Other Open Access

OPERAS Advocacy White Paper

Elisabeth Heinemann; Andrea Bertino; Francesca Di Donato; Aysa Ekanger; Elena Giglia; Barbara Jędraszko; Michael Kaiser; Lisa Matthias; Alessia Smaniotto

Stavroula Sant-Geronikolou

This White Paper has been prepared by the OPERAS (Open Access in the European Research Area
through Scholarly Communication) Working Group on Advocacy for Open Access Publishing in the
Social Sciences and Humanities. OPERAS is a European research infrastructure for the development
of open scholarly communication, particularly in the social sciences and humanities (SSH). The
consortium comprises 36 organisations from 13 European countries and is coordinated by a core
group of nine members. OPERAS’ members come from diverse backgrounds and include publishers
and publication platforms, infrastructure providers, libraries, universities, and research organisations.

The paper addresses the importance of Open Science for the SSH, highlighting the role of a distributed
research infrastructure like OPERAS in advocating for Open Access publishing models. Furthermore,
the paper discusses the importance of the SSH in Open Science, showing how Open Science itself
benefits from considering and accommodating the needs of researchers from different disciplinary
backgrounds. While OPERAS does not endorse a specific Open Access publishing model, the
infrastructure partners advocate for publication processes that can meet the present demand for
Open Access, transparency, and open source tools in scholarly communication.

This document is intended for all stakeholders actively involved in Open Access in the SSH. This
includes publishers and publication platforms as well as libraries and infrastructure providers.
However, the White Paper ultimately focuses on advocacy targeting researchers at different career
stages. In order to support stakeholders in advocating for Open Access, the White Paper presents the
benefits of Open Access publishing for scholars, while also addressing common concerns in the SSH
research community. These include, but are not limited to, reputation, research evaluation, financial
issues, a general lack of information, intellectual property rights and other legal concerns, and the
availability of Open Access publishing models.

This White Paper draws on experiences from OPERAS partners to illustrate researchers’ concerns and
to develop a guide with FAQs and solutions to address these issues. The White Paper concludes with
advocacy suggestion sheets tailored to different stakeholders involved in Open Access in the SSH.

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