TAKE 5 With PALOMERA partners – SPARC Europe

The “Take 5 with PALOMERA partners” is a blog series featuring the members of the PALOMERA project; you can get to know them with 5 questions and a quick read! 

The PALOMERA project is dedicated to understanding why so few open access funder policies include books, and to provide actionable recommendations to change this situation. PALOMERA is funded for two years under the Horizon Europe: Reforming and Enhancing the European R&I System. In January, we talked with Vanessa Proudman, Director of SPARC Europe.

5 questions

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself as an organisation and your role in it?

SPARC Europe has been working since 2004 to make Open the default. We consistently initiate, facilitate and support the implementation of the long-term objective of opening access to European research for all. Our focus in this work lies on developing OS and Open Education policy in Europe, whilst we advocate for Open in all corners of Europe – and a more equitable Open.

We also focus on collaboration and how to better sustain the Opens is vital to build a thriving Open ecosystem. Alongside Open Book Publishers and DOAB, SPARC Europe initiated the idea of the OA Books Network, bringing together hundreds of stakeholders around OA books to move this agenda forward through research-informed knowledge exchange. PALOMERA builds on that work shining a light on committing to OA books through policymaking. I am SPARC Europe’s Executive Director.

2. Why do you think the PALOMERA project is relevant and timely?

As a result of prior emphasis on making journal articles openly accessible, the Open Access publication of books or long-form publications has been somewhat neglected by governments, research funders, and institutions despite them being a key research output for certain disciplines. Costs of making books openly accessible can be significant and have received less financial support than OA publication of journal articles.

PALOMERA has taken the important step to assess where we are on OA book policies and how we can progress them to boost unlocking OA books in the future.

When a policy is in place, it can lead to funding that helps put the policy into action. PALOMERA can prompt governments, research funders, and institutions to improve open access to books and other long-form scholarly publications.

We need the formal commitment of these bodies to accelerate this plan and translate it into policy. The more evidence we have, the more we bring policymakers together into discussion, the more opportunity there is for OA books to be made Open by default.

Vanessa Proudman, SPARC Europe’s Executive Director

3. What is your role within the project?

SPARC Europe has been involved in researching existing OA book policies at national, regional, and institutional levels across Europe.

We look forward to helping develop PALOMERA’s policy recommendations in 2024.

To help increase policymaking for books, we focus on how to better engage with the project’s different stakeholders. We develop ways to include funders, governments, institutions, libraries, and other stakeholders in policymaking. We aim to find the best ways to involve them throughout the process of the project and to ensure that their needs are heard and addressed.

4. In your opinion, what is the biggest impact PALOMERA will have within the scholarly communication sphere?

PALOMERA’s biggest impact will be in gaining deeper understanding of where OA policies across Europe are today – and not just for books. The project also helps raise evidence-based awareness of what still needs to be done to develop policy for OA book publication and builds capacity amongst policymakers on the topic. As a result, we ultimately hope that more Open Access policies for books are developed in the coming years.

5. How do you see things evolving after the project finishes?

Policymaking takes time.

We recognise that the changes PALOMERA initiates will likely take effect in Europe gradually over the next three years. Due to the work with the PALOMERA funder forum, we expect this work to reach many corners of Europe.

We hope that the OA publication of books will be concretely and more comprehensively addressed in policies on national and institutional levels and at the research funder level. To implement the policy work, we will also need a better understanding of the different funding models and opportunities to make OA books and their infrastructure more financially sustainable. Another priority will be to continue monitoring progress in this area to make sure that the OA publication of books does consistently grow over time.

To get to know more about the PALOMERA project: visit the project’s page. 

This series is produced by the Work Package 5 team from the PALOMERA project. Stay tuned for the next posts coming soon! 

Cite this blog post
Lore Caliman (2024, January 9). TAKE 5 With PALOMERA partners – SPARC Europe. OPERAS. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/vk1t

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