OPERAS welcomes Niels Stern as a member in the Executive Assembly

OPERAS says goodbye to Eelco Ferwerda, retired director of OAPEN, Netherlands. The OAPEN foundation operates two platforms: the OAPEN Library, a platform for hosting, dissemination and preservation of open access books, and the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), a discovery service for Open Access books, in partnership with OpenEdition.

Eelco Ferwerda
Eelco Ferwerda, retired director of OAPEN

Eelco Ferwerda operated as a founding member of OPERAS and helped to build up the research infrastructure for scholarly communication for social sciences and humanities in Europe. He led the Special Interest Group “Best Practices” and served OPERAS as a national node in the Netherlands.

Pierre Mounier, Coordinator of OPERAS, thanks Eelcos for his important work for OPERAS and describes their relationship:

I am grateful to Eelco Ferwerda for the many years of companionship we spent working together. I think Eelco is one of the few pioneers who envisioned first that open access books could become a reality. And he knew how to gather a wonderful community around his vision. I also know that Eelco has a true European spirit and invested a lot of his energy in European cooperation. For those two reasons in particular, his contribution to OPERAS is outstanding. I just want to thank him for having shared so far with me and the OPERAS community his unique and elegant blend of wit, kindness and of course … openness. I hope we will continue our companionship with Eelco in the coming years, even though in a different way. 

OPERAS is glad to welcome Niels Stern as a new member in the Executive Assembly representing OAPEN (Netherlands).

Niels Stern
Niels Stern, director of OAPEN and Co-director of DOAB

Niels Stern, Director of OAPEN and Co-director of DOAB on his new role and his aims:

 I feel very privileged to continue the great work that Eelco Ferwerda has delivered for more than a decade now. OAPEN and DOAB are key services for scholarly open access book publishing. As part of our engagement in the OPERAS-P project we are just about to migrate DOAB to a new DSpace platform as part of our mission to develop as an open, community-driven infrastructure. DOAB now holds metadata for more than 34,000 academic books from over 400 international publishers making it a central hub for OA books. Besides that we also host the newly launched OA Books Toolkit which is a unique resource targeted towards authors but useful for anyone who wants to know more about open access books. We are also heavily engaged in the Open Access Books Network which I hope will grow into a common meeting place for all who have an interest in this field no matter their background or affiliation.  

The number of books and their usage on the new OAPEN DSpace platform is increasing rapidly (now more than 15,000 peer reviewed books and chapters with annual download figures around 5 million). OAPEN and DOAB are deeply engaged in many exciting projects, e.g. via the OPERAS research infrastructure. In my view OPERAS is key to a successful transition of the Humanities and Social Sciences (SSH) into an open and digital era. With my background in the Humanities and scholarly book publishing I know very well how difficult, but also how necessary, this transition is. For me the right approach in this situation is a pan-European community that is attentive to the diversity within Europe (and open to the world outside the continent) and that can ensure a flexible, transparent, and trusted research infrastructure for the SSH community. In this context my mission as director of OAPEN is to keep on helping readers, libraries, funders, and scholarly book publishers to get the most out of open access books through open infrastructures.


DOAB operates the OPERAS Certification Service. It collects the variety of peer reviewing practices from hundreds of monograph publishing houses, categorizes them, and provides a single access point to the list of certified peer reviewed monographs available in Open Access in the world. Find more information on the OPERAS website.


Judith Schulte

Digital Humanities Officer at Max Weber Stiftung (MWS) and Communication Officer for OPERAS

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