The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) has announced the 11 new research infrastructures included in Roadmap 2021 (ESFRI Roadmap 2021). The infrastructures were selected based on their scientific excellence and maturity and are included in the form of new projects in the updated roadmap. One of the selected infrastructures is OPERAS (Open Access in the European Research Area through Scholarly Communication), in which the National Documentation Centre (EKT) participates. The new projects are expected to contribute to the support of significant European priorities.
One of the key intentions of ESFRI Roadmap 2021 is the renewal of the commitment to invest in research infrastructure, with the total investment for the 11 projects amounting to 4.164 billion euros (380 million euros on average), while the Roadmap of 2018 amounted to EUR 674 million (EUR 112 million on average). Since its establishment in 2002, ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) has supported the development of a coherent strategy for research infrastructures in Europe, facilitating initiatives for the better utilisation and development of research infrastructures, forming the European Roadmap for research infrastructures for the next 10-20 years and monitoring the implementation of relevant projects.
OPERAS is a research infrastructure intended to support and promote Open Science, as well as improve scholarly communication in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). Its mission is to co-ordinate and integrate existing infrastructure into a federation to best serve the needs of SSH researchers on the European continent. It consists of 53 members from 16 European countries and co-ordinators of Open Edition and Huma-Num.The National Documentation Centre (EKT) is one of the founding members of the OPERAS research infrastructure.
Joining ESFRI is the highest recognition for a research infrastructure and at the same time a milestone for the further development of OPERAS and most importantly an important step in promoting open scholarly communication in Europe. The OPERAS co-coordinator Suzanne Dumouchel (Huma-Num) describes the role of this step for the future of the OPERAS RI: 'Being part of the ESFRI roadmap 2021 makes the OPERAS community very proud. But first, it gives responsibility to us. We now have the necessary environment to realise our mission, which is to support Open Scholarly Communication practices in the field of SSH. And we will live up to this commitment. For us, it is the beginning of a new adventure!'
EKT's contribution to the European research infrastructure OPERAS
The OPERAS research infrastructure, from 2014 until today, has received significant support for the development of its services as well as the inclusion of new members through the implementation of a series of European funded projects, such as OPERAS-D (Design), HIRMEOS, OPERAS -P (Preparation), and TRIPLE. EKT, a key partner of OPERAS, participated in all of the above projects.
In 2014, with the aim of introducing the principles of Open Science to the SSH and ensuring the effective dissemination of and access to research results, the OPERAS network was established with the initial particapation of 16 bodies, including EKT. From 2017 to 2018, the OPERAS-D project identified the long-term requirements for the development of the European infrastructure for open access to SSH publications. For this purpose, within the framework of the project, a special study was prepared for the governance models and the structures of the services that would be provided by the infrastructure and a roadmap for the next steps was formed.
From 2019 to 2021, within the framework of the OPERAS-P project, preparatory work was carried out in view of the new candidacy of the OPERAS network for inclusion in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI).The main goal of the project was to prepare supported bodies and infrastructure for the implementation of the planned upgrades of ESFRI as well as the development of the OPERAS research infrastructure. At the same time, OPERAS become a legal entity. EKT participated in the OPERAS-P project as a partner, with the aim of creating and supporting a forum for user communities, and with active participation in information activities.
Additionally, in 2019, the HIRMEOS project was completed, in which EKT also participated through the eBooks publishing platform of EKT ePublishing. Recognising monographs as the main means of scientific communication in the SSH, the project focused on developing technical solutions for their more effective dissemination in the digital research ecosystem. HIRMEOS leveraged digital technologies and standards widely used by online publishers, adapting them to the five platforms managed by the project partners (OpenEdition Books, OAPEN Library, EKT eBooks, Ubiquity Press and Göttingen University Press). Publishing platforms were enriched with tools that enable the delivery of unique Content Identification (DOI) and Author Identification (ORCID) IDs, enhancing the interoperability of digital publications, and enabling automated certification of Open monographs through the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB). At the same time, new functionalities were developed for the extraction of usage metrics and a named entity recognition and disambiguation tool
Finally, from 2019 until the end of 2023, the TRIPLE project (Transforming Research through Innovative Practices for Linked interdisciplinary Exploration), which aims to address the problems faced by research in the SSH will be implemented, At the heart of TRIPLE is the creation of a digital platform to search, find and reuse material (publications, data, etc.) and to network researchers across Europe, removing barriers in the collaboration of SSH researchers, whether they are due to the fact that scientists belong to different disciplines or a different language is used.