Focus Groups Study

OPERAS-P Logo Focus Group Study

Background of the Focus Group Study

OPERAS is the Research Infrastructure for Open Scholarly Communication in SSH in the “European Research Area”. Created in 2016 by 16 organisations, OPERAS Research Infrastructure (RI) is now gathering 40 organisations from 16 countries and is led by a Core Group consisting of 9 members.

The recent reports issued by the European Commission evidenced the structural flaws of scholarly publishing: difficulties in the development of a sustainable economic model, lack of interoperability between platforms, lack of adaptation of the peer review process, and limited quantitative metrics (e.g. journal impact factors) pressuring the research process. Addressing these challenges, OPERAS aims to improve the scholarly ecosystem in Social sciences and humanities (SSH). 

OPERAS-P (Preparation) project will support the development of OPERAS, the European Research infrastructure for open access publications in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). The project will further the development of the infrastructure in view of achieving the necessary scientific, technical and community maturity.

To achieve this goal, OPERAS-P will address the necessary requirements according to the Work Programme with three objectives: supporting the ESFRI application, start the implementation of innovative services, and support the expansion of the consortium.

OPERAS-P (Preparing open access in the European research area through scholarly communication) is a three-year (20192021), multi-partner project funded by the European Commission under the grant agreement 871069. OPERAS-P will support the development of OPERAS, the European Research infrastructure for open access publications in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). The project will further the development of the infrastructure in view of achieving the necessary scientific, technical and community maturity. Specifically, the implementation of innovative services will address the development of transnational access to publication services, based on the adoption of common standards, the interoperability between publishing services and bridging towards the EOSC marketplace. 

OPERAS-P will support the development of the consortium with an outreach strategy based on the Landscape Study.

The Focus and Approach in the Focus Group Discussion

OPERAS-P concept was born out of the need to improve cooperation between players in the SSH scholarly communication landscape, enhancing the overall quality of the ecosystem and taking care of the whole research cycle in view of enabling Open Science as a standard practice. To reach this goal a country per country landscape study will enable to describe the institutional, scientific and technical context in each country. A landscape study for end-users will target several regions in Europe to better identify OPERAS future main users, and deliver a strategy to reach and integrate them. Hence, the purpose of the focus group study is to help us gain a better understanding of different SSH disciplines’ specificities and researchers’ needs in the process of reporting about their research results.

In the focus group interview, we will present the focus group participants with some of the topics in order to learn more about their understanding of them. Further on, we will ask participants about their recent experiences in reporting on their research results (journal article, book, etc.), the challenges they encountered, the ways they are choosing appropriate publisher, and their needs for different services and tools which could assist them in these processes. The interview will last for 1.5 hours including a short break.

In a focus group interview, there are fewer questions than in a standard interview, and the conversion in a focus group takes place among participants rather than between the interviewer and the interviewed person as in a standard interview. We wish to learn from the participants’ experiences and perceptions, and it is therefore important that the participants talk together and discuss the issues presented by the moderators of the focus group. The moderators’ role is therefore primarily to be mediators for a conversation between the participants.

All issues discussed in the focus group interview are confidential. The interview will be audio-recorded and the subsequent interview transcriptions will be anonymized and handled in alignment with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation as outlined in the project’s privacy policy and in the consent form that participants will receive prior to the interviews.


Find here the Informed Consent for Participating in OPERAS-P Focus Groups Interview Study