorities over the next few years and influence which organisations we support. Your responses will affect our choices and optimize our efforts in helping OA and OS infrastructure blossom well into the future. We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts by end of Monday, 5 July.

Take the survey here

Call to action! Help stop the lock up of research and learning

The recent announcement of the acquisition of ProQuest by Clarivate has provoked a vivid response in the research community. SPARC Europe recognizes the risks of this acquisition and is concerned about a consolidation of power over research processes. SPARC Europe joined forces with Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI), and under IOI leadership, we helped formulate a call for action against such practices.

IOI warns: “This acquisition threatens to exert undue influence on higher education and research by those who prioritise profit over knowledge, negatively impacting the authority, integrity and independence of research. Institutions face further lock-in to costly tools and services, creating lasting dependencies to systems that perpetuate the continued surveillance of their communities” and calls on organizations and higher education institutions to support their initiative, by signing a letter they created.

Sign the letter here

French connection: Marin Dacos on something important, yet invisible

We are continuing our series of interviews about the importance of supporting Open Science Infrastructures (OSIs). After hearing from Peter Suber and Kaitlin Thaney (Invest in Open Infrastructure), the time has come to look at the question of OSIs from the French perspective. 

We sat down with Marin Dacos, Open Science Advisor to the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation to listen to his views on how the research community can best support OSIs and how it is done in France. Asked about the very definition of the Open Science Infrastructure, Marin stated: “You absolutely need it, but you don't see it unless it's broken”.

Watch the interview

ENOEL under the spotlight

Over the past month, the European Network of Open Education Librarians (ENOEL) has been working hard on numerous tasks. Firstly, the OE annual survey has seen more than 300 responses. The survey seeks to gain insights into Open Education (OE) practices within academic libraries of Higher Education in Europe. It will help us gain a picture of where the academic library community stands when it comes to opening up education in order to plan our support in this area going forward. Thank you to those of you who took this important survey. SPARC Europe will be analysing the results in the next few months. 

ENOEL members also have their hands full cataloguing the network’s resources, gathering existing OERs and adapting them to librarians' needs, as well as creating new advocacy tools focussed on the benefits  of Open Education and the UNESCO OER Recommendation. 

Members are also sharing their own experiences in webinars. Monique Schoutsen, from Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands), was the first ENOEL practitioner featured in the “Under the Spotlight'' series. In her presentation Monique guided us through her professional career in Open Education, providing insights both on practical and strategic levels. Prof. Gema Santos-Hermosa, from University of Barcelona (Spain), will be the next on stage at the end of July. All materials will be shared publicly when ready. 

Furthermore, members are interviewing European OE Champions in their roles as students, teachers, pedagogues, and OE strategic developers. Their stories will be shared online to stimulate more OE take-up amongst different communities. Our first champions are Catherine Cronin (Strategic Education Developer at the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Ireland) and Giulia Boggiali (student at Politecnico di Milano, Italy) with more to follow in the coming months.

If you are not yet a network member, please join.

Past events

And the winner is….. SPARC Europe rewarded at LIBER
This year’s LIBER conference was of particular importance for SPARC Europe. Vanessa Proudman’s abstract for the paper on OA diamond journals received the LIBER Award for Library Innovation. Vanessa presented the paper as a part of the session devoted to powering Sustainable Publishing Platforms. Her talk, based on the findings of 'The Diamond Open Access Study’ published earlier this year, painted a nuanced picture of the OA diamond landscape, with its current practices and challenges. Vanessa also suggested a possible way forward, introducing the idea of the new OA publishing Commons, aiming at bringing together the world’s community-driven/governed journals and platforms, and coordinating their efforts towards making the OA diamond model sustainable.
Go to the LIBER Conference website for recordings in the coming weeks.

Research and Scholarly Publishers Forum
The Research and Scholarly Publishers Forum took place in June as part of the London Book Fair. The event brings together movers and shakers in OA publishing looking at the issues shaping the future of academic publishing. Vanessa Proudman represented SPARC Europe and was invited to speak about diamond OA models.

Upcoming events

The 3rd Open Science Conference
The 3rd Open Science Conerence will take place from 20-23 September 2021. The event, co-organized by SPARC Europe alongside OpenAIRE, COAR, EIFL, FORCE 11, LA Referencia, LIBER, OPERAS, and SPARC aims at bringing together the Open Science community. This year, special attention will be given to the following topics: Interdisciplinary collaborations: Networks, services, methods, Sustaining Open infrastructures, Value added data products/services from open sciences services and tools for research communities, Training and skills for open science, European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and FAIR data, and Citizen science: barriers and opportunities for collaboration.

Register here
Call for proposals (the deadline for submissions is 26 July 2021)

Open Access Books Network Open Cafe
The Open Access Books Network is inviting the community to join them for the last Open Cafe session before the summer. The format of the session is a free-flow conversation with participants, this time focused around the future of the OABN. Tell us which activities this year you liked, which you didn't and help us shape the agenda for the 2021/22 season.

Get yourself a nice cup of coffee and join the OABN on 6 July at 4 PM CEST, following this Zoom link.

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