Open Access Books Network becomes an OPERAS Special Interest Group

The Open Access Books Network (OABN) is pleased to share that it has become an OPERAS Special Interest Group (SIG), and as such it is now formally supported by OPERAS, the European Research Infrastructure supporting open scholarly communication in the social sciences and humanities (SSH) in the European Research Area.  Continue reading “Open Access Books Network becomes an OPERAS Special Interest Group”

Open café for small university presses: an update

Last week, around 20 people from a number of presses[1] gathered online to meet one another and discuss key areas of interest for small university presses publishing Open Access books—particularly those areas in which collaborative problem-solving, information-sharing, collective action or mutual support might be valuable.

We identified the following in particular: Continue reading “Open café for small university presses: an update”

“Just doing it”: Five Talks on Digital Scholarship and Open Book Publishing

By Jeroen Sondervan, Utrecht University Library

In this post, Jeroen Sondervan reflects on the OA Workouts: Scholars at Work series he hosted for the Open Access Books Network, discussing what we learned and what others might draw from these examples of open scholarship. If you are interested in hosting a series yourself, or if you have ideas about what you’d like to see covered in future events, email info@oabooksnetwork.org.

Agata Morka, CC BY.

Continue reading ““Just doing it”: Five Talks on Digital Scholarship and Open Book Publishing”

Small university presses and OA books: come and join us!

This year at the OABN, among other topics we want to focus on the challenges that small university presses face when publishing OA books — either in addition to a closed-access list, or as an entirely OA press.

The issues faced by smaller university presses when publishing OA are often different to the big publishers, and more akin to those tackled by small academic-led presses such as those that form the ScholarLed collective. The OABN coordinators (Agata, Lucy and Tom) are interested in finding out whether the OABN could be a useful forum for smaller university presses to gather and share knowledge and best practices, devise solutions to common issues, and ask for information or advice from the broader OABN community on any subject related to OA books. With this in mind, we are holding an Open Cafe on Thursday 27th January at 3pm GMT (details below).

A flyer with a graphic of a cup of coffee that contains a book with an open padlock pictured on its cover, and the text: "27/01/22 SAVE THE DATE. OPEN CAFE. JOIN THE OPEN ACCESS BOOKS NETWORK FOR A 40 MIN FREE FLOW CONVERSATION ABOUT OA BOOKS AND SMALL UNIVERSITY PRESSES. BRING YOUR OWN COFFEE. DIAL IN AT HTTPS://MEET.JIT.SI/LUCY/TPXDZCERTVPWEQVGPLPJ
Agata Morka, CC BY

Continue reading “Small university presses and OA books: come and join us!”

Making new connections: year two of the OABN

The OABN was officially launched in September last year, so 2021 marked both our first full calendar year and the beginning of our second twelve months of activities. It’s been a year of spreading our wings, holding increasingly ambitious events and welcoming many more members to the OABN: here we offer a quick rundown of the year’s highlights. Continue reading “Making new connections: year two of the OABN”

Open Access Book Programs: Answering Libraries’ Questions

By Sharla Lair (Senior Strategist of Open Access and Scholarly Communication Initiatives, LYRASIS)

The library community is looking for new ways to use the funds they steward to open more scholarly content. There are fairly established strategies for funding open access (OA) journals, but many librarians have been asking:

What are the opportunities to direct funds to make scholarly books OA? And how do libraries evaluate these programs to determine whether library funds should be used to support them?  Continue reading “Open Access Book Programs: Answering Libraries’ Questions”

Who you gonna call? OA Mythbusters

For this year’s Open Access Week, the Open Access Books Network (OABN) is pleased to introduce its latest video series: ‘The OA Mythbusters’.

Through this video series the OABN community seeks to dispel a number of key myths around OA books. In these short videos, common statements will be addressed by fellow community members, informally known as ‘the OA Mythbusters’.

