Networking (national communities)

This topic provides a forum for national communities to present and exchange experiences regarding the setting up of national networks to promote open scholarly communication, the lessons learned, the challenges faced, as well as the ways in which national communities and stakeholders respond to user needs as identified in each case. By enabling community interaction, we seek to strengthen efforts undertaken at national level, but also provide support and guidance to stakeholders who seek to develop national nodes and enhance cooperation at national and European level on open scholarly communication.

Dear all,

We recently set up a national node of OPERAS in Germany. If you would like to know a bit more, feel free to read our blogpost about the project start of OPERAS-GER here: Start of OPERAS-GER: First national node of OPERAS in Germany – OPERAS . On behalf of this forum, we would like to exchange ideas and experiences with you.

In a nutshell – OPERAS-GER is the first funded start of a national node. The aim of OPERAS-GER is to transfer the objectives and services of the project from the European level to the national level, and therefore to enhance awareness of OPERAS in Germany. Simultaneously, the German community aims to contribute at a European level in the form of services, knowledge and needs.

Currently, the main challenges we are facing in this process is a decentralised and fragmented landscape in Germany regarding the SSH. Obviously, the same is found at a European level. Thus, parallel structures are sometimes arising, which makes it more difficult for researchers to maintain an overview about open access possibilities. Furthermore, for publishers, libraries or research institutions it is equally challenging to have an overview over which infrastructures and services already exist and which will fit their needs best. In some cases, this may also lead to individual solutions in each institution, developing tools or deals. Interdisciplinarity is also a standard lip service but unfortunately not yet a common academic standard in Germany, which may also explain the fragmentation.

This leads me to my first question:

  • A) When you also face such fragmented and decentralised landscapes in your countries, how do you handle the situation? What are your strategies?

Anyway, the German government is aiming to establish Open Access as a standard for scholarly publishing and some of the Federal German States have set up a strategy years ago. Even if others didn’t, the developments differ from Federal state to Federal state and even from one university or research institution to another etc. And there are still various disciplines which rather focus on specialised solutions for their own needs than to foster common and comprehensive solutions for several disciplines.

Since 2019, the aim of the German government has been to establish a national research data infrastructure (called “Nationale Forschungsdateninfrastruktur”, abbreviated to NFDI).

From our perspective, that’s a great progress. Thus, my next questions are the following:

  • B) Do you face similar approaches in your countries? Or is Germany one of the first ones establishing a central research data infrastructure?
  • C) How is the progress of Open Access as a standard in your country?

The main target groups we aim to address are publishers, research institutions and libraries, to raise awareness of the services which are offered by OPERAS. Furthermore, we aim to integrate their needs to further develop the services at a European level. Our strategy is to conduct workshops, direct contacts and develop further info materials (as well as maintain social media channels).

Consequently, I would need support with the following questions:

  • D) Do you focus more on addressing (young) researchers directly?
  • E) Which activities do you conduct to reach your national communities?

I look forward to learn from your experiences and ideas.

Sorry if my post is a little bit long, but I would love to share insights with you.

Best wishes,


Dear Marlen,
I am a phd candidate and a researcher in the University of West Attica in Hellas. Also, I am a manager in AFIMEC, which is a scientific open access e-journal for Animation, Film, Interactive Media in Education and in Culture.
I have to say that the National Documentation Centre (NDC) of Hellas collects data and it follows an open access strategy, trying to gather researchers and phd candidates to communities, informing them about fuding opportunities. I think that this efford is in a primary stage for the researchers and phd candidates. The phd candidates and researchers need to be more extrovert and open to these communities, forums and such facilities and services.
As a phd candidate, I have difficulty in accessing the data I am interested in and I mean books and statistics, which are expensive.
As an open access e-journal manager, I am proud to say that this e-journal is a source that collects and disseminates all the researchers’ work and it is a complementary source of educative material in a university programme in the Open University of Patras.
All the other Universities in Hellas, embrace this journal and they support it submitting articles such as Ionian university, University of Aegean and others.
I focus on phd candidates more and I reach these communities through the community of university professors in my country
This is my first post, and I felt I needed to give my ID data and my opinion on what is going on in Hellas.

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Dear Lamprini,

thank you very much for your comment and insights! Sounds great, even if Hellas (or the institutions in Hellas) is in a primary stage as you put it. A primary stage is always better than no stage :slight_smile: I totally agree with your argument that Phd candidates and researchers have to be more open to these kind of processes. Nevertheless, I think that is only one aspect. In my opinion the obstacles of the process and access to these information should be as low as possible and I think in this case we still have a few steps to go (at least I can say that for Germany). Your e-journal is already a great example for a great start and that open access can work with such a great impact! It sounds great, congratulations for your initative!
Best wishes, Marlen

The Federal Ministry of Research and Education has funded various new Open Access projects in Germany (see One of these is our Open Source Academic Publishing Suite (OS-APS) project. It will relieve both publishers and authors of the time-consuming task of formatting and typesetting. In addition, various e-book formats such as EPUB, PDF, HTML can be created automatically (the PDF also in the desired design of the publisher, using typesetting templates). We would like to gather various requirements from publishers and editors in the course of the project (e.g. via surveys, interviews, etc.). Interested parties are very welcome to get in touch:

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