2020 with OABN

We have come a long way from what started as a post-conference conversation in a bar in Marseille back in the summer of 2019, where the idea of creating a network for the OA books community was first discussed. The Open Access Books Network was formally launched in September and, as this strange year comes to a close, we wanted to have a look back at some of the OABN 2020 highlights. 

Great expectations

The Open Access Books Network officially launched in the fall and it did so with fireworks (well, we tried to be as festive as possible under the circumstances). On September 15th we cut a symbolic ribbon live on screen, welcoming our virtual guests in the OA books community. It was great to see so many familiar and new faces at the event!  Continue reading “2020 with OABN”

Financing change: KU Leuven’s Fair OA Fund

The author of this post, Demmy Verbeke (Head of KU Leuven Libraries Artes), also spoke with us about the KU Leuven Fair OA Fund at a ‘BoOkmArks: Open Conversations About OA Books’ event. A recording of our conversation is available here.

by Demmy Verbeke

If you want change, try something new.

This seems comically simple advice, but it is advice that universities, worldwide, seem unable or unwilling to follow when it comes to building and maintaining the infrastructure for scholarly communication. The first reason to want change is the cost of this infrastructure, which has been considered problematic since the beginning of the twentieth century, and which has only risen since, high above the rate of inflation.

Secondly, concerns have been raised over and over again about how research output (and particularly how an individual scholar or an institution making use of scholarly communication infrastructure) has become intertwined with research assessment, and that the methods used for this assessment do not align with scholarly values. One example: assessing an individual scholar by the press where he or she publishes, which, in essence, equals outsourcing judgment to an external party who is not focused on assessing the quality of the work but its commercial potential. Continue reading “Financing change: KU Leuven’s Fair OA Fund”