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

Latest News and Insights from SPARC Europe

IN TODAY’S UPDATE: Download our in-depth report on our Open Education landscape survey of libraries of higher education in Europe; a look at how open the current OA and OS landscape is in Europe; SPARC Europe begins work on a new cOAlition S project that paves the way to sustaining Diamond OA; a brief update from LIBER 2020; and a mid-year look at SPARC Europe's work to date this year.

OE Landscape report launches
The results of the recent, first-ever survey on Open Education landscape among higher institutions in Europe are now published as an in-depth report.

The survey was designed to help glean insights into a range of issues -- from attitudes and barriers to policy and practices around OE.

The report itself contains an analysis of the results coupled with recommendations for libraries looking to increase their OE activities. With interest in OE growing, SPARC Europe, among other long-time Open advocates, views libraries as natural partners in helping drive OE and OER. This report should aid in these efforts.

Among themes touched on in the recommendations are advice for how to: fund OE, lead OE initiatives, engage in co-creation of OER content; and monitor and grow efforts.

We encourage you to read the report and also share it with colleagues. 

Download the report.

A sneak peek: How open is OA and OS infrastructure?
In the Spring of 2020, we conducted Part I of a survey: Scoping the OA & OS Infrastructure (OSI) Landscape in Europe. While Part 2 of the survey is now underway, we were eager to dive into the results of the first leg of the project — and to share some preliminary findings. Note that we are still in the process of drawing conclusions and verifying the data gathered from the 135 responses; this said, we wanted to let you in on what we are learning.

In Part 1 of the survey, we began to explore how far infrastructure or services follow open principles on various levels using the
SPARC/COAR Good Practice Principles for Scholarly Communication Services as a basis of analysis.  Part 2 will help gain a more in-depth understanding of your infrastructure’s community, technical design and sustainability status. Invest in Open Infrastructure, SCOSS, and current and future funders will be able to refer to this information to draw conclusions around the health and challenges faced by OS infrastructure.

Below, we share a cluster of pie charts that offer a glimpse of what we’re learning:

  • As to Perceived Maturity of Good Governance, based on the responses, more work needs to be done to deliver on good governance.
  • Regarding the above chart on "Perceived Maturity of Open Content Offering" — when asked as to how far infra was on the path to Open relating to the SPARC/COAR Good Practice Principles for Scholarly Communication Services, almost three-quarters of respondents reported providing content, report making Content, metadata and usage data immediately, openly and freely available in machine-readable format via open standards, and using licenses (like CC0 or similar) which facilitate reuse.
  • When asked as to how far infra was using Open Standards, about two-thirds report using open APIs to enable interoperability, and/or adhere to open well-established international open standards. 
Note: The full report on this survey will be published in late summer / early Autumn.

Through new cOAlition S project, SPARC Europe begins paving the way to sustaining Diamond OA 
SPARC Europe recently learned that we are among a consortium of organisations awarded a COAlition S / Science Europe project to conduct a study that will explore Diamond (non-APC) Open Access publishing models worldwide.

Some of the issues the study will address: What works and serves whom? How technically fit are Diamond journals and their platforms and how far do journals comply with Plan S? Does more collaboration make sense, and if so where? And how sustainable is Diamond?  

“This project is important to us as we help put the foundations in place to further innovate the OA publishing field and see how we can sustain it,” said Vanessa Proudman, Director of SPARC Europe.

Updates on the study, financially supported by Science Europe, will be delivered to the public periodically throughout the project. 

See COALition S’s announcement.

LIBER 2020 - a quick report
Last week, we participated in the annual LIBER Conference, though this year's event was held purely online. We presented on two topics: the UNESCO OER Recommendation at the workshop titled "Libraries for Teaching and Learning" and during the "Opening Up Knowledge" session, where we spoke on the results of our survey on Open Education in libraries of higher education in Europe. The latter was attended by 250 participants.

SCOSS Poster voted "People's Choice" in Conference poster session
This year, SCOSS submitted a poster summarizing the initiative two years in. The poster, one of 11 submissions, garnered the People's Choice award, which was awarded to the submission that received the greatest number of retweets. 

See the poster and LIBER's post reporting the abstract and poster session winners.

Having reached the mid-point of 2020, we have collected a few highlights to share as a kind of SPARC Europe progress report in-brief. Note, a few of the pieces referenced below are also included above.

Bi-annual European Open Science policy update includes new section on national policies

The 5th update of our popular report on European Open Science policies that was first published in 2017 is released. Produced in collaboration with the Digital Curation Centre (DCC), the report provides an overview of various Open Science policies currently in place in Europe:
Download the report.

Responding to COVID-19

SPARC Europe acted quickly,
curating a collection of resources on how the Open Science community has responded to COVID-19, paired with a companion opinion piece on the larger implications to Open Science. 

Helping Secure our Open Infrastructure

As a founding partner and driving member of SCOSS, SPARC Europe, on behalf of SCOSS, launches a robust
new website for the global initiative. 

To date, we have helped drive pledges in excess of 2.3 million Euros for SCOSS-endorsed Open infrastructure. Relevant to this work: In June we also published
Finding a Place for Open Infra Funding (in the time of Covid-19). 

Deepening our understanding of vital Open Access / Open Science infrastructure

A new survey, targeting Open Infrastructure service providers, and seeking to establish a deeper understanding of the OA and OS open infra landscape in Europe is launched. 

Advancing Open Education

in-depth report resulting from first-ever survey of higher ed institutions regarding open education is published. (Downloads to date: 495)

SPARC Europe part of cOAlition to study the landscape of OA Diamond journals and platforms this year

Together with a consortium of fellow European organisations working to advance Open in Europe, SPARC Europe is awarded a COAlition S / Science Europe project to conduct a study to explore Diamond (nonAPC) Open Access publishing models worldwide.

Find out more about the project.
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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