A Plan S for books? The community has spoken

30th July 2021News, Open Access, Open Science

At the end of March 2021, the Open Access Books Network (OABN), of which SPARC Europe is one of the founding organizations, kicked off the series of workshops Voices from the OA Books Community devoted to exploring different aspects of a possible Plan S policy for OA books. The series sprang out from the initial workshop on funding and business models for OA books, led by SPARC Europe at the 2020 OPERAS conference. 

The series consisted of five thematic workshops, in which the community explored five key issues: policy scope, quality assurance, green OA, discoverability and metadata, and rights retention and licensing. We saw over 450 participants, representing a plethora of stakeholders: we have heard from publishers, funders, OA policymakers, researchers, librarians, and infrastructure providers – from Europe to the US to Latin America.

SPARC Europe has undertaken the task of summarizing all the voices we heard in the series. We spent eight weeks rigorously analyzing notes, videos, and automated transcripts. Our priority was to produce a concise summary that would reflect all the various points of view as truthfully as possible.  You can see the result of our efforts in a draft of the summarizing document and an introduction highlighting key takeaways. The document will remain open until 12 August 2021. After that time, we will prepare the final version of the document, and present it to cOAlition S in September 2021. We hope it will help them with their policymaking for OA books going forward.

We would like to thank the OABN for organizing the series. The network proved to be a strong vehicle, capable of bringing the community together and facilitating open discussion between a wide range of stakeholders. This experience has shown the value of engaging the community in developing policies that have the potential to truly work. We are looking forward to continuing the conversation with the community, aiming at finding approaches that will ensure a healthy, sustainable future for OA books.

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