From projects to sustainable infrastructure: OPERAS at ELPUB 2018
The topic of the 22nd International Conference on Electronic Publishing (ELPUB), which took place 22-24 June 2018 at the University of Toronto, was “Connecting the Knowledge Commons: From Projects to Sustainable Infrastructure.” The conference was chaired by Leslie Chan, University of Toronto Scarborough, and Pierre Mounier, Associate Director at OpenEdition and Co-Coordinator of OPERAS. The proceedings are now available at: https://elpub.episciences.org/.
The conference started with a wide thematic variety of workshops, engaging participants in discussions about the impact of open science on early career researchers, the Invest in Open Initiative, feminist open science, and concepts in text and data mining. A workshop on open advocacy, organized by SPARC, presented a clear step-by-step approach (problem – solution – goal – strategy – tactic) for advocacy for open science and ideas that OPERAS will further consider within the Advocacy Working Group.
A topic that was addressed frequently was the question of how to make an infrastructure (more) inclusive. Speakers in sessions on open science and the Global South, as well as on inclusive design and community engagement, presented new initiatives, such as the African Open Science Platform Project (AOSP). Inclusivity of research infrastructures was however not only discussed for geographical and social inequalities but also in terms of gender, stage of a researcher’s career, research disciplines, and the concepts and building of software as well as having access to it.
In this context, Javier Arias (Open Book Publishers) presented the development and implementation of an inclusive metrics service for open access books that is currently developed within the HIRMEOS project, which is part of the OPERAS infrastructure. This service will enable the collection of open access metric data and altmetrics from third-party platforms and will allow for implementation in any external platform. The full paper is available at: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01816811.
HIRMEOS was also presented by Chealsye Bowley (Ubiquity Press). She presented the main objectives of the HIRMEOS project, which enriches the content of participating platforms with tools enabling identification, authentication, and interoperability, with entity extraction (NERD), with an annotation tool for monographs, and with tools for collecting metrics. The full paper is available at: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01816620.
Apart from the services it offers and develops, a sustainable research infrastructure needs sustainable governance. Keynote speaker Kathleen Fitzpatrick, who presented the Humanities Commons network, underlined that it is not enough to simply make publications openly available. Rather, there is a need for a sustainable, community-oriented research infrastructure for the humanities with strong governance.
The governance and sustainability of networks was also addressed in a session on infrastructures for facilitating scholarly collaboration and communication. The author of this post, Elisabeth Heinemann (Max Weber Stiftung), presented her ideas on why a sustainable network is not only a prerequisite for organizations to benefit from being a member of a research infrastructure but also an outcome of those organizations joining it. The full paper is available at: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01816698.
Finally, OPERAS Co-Coordinator Pierre Mounier, who will organize ELPUB next year in Marseille, held an inspiring lunch talk, comparing national infrastructures, such as OpenEdition, and distributed e-research infrastructures, such as OPERAS, to a platypus. Neither mammal nor bird, are we a bit of everything – publisher, publishing platform, research library, research organization, university – or a new species altogether: a scholarly communication infrastructure?