Blue card that says 'Welcome Andrea!' over a graphic of a pile of books.

Hi, I’m Andrea, Communication and Engagement lead at SPARC Europe and the newest member of the coordinating team of the OABN. I’m so looking forward to working with Lucy and Silke and getting to know the OABN community this year.

Photograph of a woman with brown hair and glasses

Joining you from Belgium, I am excited to take another step into the European Open landscape. As a Slovenian-Canadian, I have meandered my way here by working in scholarly support services and higher education in several contexts over the last seven years. In that time, I managed Open infrastructure projects in Canada, I worked in university libraries both in the U.K. as a cataloguer and in Canada as coordinator of a makerspace and Digital Humanities project support hub, and most recently I supported Horizon-funded SSH research in Europe to meet the ever-more-Open requirements for scholarly publishing. I’ve also managed workflows for in-house publishing of Open Educational Resources at Toronto Metropolitan University Library. While I bring many hats to the OABN, building community and creating opportunities for knowledge sharing are what I love to do. 

It’s clear to me that OA books are the place to be, especially but for sure not exclusively in SSH scholarship. As I was teaching some English literature courses at the University of Antwerp just last year, OA books provided the perfect solution to an all-too-common problem among students: when a whole class of budding researchers wants to sign out the same book from the university library! Not only are OA scholarly books openly available to all and up-to-date – perfect for students – they offer so much potential for presenting research in bold, innovative, and tech-curious ways. 

Since I have a PhD in literary studies and a secret life as a creative writer, book publishing (scholarly and otherwise) is near and dear to me. My debut book of poems was published in the U.K. by The Emma Press last year! As for scholarly publishing, I especially look forward to contributing to the OABN’s and SPARC Europe’s shared mission to increase equity and bibliodiversity in scholarly book publishing by making Open the default. I also look forward to connecting with the OABN network through events and resource sharing this year!

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