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A new OA Diamond Project launches: The DIAMAS Project

The institutional OA diamond publishing sector can be challenged by fragmentation; its visibility can be limited, its service of varying quality, and its sustainability is not always secure. A new European Commission-funded project, DIAMAS, aims to build capacity amongst institutional publishers in Europe to address some of these challenges. It will run for 30-months and started on 1 September with 23 partners collaborating. SPARC Europe is one of the project’s partners.

We are proud to lead the workpackage (WP) on Exploring and supporting the sustainability of institutional publishing. This WP has over 10 partners with over 40 person months dedicated to this vital topic. We look forward to empowering Institutional Publishing Service Providers (IPSPs) to financially sustain OA diamond operations by providing intelligence and by building capacity on financial models.

We also head the project’s engagement task where we will strategically engage with the key stakeholders of the project. This includes research organisations and their libraries, scholarly societies, OA diamond publishers and their service providers, funding bodies, policymakers as well as citizens. This task is essential to gain a better understanding of the sector and to collaborate and onboard OA diamond institutional publishing service providers to build capacity in this important area. We will leverage the strong partners of the project to reach many organisations.

Read the project press release

CoNOSC talks national data stewards programmes 

SPARC Europe organised a CoNOSC meeting at Delft University of Technology in the summer. More than 12 national Open Science policymakers from the Council for National Open Science Coordination (CoNOSC) met face-to-face to discuss how they fund Open Science and what they need to establish or further develop a programme of data stewards in their countries. We wrote a piece to reflect what came out of the discussions.

See the blog post

Project Retain first results

The Project Retain Project – a Knowledge Rights 21 project – presented some interim results on its research into publisher rights retention and open licensing policies at the 2022 PUBMET Conference. Vanessa Proudman talked about one of the myths that OA publishing authors have around their rights and also showed a few good and concerning publisher practices related to self-archiving and OA publishing. She also noted that only 6% of journals had changed their most restrictive open licence policy since 2020. We look forward to sharing more at the MUNIN Conference and at a public event early in 2023.

But first things first, our institutional survey into rights retention and open licensing policies in Europe’s academic institutions needs to go out. Institutions can make a difference to help enable their authors publish OA with the right policies. More on this next month!

The PUBMET Conference for the recording
See the Project Retain web page
Knowledge Rights 21 Programme

A strategy for OPERAS; and the Assembly of the Commons

As Chairs of the OPERAS Assembly of the Commons, Vanessa Proudman from SPARC Europe and Mark Huskisson from PKP convened the first session of the OPERAS Assembly of the Commons in early September.
Pierre Mounier was invited to present the draft OPERAS strategy. He presented the OPERAS goal, why OPERAS seeks to be an ERIC, what this is, and how this ambition would be significant for scholarship in SSH. He then spoke directly to the new OPERAS strategy and described the process behind its development.
After having this reviewed by the General Assembly and Executive Assembly, as a result of this meeting, the broader Assembly of the Commons and OPERAS community will now be invited to feed into the draft strategy via the OPERAS Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for the strategy to work in practice.

Emilie Blotière then presented the TRIPLE project, a new OPERAS discovery service for SSH funded by the European Commission. It includes multilingual content, content from numerous disciplines, has a knowledge and steam graph to navigate content, translates abstracts, allows document annotation and has a recommender service, and facilitates crowdfunding for various initiatives on the platform. It is currently being tested.

Read more information on the TRIPLE project and service and OPERAS
Create a profile and see how it works

Open Education Champions talk policymaking
Another Open Education Café, organized by SPARC Europe and the European Network of Open Education Librarians (ENOEL), takes place on 4 October 2022 at 1-2 PM CEST. The topic this time is Open Education policymaking.

In this session, we will sit down with Catherine Cronin (Independent Open Educator, Open Researcher, Ireland), Melissa Highton (Director of Learning, Teaching and Web Services and Assistant Principal for Online and Open Learning, University of Edinburgh, Scotland), Antonio Martínez-Arboleda (Academic lead for OEP and Co-Director of the Centre for Research in Digital Education, University of Leeds, UK) and Marc van Oostendorp (Professor of Dutch and Academic Communication at the Radboud University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands).

