Kick off for newly funded project: OPERAS-PLUS | DARIAH

The project OPERAS-PLUS has received 2,7 million EUR through Horizon Europe to support the further development of OPERAS in its preparatory phase and on its way towards implementation. OPERAS is the Research Infrastructure dedicated to support open scholarly communication for Social Sciences and Humanities in the European Research Area. The project officially kicked-off on September 1, 2022 and it will run for 36 months.

OPERAS was selected in 2021 as new infrastructure on the ESFRI Roadmap for the excellence of its scientific case and for its strategic importance for the European Research Area and the structuring of the European research infrastructure ecosystem.

The OPERAS-PLUS project will work towards 4 main objectives:

develop and strengthen OPERAS governance structure, especially financial, legal, and human resource management aspects of the infrastructure central hub
support the establishment and development of OPERAS national node
develop OPERAS portfolio of service
maximise OPERAS’ impact in the ERA and at international level by extending it beyond its current scope and onboarding new members and countries in the infrastructure.

DARIAH is one of the 13 consortium partners involved in the project, which is led by the Max Weber Foundation, and counts two associated partners from the United Kingdom. DARIAH will mainly contribute to the ongoing work on the evaluation framework for innovative outputs, by addressing their perceived prestige and the current evaluation mechanisms in academia.

 

The full edition is now online! | Darwin Correspondence Project

“For nearly fifty years successive teams of researchers on both sides of the Atlantic have been working to track down all surviving letters written by or to Charles Darwin, research their content, and publish the complete texts. The thirtieth and final print volume, covering the last four months of Darwin’s life, will be published in early 2023 and all the letter texts – more than 15000 between 1822 and 1882 – are now published online….”

A quantitative and qualitative open citation analysis of retracted articles in the humanities | Quantitative Science Studies | MIT Press

Abstract:  In this article, we show and discuss the results of a quantitative and qualitative analysis of open citations to retracted publications in the humanities domain. Our study was conducted by selecting retracted papers in the humanities domain and marking their main characteristics (e.g., retraction reason). Then, we gathered the citing entities and annotated their basic metadata (e.g., title, venue, etc.) and the characteristics of their in-text citations (e.g., intent, sentiment, etc.). Using these data, we performed a quantitative and qualitative study of retractions in the humanities, presenting descriptive statistics and a topic modeling analysis of the citing entities’ abstracts and the in-text citation contexts. As part of our main findings, we noticed that there was no drop in the overall number of citations after the year of retraction, with few entities which have either mentioned the retraction or expressed a negative sentiment toward the cited publication. In addition, on several occasions, we noticed a higher concern/awareness when it was about citing a retracted publication, by the citing entities belonging to the health sciences domain, if compared to the humanities and the social science domains. Philosophy, arts, and history are the humanities areas that showed the higher concerns toward the retraction.

 

UBC Library digitizes William Shakespeare’s First Folio – About UBC Library

“UBC Library has made its first edition of William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies openly accessible to the public by publishing a digitized version of the volume online through Open Collections. The process to digitize the First Folio took more than a year to facilitate due to the Folio’s age and fragility….”

Dædalus reaches expanded audiences through open access

“The MIT Press and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences are pleased to announce that Dædalus, the journal of the American Academy, has significantly increased its audience through moving to open access. During the journal’s first year as an openly available publication, Dædalus saw an increase in online readership, downloaded articles, and citations.

In January 2021, the Press and the Academy announced that Dædalus would transition to an open access journal. At that time, decades of volumes and hundreds of essays were ungated and made freely available. All new issues of Dædalus are now published openly. …”

Producing Open Data

Abstract:  Open data offer the opportunity to economically combine data into large-scale datasets, fostering collaboration and re-use in the interest of treating researchers’ resources as well as study participants with care. Whereas advantages of utilising open data might be self-evident, the production of open datasets also challenges individual researchers. This is especially true for open data that include personal data, for which higher requirements have been legislated. Mainly building on our own experience as scholars from different research traditions (life sciences, social sciences and humanities), we describe best-practice approaches for opening up research data. We reflect on common barriers and strategies to overcome them, condensed into a step-by-step guide focused on actionable advice in order to mitigate the costs and promote the benefit of open data on three levels at once: society, the disciplines and individual researchers. Our contribution may prevent researchers and research units from re-inventing the wheel when opening data and enable them to learn from our experience.

