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Report: Networking the Networks – Opening OPERAS-GER

The first national node event of OPERAS took place on 26 April 2021, with the aim to present the OPERAS services and make OPERAS(-GER) more widely known in Germany. The event was jointly held by OPERAS-P (Horizon 2020) and OPERAS-GER (funded by BMBF) and targeted academic publishers, libraries, research institutions and researchers from Germany as well as all those interested in Open Access and Open Science.

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What is a National Node and why are Links between National and International Research Infrastructures so Important?

The event was opened with a greeting by the BMBF, in which the importance of interlinking national and international networks was stressed. This is also why the BMBF supports the project OPERAS-GER.

In an interactive session, the participants could next get to know OPERAS as the European research infrastructure for the social sciences and humanities, understand its approaches and goals and thus gain an insight into what OPERAS is. OPERAS-GER was presented as the first national node. The session was led by OPERAS-GER project lead Marlen Töpfer (the presentation is available at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4730154 ).

Dr. Suzanne Dumouchel (EOSC Director and OPERAS Coordinator) and Dr. Jan Brase (Head of Department at SUB Göttingen) discussed different approaches and considerations on interlinking national and international research infrastructures as part of the panel discussion „The interlinking of national and international approaches“. Dr. Jan Brase stressed the significance of cooperation by highlighting the necessity to respect disciplinary differences and simultaneous inspiration that is gained through multidisciplinary approaches. The approach of connecting national communities to the European level through national nodes was presented by Dr. Suzanne Dumouchel. One aspect of the discussion revolved around the question of what makes a „researcher“ and their local connections, that remain despite international interconnectivity, was emphasized as a central aspect. (the presentation is available at: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4727122)

What is Offered by OPERAS?

The OPERAS-Services were presented by the partners that are responsible for them; they aim to pave the way for an „open scholarly communication in the European research area for social sciences and humanities“. Five services are currently being worked on: #1 Metrics-Service, #2 Certification-Service, #3 Publishing Service Portal, #4 Discovery Service, #5 Research for Society – two of these are already available as a beta version and three are under development. After short impulse statements on each of the services, participants could choose to attend two breakout sessions to get a more in-depth overview of the services, ask questions and learn about possible usage scenarios for their institutional or individual use. This direct contact between the target audience and those responsible for the services was rewarding for both sides. Requirements from the German research landscape could be directly discussed and can be considered in the ongoing development. (the presentation is available at: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4727126 )

The final slot presented impressions of and ways to participate in OPERAS and become active. The different forms of membership and work in the Special Interests Groups were highlighted. The coordinators of the Special Interest Group „Multilingualism“, led by Dr. Delfim Leao, and the Special Interest Group „Advocacy“, led by Elisabeth Ernst, presented concrete goals and results of their work. Dr. Judith Schulte noted the possibility to become active and connect through the OPERAS-PKP-Forum. SUB Göttingen, represented by Margo Bargheer, presented insights into the OPERAS membership as a supporting member and explained why „joining OPERAS came natural“. (the presentation is available at: https://zenodo.org/record/4729564).

As part of the closing of the event, participants were able to provide direct feedback.

Transparency of Peer-Reviews, Community Guidelines and Data Feminism

In the afternoon, it was possible to dive more deeply into, or actively contribute to the development of, specific aspects of OPERAS through three workshops.

A technical presentation of the certification service in Workshop 1: Peer review of open access books – increasing transparency using the OPERAS certification service by the director of the DOAB Foundation, Pierre Mounier, and the deputy director of the OAPEN Foundation, Ronald Snijder, was followed by concrete feedback on the services. Use cases were developed and ideas for more specific activities collected.

Community guidelines were the topic of Workshop 2: GOTRIPLE Trustbuilding System/Community guidelines co-design, led by Maxime Bouillard and Gael van Weyenberght of the company MEOH. An add-on service of the future Discovery Service will make it possible to easily connect with other researchers. During the workshop, the guidelines for this were actively worked on and first results noted.

The question of Workshop 3: Data Feminism meets Citizen Science: can everyone do research? was dealt with by Jana Keck of GHI Washington, along with the participants. The seven principles of Data Feminism were presented and it was considered how these can be used as a framework for the generation, use and distribution of data in citizen science projects.


All presenations of the event can be accessed via Zenodo:

We would like to thank all participants and presenters, hosts and moderators for their active participation and lively discussions, and look forward to future meetings, further events and possible cooperation!

Contact: operas-ger@maxweberstiftung.de



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