A red box on a black background surrounded by white text reading "OA MYTHBUSTERS: A NEW SERIES FROM OABN NOW LIVE" Continue reading “Who you gonna call? OA Mythbusters”

Voices from the OA Books Community Summary: The Great Polyphony

At the end of May 2021 the most significant series of events hosted by the Open Access Books Network so far, Voices from the OA Books Community, came to an end. The series, initiated in November 2020 at the OPERAS conference, was devoted to exploring different aspects of policy for OA books, to gather thorough and wide-ranging feedback from the community that could inform the forthcoming Plan S guidance for books. We discussed funding models, policy scope, quality assurance, green OA, discoverability and metadata, rights retention, and licensing.

The OABN was thrilled to see that the series attracted a large number of stakeholders, with voices coming from different backgrounds and economic and geographical circumstances. In all, we gathered around 450 participants — publishers, funders, OA policymakers, researchers, librarians, and infrastructure providers – from Europe to the US to Latin America. This exceptional attendance proved that the research community is engaged and willing to take action when it comes to shaping a Plan S policy for OA books. 

We listened to a great polyphony of voices and recorded them in notes, videos, and automated transcripts. Based on this material, SPARC Europe collated the evidence to produce a document that we think reflects all the diverse voices we heard, whilst organising and summarising the main areas of agreement or contention. In this process, the priority was to record all the voices as truthfully as possible. 

We are happy to present you with the outcomes of these efforts today. Drafts of the summarizing document and an introduction highlighting key takeaways, are available here and will remain open until 12 August 2021. After that time, SPARC Europe will prepare the final version of the document, which will be presented to cOAlition S in early September 2021.

We would like to thank all participants for sharing their thoughts in lively discussions, for challenging each other, and trying to find a path forward for OA books as a community. We would also like to thank our invited speakers, as well as colleagues who helped us to organise the sessions and without whom they would not have been possible. It was a pleasure for the OABN to host these events.

In case of questions please contact info@sparceurope.org.

 

Let’s experiment: join us for a BooOkmArks event next Tuesday

 

The next event in the ‘BoOkmArks: Open Conversations About OA Books’ series will be held via this Zoom link on June 29th at 16:00 CEST/ 15:00 BST/10:00 EDT, when we will interview Janneke Adema, Marcell Mars, and Tobias Steiner about their report “Books Contain Multitudes: Exploring Experimental Publishing.” As an introduction to the session, we invite you to read their blog post on the report here.

If you have questions for Janneke, Marcell, and Tobias, please add them to the comments section below so they can be included in the conversation on 29th June — and join us at the event if you can! A recording will be available afterward via our YouTube channel.

Adding a Digital Humanities bit to the OA book funding landscape: DARIAH is launching an annual OA monograph bursary for Early Career Researchers in Digital Humanities

This post, written by Dr. Erzsébet Tóth-Czifra, the Open Science Officer at DARIAH-EU is an introduction to the next event in the ‘BoOkmArks: Open Conversations About OA Books’ series. A live session, open to all, will be held via this Zoom link on Tuesday 23rd March at 16:00 CET/ 15:00 GMT/11:00 ET, when we will interview Erzsébet about the DARIAH bursary for OA monographs for ECRs in Digital Humanities. If you have questions for Erzsébet, please add them to the comments section below so they can be included in the conversation on 23rd March — and join us at the event if you can! A recording will be available afterwards via our YouTube channel.

I went to a ‘publishing in the humanities’ day and the panel of academics were very keen on saying that they didn’t rely on impact factors but no one could answer a PhD student in the audience who wanted to know how you knew where to publish apart from ‘you just find out’.” (Em Nunn 2019, tweet)

Exploring and supporting pathways to the open research culture for Arts and Humanities scholars is among the strategic commitments of DARIAH, and therefore we do our best to sufficiently address questions like the one above, and find solutions that fit best the specific circumstances of those who ask them. One of the most complex and most challenging scenarios that we regularly encounter in our open research and Open Access advocacy practice is finding pathways for publishing one’s first monograph Open Access. Continue reading “Adding a Digital Humanities bit to the OA book funding landscape: DARIAH is launching an annual OA monograph bursary for Early Career Researchers in Digital Humanities”