TAKE 5 With PALOMERA partners – cOAlition S

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 June, we talked with Johan Rooryck, Executive Director at cOAlition S, which is represented in PALOMERA by ESF, the European Science Foundation. 

5 questions

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

cOAlition S is a consortium of 28 national research funders, European and international organisations, and charitable foundations who came together in 2018 around an initiative to make full and immediate Open Access to research publications a reality. It is built around Plan S, which consists of one target – Open Access to all peer reviewed publications funded by its members –  and 10 principles allowing to implement that goal in a coordinated way, together with the European Commission. 

Principle 7 of Plan S promises to address Open Access to academic books (monographs and book chapters), and in September 2021, we formulated a statement on Open Access for books that included 5 recommendations and a commitment to collaborate with the OA books community.

So when the Palomera project was initiated it was natural for us to come on board to honor that commitment.

2. Currently, the PALOMERA Work Package you are part of is working on preparing actionable recommendations to support and coordinate aligned funder and institutional policies for OA books. Could you tell us about the methodology used to achieve this?

We try to formulate recommendations for 8 types of stakeholders: Research performing organisations (RPOs) and research institutes, public and private research funding organisations (RFOs), national Open Science policymakers, academic libraries, researchers, learned societies, infrastructure providers, and publishers.

We have accordingly divided the work into 8 subtasks to formulate specific recommendations for each of these stakeholders. We aim at formulating about 5 actionable recommendations per stakeholder. The recommendations will be evidence-based and specifically link back to the PALOMERA Knowledge Base developed in WP2, its analysis in WP3 as well as other resources.

The recommendations are therefore not about our opinions or desires, but about concrete measures that are broadly supported in the literature about OA books. The recommendations will be actionable and address the challenges and bottlenecks that currently prevent OA book policies from emerging, and allow for coordinated action and responsibilities between stakeholders.

Johan Rooryck. Photo: Private

3. What do you hope the recommendations will achieve once shared with the community?

I hope that the recommendations will provide concrete guidelines for each stakeholder in terms of the concrete measures they can take within their specific remit.

There is a saying in Dutch that when everyone cleans in front of their own house, the entire street ends up being clean. So it is for policies around OA books: if every stakeholder implements the measures that are within their remit, the entire ecosystem of OA books will improve markedly.

We are seeking complementarity of responsibilities and actions in the interest of Open Access to books.

4. What is the number one thing that struck you while participating in the project so far?

What strikes me most is the enthusiastic commitment and the level of knowledge and competence of everyone involved in the project. It is a pleasure and a privilege to be able to work in such a context.

Plan S logo cOAlition S

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

I believe the idea of a Funder Forum for OA books launched by Niels Stern (OAPEN) in the context of the project needs to be perpetuated. Making policies is not a one-time thing: they need to be monitored and evaluated, and then give rise to a new cycle of policies. I believe we need to make sure that the idea of a clearly delineated policy cycle should be adopted by all stakeholders, and that OA book policies are a great testing ground for that idea going forward.


To learn 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! 



Cite this blog post
Lore Caliman (2024, June 5). TAKE 5 With PALOMERA partners – cOAlition S. OPERAS. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/11rtv

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