Attend this session, and you will learn:

  • About OE Champion experiences regarding developing supportive policy for OER
  • How libraries can support the Open Education policymaking process.

We hope you can make it, and we encourage you to tell your colleagues.

The 5th OE Bite episode of the Open Mic podcast has also been released on “Developing supportive policy” to support this webinar ahead of time. Listen to hear how libraries are making headway here.

Listen to the OE bite on developing supportive policy
Please register to attend the webinar

A brief learning path on Open Education for librarians

SPARC Europe and The European Network of OE Librarians recently published “Open Education Librarianship: a learning path” (first page shown above). It is for librarians interested in getting started with Open Education.
This short learning path for librarians is an essential list of resources that can guide librarians through various aspects of finding and developing OER and it will help you better understand the benefits of Open Education. It consists of 4 steps:
  • Finding and evaluating OER
  • Licensing and Copyright
  • Developing and sharing resources
  • The role of the Librarian in Open Education.
The ENOEL will continue to search for and share resources related to each section on our Wakelet page.

Download the Learning Path.
At present, the SPARC Europe Board consists of 9 members representing Northern, Western, Eastern and Southern Europe.
We have two places on the Board that will become available in 2023, and two of the current Board would like to renew their terms. We have not received any other nominations for the SPARC Europe Board.

Mr William Nixon, Assistant Director, University of Glasgow Library, UK 
Prof Dr Charlotte Wien, Professor Scholarly Communication. The University Library of Southern Denmark.

They can only be re-elected if you send us your votes. So please just send Vanessa a short email.

Each member organisation may vote once. You may vote for two names.

If you are a member of SPARC Europe, please send the names you vote for to Vanessa Proudman at by Friday, 21 October 2022 at the very latest.

Past events

Thanks to the resilient work of our Ukrainian Librarian members, we shared some experiences and discussed the benefits and challenges in implementing OER during the Webinar "Open Educational Resources: How to start? Practical tips" (online, 8 September 2022) organised by the Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute (Ukraine). Members talked in a live session about “OER in a time of crisis (Ukraine context)”, with first-hand experience and strategies for support at a distance.

On 15 September, we were one of the first to present at the 2022 PUBMET Conference in Zadar, Croatia presenting interim results on Project Retain and rights retention policies amongst publishers.

SPARC Europe was asked to give a keynote on sustaining OA Diamond publishing at the Diamond Open Access Conference in Zadar, Croatia on 20 Sept, where we mapped out our plan for the DIAMAS Project.

Upcoming events

As part of our mission to support Ukrainian librarians:

  • The UniLibNSD Conference
    Paola Corti and members of ENOEL will share their professional path as OE Librarians during the UniLibNSD Conference (online 6-7 October 2022), organised by the Ukrainian State University of Science and Technologies in Dnipro. The topic of this year’s conference is "University Library at a new stage of social communications development".
  • Open Education Conference
    During the renowned Open Education Conference (online, 17-20 October 2022), discuss how OER can help support students and teachers in a time of crisis (Ukrainian context) and how a network like the ENOEL can help from a distance.
EADTU Conference
Paola Corti and the ENOEL will also present at the EADTU Conference, focused on “Digital Reset: European Universities Transforming for a Changing World” (Athens, Greece, 19-21 October 2022). We will talk about ENOEL activities as an open practice that brings together librarians from different institutions and different countries in the EU, to progress in implementing the UNESCO OER Recommendation.

11th Eurasian Academic Libraries Conference (EALC)
Our ENOEL will also be part of the 11th Eurasian Academic Libraries Conference (EALC) “Open Access to Knowledge and Libraries: Achievements and Trends” (at Nazarbayev University, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, 27-28 October 2022). Paola Corti will present on the role of librarians at the crossroads of Open Education; she will lead a workshop on recommendations to discuss how to advance Open Education at the Kazak level and beyond.

The MUNIN Conference 2022
We very much look forward to returning to the very north of Norway to the MUNIN Conference on Scholarly Publishing in late November 2022 to present “Rights retention, open licensing and copyright - reforming the policy landscape.”

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