 

Linking different scientific digital libraries in Digital Humanities: the IMAGO case study | SpringerLink

Abstract:  In the last years, several scientific digital libraries (DLs) in digital humanities (DH) field have been developed following the Open Science principles. These DLs aim at sharing the research outcomes, in several cases as FAIR data, and at creating linked information spaces. In several cases, to reach these aims the Semantic Web technologies and Linked Data have been used. This paper presents how the current scientific DLs in the DH field can provide the creation of linked information spaces and navigational services that allow users to navigate them, using Semantic Web technologies to formally represent, search and browsing knowledge. To support the argument, we present our experience in developing a scientific DL supporting scholars in creating, evolving and consulting a knowledge base related to Medieval and Renaissance geographical works within the three years (2020–2023) Italian National research project IMAGO—Index Medii Aevi Geographiae Operum. In the presented case study, a linked information space was created to allow users to discover and navigate knowledge across multiple repositories, thanks to the extensive use of ontologies. In particular, the linked information spaces created within the IMAGO project make use of five different datasets, i.e. Wikidata, the MIRABILE digital archive, the Nuovo Soggettario thesaurus, Mapping Manuscript Migration knowledge base and the Pleiades gazetteer. The linking among different datasets allows to considerably enrich the knowledge collected in the IMAGO KB.

 

OPERAS signs Agreement for Reforming Research Assessment and provides services for researchers

OPERAS has signed the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment, an initiative that gathers more than 180 signatories, including public and private research funders, universities, research centres, institutes and infrastructures, associations (and alliances thereof), national and regional authorities, accreditation and evaluation agencies, learned societies and associations of researchers, and other relevant organisations, representing a broad diversity of views and perspectives. Many OPERAS members have already signed the document. 

The agreement aims to recognise the diverse outputs, practices and activities that maximise the quality and impact of research for the research, researchers and research organisations assessment. The document sets a shared direction for changes in the research assessment practices, including principles, commitments and timeframe for reforms. The new vision for the research assessment requires that it will be based primarily on a qualitative judgement, for which peer review is central, and supported by responsible use of quantitative indicators. 

As the Research Infrastructure dedicated to supporting the whole research lifecycle of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in Europe, OPERAS is taking part in CoARA and invites all its members to sign the agreement. OPERAS supports CoARA’s vision of innovative and open research assessment practices, which can be adapted to the diversity of scientific disciplines. 

OPERAS commitment in signing includes the provision of services that can enable the full range of practices in the SSH field, where there is still a lack of tools and indicators. Some examples would be

  • quality assurance services such as the PRISM (Peer Review Information Service for Monographs) to increase trust in Open Access book publishing by improving transparency around the quality assurance process (peer review procedure);
  • the Metrics Service Portal, which collects usage and impact metrics related to published Open Access content from many different sources and allows for their access, display and analysis from a single access point;
  • the GoTriple platform, a multilingual and multicultural discovery service, that provides better findability of research results;
  • the Pathfinder service to support academic open access publishing.

The issue of reforming research assessment will be also included among the topics of the relevant OPERAS Special Interest Groups (Advocacy and Standards). 

The agreement’s initiative followed a call of interest by the European Commission, in January 2022, to be drafted in a co-creation exercise. Since July 2022, the document was publicly presented (read it via this link). The Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) is now being created and has an interim secretariat provided by Science Europe, the European University Association (EUA) and the European Commission

Commitment of existing and new members 

By advocating for a change in the research assessment and supporting CoARA, OPERAS is including the commitment to recognise all research outputs and to experiment new indicators and tools in its new members’ application form. The infrastructure encourages existing members to sign the Agreement and to be active parts of the Coalition as research performing organisations. 

The Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment is based on 10 Commitments, which include topics such as the recognition of the diversity of contributions of research according to its needs and nature; the basing of research assessment primarily on qualitative evaluation; the purpose to abandon inappropriate uses of journal and publication-based metrics; the avoidance of ranking usage for research organisations; the commitment of resources in organisations to the reform of the research assessment; the reviewing and development of criteria, tools, and processes; the raising of awareness on the reform; the communication on progress made on the implementation of the Commitments; and the evaluation of practices, criteria and tools based on state-of-the-art research. The list of Commitments, their scopes and purposes are available in this link

As stated by CoARA’s announcement on the Agreement, the reform movement underpinned by both the document and the coalition intends to be a space to advance together towards a higher quality, more impactful and more efficient, inclusive system. 

| More information | 

Read the Agreement full-text here.

Going a Step Further Than Open Access and Open Source: COVE and the Promise of Open Assembly | Victorians Institute Journal | Scholarly Publishing Collective

Abstract:  This articles asks if the principles of open source and open access are sufficient to safeguard our intellectual labor and to guard against the predatory logic of a world dominated by capitalist systems of production and dissemination. Both open source and open access face a similar problem, as it happens: neglect and obsolescence, as well as the most pernicious Achilles’ heel of the vast majority of digital humanities initiatives: long-term sustainability. COVE offers an alternative to both long-term sustainability and the collective sharing of content.

Two principles currently govern the work of the digital humanities: open access, the notion that content should be freely accessible to all without paywalls or other restrictions; and open source, software whose underlying source code is made freely available for reuse and modification. COVE, which stands for Collaborative Organization for Virtual Education at covecollective.org, subscribes to both principles: we support an open-access publication platform, COVE Editions, where we publish material such as scholarly editions after they are put through peer review, revision, and copyediting; we also support the open-source movement by using and modifying open-source tools like TimelineJS, Open Layers, Drupal, and Annotation Studio, and sharing our code through a GitHub repository.

However, COVE seeks to go a little further by asking if the principles of open source and open access are sufficient to safeguard our intellectual labor and to guard against the predatory logic of a world dominated by capitalist systems of production and dissemination. Both open source and open access face a similar problem, as it happens: neglect and obsolescence, as well as the most pernicious Achilles’ heel of the vast majority of digital humanities initiatives, long-term sustainability. COVE offers an alternative to both long-term sustainability and the collective sharing of content.

 

 

Project MUSE Offer for Subscribe to Open (S2O) Journals Targeted for 2025

“Following a year of research and community engagement funded by a planning grant from the Mellon Foundation’s Public Knowledge Program, Project MUSE is preparing a Subscribe to Open (S2O) offer across multiple journal titles and participating publishers that will begin with the 2025 calendar year subscription term.

 

With more than 700 current journals in the humanities and social sciences on its platform, from close to 200 non-profit publishers, Project MUSE is uniquely positioned to develop and deploy a Subscribe to Open business model at scale. The collective support of an S2O offer by MUSE’s community of thousands of libraries worldwide has the potential to equitably open a wealth of vital scholarship, in disciplines frequently not well served by other open access (OA) models.

S2O is an equitable alternative to “author-pays” OA models, expanding both author and reader access. The S2O model works by converting traditional gated subscriptions into annual payments that make open journals sustainable. Eliminating financial barriers for authors and readers is a major step forward and a foundational imperative to achieving an equitable, just, and inclusive world….”

Open Access Monographs: Digital Scholarship as Catalyst – Digital Science

“In an effort to take stock of the wide range of innovative practices and system-changing interventions that characterize a growing body of digital scholarly publications, Brown University and Emory University co-hosted a summit in spring 2021. The intention from the start was to call attention to the faculty-led experimentation that was taking place across a number of libraries and humanities centers, some of which already involved university presses. Shifting the focus away from tools and technology, as important as those discussions remain to the larger scholarly communications ecosystem, the summit emphasized author and audience needs and opportunities. As such, it highlighted the importance of investing in a people-centric, content-driven infrastructure.

