Open Access, Open Data, Open Science & Open Education in Europe
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29 May 2020

Latest News and Insights from SPARC Europe

IN TODAY’S UPDATE: A glimpse at some of the most compelling findings from the recent OER survey; a nudge to help us reach as many OS infra providers as possible with our survey that's currently underway; a new Open Infra research project is about to get begin; see our response to the UKRI policy consultation; and preparing for LIBER 2020.

In their words: The biggest challenges higher ed libraries face to advancing OER 
Next month, we will publish a report on the results of a first-of-its-kind survey intended to glean insights into the current Open Education (OE) landscape within Higher Education libraries in Europe. We were particularly excited by the response to this survey and to the free-text responses regarding the librarians' key challenges and benefits related to working on Open Education; this has generated many new insights. We’re sharing these with you today - offering a glimpse at what’s to come.

We have excerpted the section of the report dealing with challenges, benefits and opportunities for libraries working on Open Education and packaged it for you to review now. 

Download the excerpt.

Help us grow the respondent pool: Survey of Open Science infrastructure underway
While we are encouraged by the number of responses so far to our Open Infrastructure survey,  we’d like you to help us identify regional, national and international OA and OS services or infrastructure. This is important for sustaining Open Science.

The survey, which is being conducted for Invest in Open Infrastructure, should take approximately 30 minutes to complete and will be open until 5 June 2020. 

The bar graph below provides a quick snapshot of country representation among our current respondents. At present, there are multiple countries from which we have only one response. Please take a moment to note where gaps exist—and if you know of a potential respondent, we urge you to share the survey with them and request that they participate. 

Share the survey.

New Open Infra research project on the horizon
Within a few weeks, SPARC Europe will initiate a new series of interviews with 10 key Open Infrastructure services/resources; these interviews are part of an ongoing process to gain an in-depth understanding of important nodes in the Open Science ecosystem of services. This work feeds into Invest in Open Infrastructure.

At issue
OS infrastructure/services must be able to grow and develop and maintain operations, yet there is a scarcity of financial instruments and pathways for them to raise funds. This makes them vulnerable to potential acquisition by commercial operations, which lack the trust of many in the library, research and funder community.The Open infrastructure ecosystem has grown organically over time, developing in tandem with Open Science to support it as is it matured. This has led to a situation where comprehensive information is lacking on these services - and on the network as a whole; information that is vital to devising effective, sustainable means to secure that which is essential. 

Via these interviews, we will be looking to gain knowledge around the challenges that services face when looking to grow and sustain their work, and the consequences, both positive and negative, of joining forces with others. What choices were they compelled to make in the process?

Members of the IOI Steering Group, which SPARC Europe is working with on the survey, are making a pre-selection of services to interview; the intent is to select a range of services that support the research process and show the complexity of business models currently being employed. 

Interviews will be shared as vignettes showing the variety of approaches to sustainability that are underway. These results will be shared with the community at large in the Autumn.

SPARC Europe at Open Publishing Fest 2020
“Open infrastructure: principles for third party involvement” was the title of a panel SPARC Europe participated in this week. The panel was part of Open Publishing Fest, an event “celebrating communities developing open- creative, scholarly, technological, and civic publishing projects.”

The panel discussion began around the Dutch
Guiding Principles on Management of Research Information and Data; emphasis was given to the importance of aligning principles with the interests of the research community and publicly funded research, and with those of third parties.

See more on the session here:
Open infrastructure: principles for third party involvement

Our response to the UKRI OA Policy consultation
SPARC Europe submitted a response to the UKRI OA policy consultation this week.

Read it here.

LIBER 2020 | 22-26 June

LIBER 2020 | 22-26 June
The LIBER conference is an annual event that draws academic librarians from across Europe. This year, SPARC Europe will be participating in the following ways:

— On Wednesday, 24 June, we will present the results of our survey on Open Education in Libraries of Higher Education in Europe

— We have also been invited to speak at a workshop on Libraries for Teaching and Learning, which takes place on Tues, 23 June 2020.

— And together with a LIBER and SCOSS Board member, we will share a poster on SCOSS in the poster session of the conference.
This news brief was compiled and distributed by the SPARC Europe staff. Any questions or comments can be directed to Angela Walseng, Communications Adviser for SPARC Europe. 
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