Open Access, Open Data, Open Science & Open Education in Europe
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30 April 2020

Latest News and Insights from SPARC Europe

IN TODAY’S UPDATE: Checking in with you, our academic library community, about how you're managing your role as facilitator of Open information during this current crisis; with the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS) maturing — and well into its second funding cycle — a new website for the initiative has launched; the first results are in from our recent work to better understand the Open Education landscape among European Higher Education libraries. 

How is COVID-19 impacting your work? A brief check-in 
How are you handling the work-related challenges of COVID-19? As we all continue to grapple with the effects of this pandemic, we at SPARC Europe wanted to check in with you, our members, so that we can better understand how this situation is affecting your work — and to provide what support we can to help you navigate the challenges of this new reality.

We understand that the practical aspects of working remotely are most likely placing new demands on your time. This said, we kindly ask that you take a few moments to answer six brief questions relevant to the present situation.

We hope to find out how this pandemic has affected your work and what Open Science resources and tools you’ve found particularly useful of late, among a few other issues.

During crises, new insights are often gained and new solutions emerge. We hope to capture these and share within the community so that we can collectively benefit.

What we learn from you will be shared in an upcoming newsletter and via the SPARC Europe website. 

Please consider answering these six brief questions.

Explore SCOSS’s new website, launched today
Since SCOSS was formed in late 2017, the initiative has gained global recognition and support and helped raise more than 2.2 million Euros to help support our vital Open infrastructure. Today marks the launch of a new SCOSS website that provides a much fuller picture of the initiative, how it works, who it has funded and who has funded.

The launch comes midway through the second funding cycle, benefiting the Directory of Open Access Books, Open Access Publishing in European Networks (OAPEN); the Public Knowledge Project; and Open Citations.

Visit to explore the new website.

Get an early look: Initial results from recent study of OE landscape among Higher Education libraries in Europe 
In late 2019, SPARC Europe, in consultation with the European Network of Open Education Librarians (ENOEL), launched a survey, a first of its kind, designed to gather insights into the current Open Education (OE) landscape within Higher Education libraries. Interim results from this work have recently been published in the 2020 Envisioning Report for Empowering Universities. Our final report is scheduled to publish in May 2020.

The ultimate goal, and reason for undertaking this survey, is to increase OE support in HE institutions and their libraries in future. 

This survey reveals how some libraries in Higher Education, by playing to their strengths, are beginning to take a leadership role in Open Education to support teachers and learners. 

Highlights of the OE survey results include:

  • Over 20 policies were reported although the trend indicates that OE in institutional policies are more likely to be part of larger overarching policies. A stronger institutional commitment to the value of OE is nevertheless still to be made
  • 50% of respondents take the lead in OE or OER in their institutions
  • Libraries steer their OE activities mainly from teaching and learning departments or from scholarly communications, which illustrates the link to Open Access / Scholarship or Science
  • The OE services most frequently provided by libraries include information literacy related to OE, advice on copyright, training and education and discovery services. Participatory design sees the least library engagement

Libraries demonstrate strong collaborative competencies when managing and executing OE in their institutions also when it comes to resourcing skills from elsewhere to deliver on certain activities, even in frequently provided service areas.

For more survey insights, see the 2020 Envisioning Report for Empowering Universities.

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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