The green PALOMERA logo.

By Lucy Barnes, OABN Co-Coordinator

The OABN is working with PALOMERA to support engagement between the members of the network and the PALOMERA project, a two-year initiative funded by HORIZON Europe seeking to investigate why so few Open Access (OA) funder policies include OA books, and to provide actionable recommendations to change this. 

This post offers the network an update on PALOMERA’s activities as it passes its first six-month milestone, including information about the OABN’s PALOMERA Series of workshops, and gives details about new ways to get involved with PALOMERA via a survey and further events.

OABN events

After kicking off the project in January in Brussels, setting up the team and getting underway, in March PALOMERA held an introductory webinar online hosted by the OABN. Led by project coordinator Niels Stern of OAPEN/DOAB and Project Community Manager Ursula Rabar of OPERAS and OA Book Usage Data Trust, this session outlined the organisations involved in PALOMERA, the project’s goals and timeline, and answered questions from the audience. The recording of this session is a great introduction to the project.

We then held a series of stakeholder consultations with Publishers, Librarians and Infrastructure Providers in May and June enabling OABN members to feed into the project’s information-gathering phase. These were open to anyone to join and advertised via our Mailing List, our website and our Twitter account (follow these channels for updates about future events!) These small-group sessions gave us very useful feedback about the impact of OA book policies on these different groups, and the needs and wants of each group for future policies. One issue that came out of all three session was a desire for policymakers to be more aware of specific practical aspects of OA book delivery, be that pressures on researchers, the need to support alternatives to BPC models to fund OA for books, the administrative difficulties of processing payments to fund OA, or the infrastructural demands (and opportunities for policy support) that currently exist but are not widely understood. 

Sure enough, sharing knowledge with and between policymakers has been the purpose of another aspect of the project that PALOMERA has launched in these first months.

First Funder Forum

Almost 40 representatives of funders from across the ERA gathered online on 23 May to begin exploring the inclusion of books in OA policies. A mix of presentations and small-group discussions enabled attendees to share experiences, as funders with developed OA books policies, those planning initial steps and those at the very beginning of the process discussed the issues together. In this first session, topics included the extent to which each funder had a developed policy for books (or not) and the context surrounding that; how to develop policies that work for smaller publishers as well as larger ones, the different research and publishing cultures in each country and how that affected policy development; and the impact of infrastructure provision or its lack.

After a successful session, the next Funder Forum meeting is planned for 20 November, to build on these initial discussions and begin the development of the Forum from a one-off gathering into a longer-lasting and useful entity. There will also be a policy brief issued by PALOMERA at the end of September which will discuss the sustainability of the forum beyond the two-year duration of the PALOMERA project.


In order to better understand the needs, challenges and gaps in policy-making for OA books, PALOMERA has launched a survey to gather feedback from across the spectrum of OA books stakeholders, including members of the OABN. By taking part in it, you can help PALOMERA focus their recommendations on your needs. 

You can access the survey via this link:

The survey is in English and can be completed online until 8 October 2023. The PALOMERA project team kindly encourages you to forward this link to interested colleagues as well. 

Knowledge Base Development

This survey is one of the elements that feeds into the development of a Knowledge Base on OA books policies across the ERA, which will help to support the recommendations and resources that PALOMERA will produce (as well as being a significant resource in its own right). This has involved researching and describing relevant policy documents from, among others, funders, RPOs and RFOs from all countries of the EU and preparing them for further analysis later in the project. This Knowledge Base will provide insights into the policy landscape for open access books, and the needs, gaps and perspectives for further policymaking. Decisions on the technical environment of this database are currently being made.

The evaluation of quantitative data sources that relate to OA book policies in the ERA is also ongoing, and will result in the creation of a list of these sources and publication of a paper that will analyse this list to explain what resources are missing, and what would need to be done to build them in order to create an increasingly solid database for OA book policymaking. 

Cross-project webinars: DIAMAS and CRAFT-OA

PALOMERA has strong links with two other EU-funded projects currently investigating OAmodels and infrastructure, DIAMAS and CRAFT-OA. The three projects share a focus on community-driven approaches to OA, and in order to make the most of the opportunities created by their overlapping or complementary areas of activity, they have begun a series of jointly organised webinars. The first webinar took place in June and offered an introduction to each project and an exploration of the commonalities in their visions for open access, with plenty of opportunity for audience questions and discussion from the floor.

The second session is being organised for early 2024, and it is likely to go into more detail about the nature of ‘community-driven’ projects – what are the communities that these projects seek to serve, and how do they make sure that they are led by the aims, concerns and wishes of those communities? 

Coming next: roundtables and first validation event

Also taking place in the coming months and into the new year are focused, roundtable discussions with different stakeholder groups, including researchers and advocacy groups. 

We are preparing for our first validation event in January, when the Knowledge Base will be assessed and critiqued by a broad group of stakeholders from across the ERA. The Knowledge Base will then be ready for analysis by the project members and this analysis will feed into the project’s final recommendations and resources. 

Stay in touch with PALOMERA

You can keep up to date with PALOMERA’s activities, as well as opportunities to get involved with the project, via the OABN: keep an eye on our blog and our events page for updates related to the project and sign up to our Mailing List to receive announcements about these. We’ll also share them on Twitter.

PALOMERA also has its own outreach channels that you can follow, including its regularly updated page on the OPERAS website, its Mailing List, and its LinkedIn Group. Stay in touch and help to shape the future of OA books!

CC BY 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.