Case studies of eight recently published or in-development OA works provided the basis for in-depth, evidence-based discussions among scholars, academic staff experts, and representatives from university presses: What models for publishing enhanced and interactive scholarly projects are emerging? What are the common challenges that remain and how do we address them? How can we encourage a shared vocabulary for these reimagined forms of humanities scholarship among the wider scholarly communications community? …”

Investigating Open Access Publishing Practices of Early and Mid?Career Researchers in Humanities and Social Sciences Disciplines – Ayeni – 2022 – Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Although open access (OA) to research outputs has been proven to improve research readership, citation, and impact, the uptake of OA in some disciplines has remained low. In this paper, we investigated and compared OA publishing practices of early career and mid-career researchers in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) disciplines in Canada. The descriptive survey design with the use of online questionnaire was employed. Participants were drawn from a group of 15 public research universities via their openly available emails on university websites. Survey data was analyzed with descriptive and inferential statistics. Findings show that in the last three years, 74.1% of mid-career researchers have published in OA journals, compared to 63.1% of early career researchers. However, OA publishing of monographs (21.3%) and conference proceedings (29.9%), as well as the frequency and extent OA publishing remains low among all participants. ANOVA results (F [2, 218] = 3.683, p = .027, ?2 = .033) showed that 3.3% of the variance in researchers’ OA publishing frequency can be attributed to their disciplines. Overall, OA publishing among researchers in the HASS disciplines is still low. Hence, there is a need to identify factors that facilitate or hinder HASS researchers’ OA publishing.

 

Sudbury News: Laurentian University receives more than $225,000 to support the humanities | CTV News | Oct. 13, 2022

“Laurentian University researchers have received funding in excess of $237,000 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) through its Insight Program. The Insight, Insight Development and Aid to Scholarly Journals grants were awarded to LU’s School of Social Work, School of Liberal Arts as well as the McEwen School of Architecture….Aid to Scholarly Journal grants support Canadian scholarly dissemination by enabling journals to explore innovative activities as well as helping them cover the costs associated with publishing scholarly articles and journal distribution on Canadian not-for-profit platforms. “Insight, Insight Development and Aid to Scholarly Journals grants are critically important for researchers and the training of students that often work side by side with faculty to advance scholarship and knowledge dissemination,” Doctor Tammy Eger, vice-president of research at the university, said in a media release Thursday. “These investments from the federal government ensure that researchers are able to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in fields of social sciences and humanities.”…”

Open Chat series “How-to-Advocacy”, first webinar Oct 21, 11am (CEST) | OPERAS

An Open Chat Series by the OPERAS SIG “Advocacy”

Do the humanities and social sciences need (more) advocacy? 

Why is advocacy crucial for forging open scholarly communication?

What can you do for more openness in the humanities and social sciences (SSH)?

OPERAS Advocacy Special Interest Group opens up Open Chat Series. With experts in advocacy and communications, researchers, publishers and other members of the SSH community we will:

discuss current trends in open scholarly communication, 
look for innovative solutions and tools for publishers, researchers and scholarly institutions,
share best practices in open digital scholarly publications. 

On 21.10.2022 at 11 CEST we will launch the Open Chat Series with the first webinar “Why advocate for open scholarly communication in the humanities and social sciences?”. Members of the OPERAS Special Interest Group “Advocacy” will present the most pressing needs of open communication in the SSH, its benefits and challenges. Together with our guest speakers and the audience we will discuss the advocacy goals and challenges for the SSH community.

The discussion with our guest speaker Per Pippin Aspaas, Head of Library Research and Publishing Support at the UiT in Tromsø, will be moderated by one of our members Alíz Horváth – researcher, expert in East Asian studies and creator of “Humanista” podcast. 

To join the Open Chat Series you need to leave your email in the registration form: https://forms.gle/qQ56j9iaqjX8mvED9. We will send you the link to the webinar. 

The event will be conducted via Zoom.

 

Thoughts and Observations on the OSTP Responses to Our Interview Questions – The Scholarly Kitchen

“To be clear: if policies mean what they actually say, then the new OSTP memo represents a set of recommendations rather than requirements. This, it seems to me, is a very big deal. And now my questions are: 

Why the shift from mandate to recommendation? 
Will that shift be acknowledged in the scholcomm community? 
Will funding agencies actually treat these new terms as optional?…”