The humanities and social sciences in Open Access: OpenEdition gears up for the future European infrastructure OPERAS

OpenEdition was the instigator of the European network OPERAS, which brings together the main European actors involved in scientific publishing in the humanities and social sciences. The aim is for actors who have developed various tools and platforms to come together and work collaboratively. OpenEdition is coordinating two European projects that have recently obtained European funding and constitute the launch modules of a much larger rocket: a coherent scientific infrastructure that embeds humanities and social science publications in the model of open science developed at the European level.

OpenEdition meets a threefold challenge

OpenEdition has embarked on a process that responds to three different challenges: the decisive entrance of the humanities and social sciences into the digital age; the capacity of the French scientific community to obtain the go-ahead for and lead large-scale European projects; and the embedding of the humanities and social sciences in the European landscape of large scientific infrastructures.

Our OpenEdition Books platform has demonstrated that it is possible to introduce humanities and social science monographs onto platforms combining open access distribution, advanced features, an innovatory economic model, and openness to the wider world. OpenEdition intends to pursue this innovative course with its 19 European partners.

It is sometimes argued that France is not sufficiently involved in European calls for projects: the HIRMEOS and OPERAS-D projects, both coordinated by OpenEdition, auspiciously give the lie to this argument, since the latter project intends to prepare an application for a European infrastructure project. After contributing to winning recognition for its platforms as a national infrastructure, OpenEdition is leading this project that will integrate the human sciences into the European roadmap for large infrastructures, which remain largely confined to the earth and life sciences.

France is at the forefront of efforts to organize a European landscape of humanities publications grappling with rapid digital change and firmly focused on open access.

The HIRMEOS project

An initial European project coordinated by OpenEdition aims to optimise five major platforms publishing research monographs by making them interoperable through new and collaboratively developed features. This project is essentially driven by collaborative research and development to implement new high-added-value services, such as online annotation, the certification of the process of selecting titles, and the development of tools enabling alternative impact measures (altmetrics). The goal is to encourage a greater circulation of the knowledge produced and to integrate the monographs into the European scientific cloud.

HIRMEOS: High Integration of Research Monographs in European Open Science
The five stakeholder platforms: OpenEdition Books (Fr), OAPEN Library (Nl), EKT Open Book Press (Gr), Ubiquity Press (UK) and Göttingen University Press (De).

The OPERAS-D project

OPERAS-D is a project coordinated by OpenEdition. It involves the main European actors in the area of the publication of books in the humanities and social sciences. The initial project is to produce a comprehensive preparatory study setting out the governance, structures, scientific and technical concepts, and roadmap for the future European infrastructure for open access humanities and social science publications. OPERAS-D will enable the expansion of the consortium to other actors in Europe as well as to the full disciplinary range of the human and social sciences.

This European project is a preparatory stage in the coordination of the development of a much larger infrastructure project, one that will be part of ESFRI, the European roadmap for scientific infrastructures, thereby fully embedding the humanities and social sciences in the European research area.

OPERAS: Open Access Publication in the European Research Area for Social Sciences and Humanities
Countries: Italy, Luxembourg, Germany, the UK, Portugal, the Netherlands, France, Croatia, Greece

About OpenEdition

OpenEdition is a French research infrastructure that offers a coherent set of four platforms (, OpenEdition Books, Hypotheses, Calenda). It is developed by the Centre for Open Electronic Publishing (Cléo), a joint service unit bringing together the CNRS, the EHESS, Aix-Marseille University and the University of Avignon.


OPERAS blog:
Contact: Pierre Mounier, deputy director of international development, Cléo:

Cite this blog post
The OpenEdition team (2016, November 29). The humanities and social sciences in Open Access: OpenEdition gears up for the future European infrastructure OPERAS. Open Electronic Publishing. Retrieved June 18, 2024, from

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