TAKE 5 With PALOMERA partners – IBL PAN

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 March, we talked with Maciej Maryl, Deputy Director of the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences; Head of the Digital Humanities Centre.

5 questions

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself as an organisation and your role in the PALOMERA project. 

I think that, like many academics, I consider myself constantly torn between research and management. As for my researcher self, I’m a digital humanist exploring the use of bibliographic data for network analysis of literary culture. However, most of the time I’m working on building research infrastructure for digital humanities and scholarly communication as Director of the Digital Humanities Centre at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IBL PAN) and member of OPERAS Executive Assembly. I’m also leading the OPERAS Innovation Lab, where we’re working on managing the creation of new services as well as on providing guidelines for researchers wishing to engage with innovative types of scholarly communication. 

In the PALOMERA project, both worlds come together since I’m responsible for both research and data collection, in addition to leading the IBL PAN team and Work Package 2. 

2. In the first year of the project, the PALOMERA Work Package you lead collected information about the OA book policies. Could you tell us what was the methodology used? 

Our Work Package aimed to identify, collect and make available the data and documents relevant to policies regarding OA books in the European Research Area (ERA). However, we also wanted to gather information about the context of those documents as well as about challenges and best practices regarding OA books. We decided to employ a mixed-method approach and use various techniques to collect different types of data.

 Firstly, we collected available documents like policies, reports or articles on the topic. We also conducted a series of semi-structured interviews with stakeholders throughout the ERA to learn more about the context. Simultaneously we collected available datasets of bibliographical data on open access and conducted an ERA-wide survey to learn more about attitudes towards OA and particular implementation measures. 

Finally, the collected documents were published in the PALOMERA Knowledge Base and are currently being analysed by the project researchers to form recommendations.

Maciej Maryl. Photo: Private

3. What results did you gather from this process?

During the 10 months of research, our team collected over 900 relevant documents concerning OA policies and strategies from 39 ERA countries in 29 languages! These include OA policies of countries, funders and research organisations as well as various contextual materials: documents, grey literature, research articles, reports, and outputs of other projects. We conducted 42 interviews and received 454 complete responses to our survey. Yet, we didn’t strive to collect all policies and documents but rather to provide a saturated sample of different approaches and solutions for further analysis. 

IBL PAN logo

4. What was the number one thing that struck you while coordinating this process?

Well, I must admit that our work plan was pretty ambitious, to say the least, as we aimed at collecting everything during the first three quarters of the project. So, I need to stress that this was a huge collective effort of 16 researchers from different organisations, which enabled us to cover lots of ground. I’m also very grateful to Gabriela Manista from IBL PAN, who coordinated day-to-day operations, which allowed us to accomplish everything as planned.

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

The question of the sustainability of the project results is very important, especially in the case of standalone outputs like the PALOMERA Knowledge Base.

Since we collected valuable materials on the current state of OA to books in ERA, we want to preserve it and perhaps update it in the future, as we hope to see more policies, also as a result of our project. Sustainability could be seen here in both technical and intellectual terms.

Technical sustainability, e.g. file storage and software updates, will be provided by OAPEN, the partner in charge of the Knowledge Base. However, we are still working on the measures to achieve intellectual sustainability, i.e. a stable workflow for updating and curating the resource, which requires some sort of editorial staff that will maintain the output beyond the project lifecycle.


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, March 12). TAKE 5 With PALOMERA partners – IBL PAN. OPERAS. Retrieved May 19, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/w04f

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