OpenEdition contributes to European projects focusing on developing the ‘Diamond’ publishing model

OpenEdition is participating in the recently launched DIAMAS, CRAFT-OA and PALOMERA projects. Funded by the European Commission, these projects will help map out the Diamond Open Access publishing landscape and strengthen this virtuous publishing model. Sandra Guigonis, deputy director and head of OpenEdition’s Editorial Department, and Pierre Mounier, deputy director, head of OpenEdition’s International Department and coordinator of OPERAS (the European research infrastructure project) explain why these projects are so important in terms of OpenEdition’s editorial and international strategies.

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  • In March 2022, OpenEdition was one of the first to sign the Action Plan for Diamond Open Access, jointly launched by the French National Research Agency (ANR), Science Europe, the OPERAS consortium (coordinated by OpenEdition) and cOAlition S. The DIAMAS, CRAFT-OA and PALOMERA projects come in the wake of this action plan. What do they consist of exactly?

PM. The projects were responses to calls for proposals launched around the same time by the European Commission, the goal being to strengthen the open access publishing practices of research institutions, including universities and learned societies. Each project has a different scope: DIAMAS deals with the “non-technical” aspects (good practices, training, financial stability), CRAFT-OA with the technical aspects (infrastructures for diffusion, publishing tools, indexing services) and PALOMERA focuses more specifically on books (harmonisation of policies that encourage open access). The Commission explicitly requested that the three projects be aligned to work towards the common goal of creating a global “Capacity Centre”, which will benefit publishers applying the Diamond Open Access model (i.e. not asking authors to pay publishing fees). These projects, led by the University of Aix-Marseille, the University of Göttingen and OPERAS, are each made up of a large consortium (23, 20 and 16 partners). These consortia are unique in that they bring together institutions of all types and sizes from throughout the European Research Area (ERA). They include universities and research bodies, such as the CNRS, as well as research funding bodies, such as Science Europe, government agencies, such as Fecyt, infrastructures, such as DOAJ, OpenEdition, OAPEN and OPERAS, and numerous umbrella organisations that represent vast communities, such as LIBER and SPERC Europe for libraries, OASPA for publishers, cOAlition S and Science Europe for research funding organisations (including ANR in France), and TSV, which represents learned societies in Finland. In short, we sought to rally a large part of the European scientific community, in all its geographical and scholarly diversity, in an unprecedented effort to support and promote the Diamond Open Access model and enable the community to work together towards this goal.

SG. The aim of the Action Plan for Diamond Open Access is to bring together the various Diamond Open Access ecosystem stakeholders (journals and platforms) at international level, to align and develop common resources and increase their visibility. Coming in the wake of this action plan, the three European calls for proposals were an opportunity for those stakeholders to achieve that goal and implement the plan’s recommendations. It was logical for OpenEdition to take part in these projects which are fully in line with our objectives. Since the founding of the platform in 1999, OpenEdition has always promoted open knowledge sharing alongside learning about scholarly publishing tools and practices, because developing open access digital publishing is as much a core part of our objectives as helping others use it and sharing our expertise.

  • In what way does OpenEdition contribute to these projects?

PM. OpenEdition has become particularly good at providing training in open access digital publishing to journal and book publishers, thanks to our learning model. We will be bringing this expertise to the DIAMAS project, which we will also be coordinating thanks to the support of our supervisory body, the University of Aix-Marseille and its research promotion offshoot ProtisValor Mediterranée. For the CRAFT-OA project, we are in charge of a “work package” that is entirely devoted to increasing the visibility of Diamond publications by making the indexing process more user-friendly. We are counting on our hard-working partners, such as Mir@bel, to help us achieve that. Otherwise, the main reason for taking part in the PALOMERA project is to represent our community of publishers and make sure that their specific needs are taken into account in the end-of-project analyses and recommendations.

SG.  The expertise we offer is also down to the privileged relationships we have built over time with all members of the scholarly publishing community. We want to work together with our communities and partners on these three projects. As Pierre said, the resources and training courses we offer our communities are central to the learning model we promote. The model encourages autonomy and is based on recognition of the work and expertise of the people whose job it is to produce scholarly publications. Although the DIAMAS project draws directly on this aspect of our work, the CRAFT-OA project also includes the production of materials and documents for Diamond communities. Last but not least, offering a virtuous and sustainable economic model for open access scholarly publishing is also a key challenge for the projects.

  • These projects also relate to other disciplines outside of the social and human sciences. How are the ideas shared across the different disciplines? Are there disparities between disciplines? Is there anything that is specific to the social and human sciences?

PM. It’s true that the Diamond model is used beyond the social and human sciences. The study we undertook prior to these projects revealed that a little over half of Diamond journals belonged to the social and human sciences. It is interesting to note that the Diamond model is predominant in open access journals geared to the social and human sciences disciplines, whereas in the fields of science, technology and medicine (STM), this model is used alongside others, such as the Gold-APC model (an open access model that requires authors to pay publishing fees) proposed by commercial publishers, which symbolically dominates the Diamond model. The contrast between the two disciplinary “blocks” is therefore significant, although somewhat artificial (there are numerous variations between disciplines within each “block”).

SG. I think that one of the things that sets the human and social sciences apart is the importance of multilingualism. Whereas English has become the lingua franca of science, technology and medicine, a wide variety of languages can be found in the work published by researchers from the social and human sciences. It is one of the facets of bilbliodiversity, and there may be tensions between an international publishing system that tends to generalise the use of English and the importance of ensuring that scholarly works are produced in native languages. The three projects address these challenges  – bibliodiversity and multilingualism – simply by bringing partners from all European countries together, like the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies and the University of Coimbra, which have been working on these issues for several years.

  • How will the findings produced by these projects benefit OpenEdition?

SG. These projects will enable us to bolster the international side of our activities and services. Indeed, they already resonate for us from an international perspective as almost a quarter of the book and journal publishers at OpenEdition, along with around two thirds of the visitors to our platform, come from outside of France. It reflects a flow of knowledge that goes beyond national borders and it also highlights the role of infrastructures like ours in promoting this kind of international dissemination and visibility, including by making it easier for our communities to join extranational networks, as well as local ones such as Médici, Repères and Mir@bel. Practically speaking, some project deliverables will be immediately available for use: documentary resources and training materials, good practices and recommendations, guidance on database and aggregator indexing, technical tools and software. All the deliverables will be made available in the future Capacity Centre. We will be able to apply the deliverables that are most relevant to our services to our own context. And on a broader scale, the entire Diamond community, which is made up of OpenEdition partners and contributors for the most, will also benefit.

  • The global dimension of open science is evolving rapidly and OpenEdition is one of the major players. What other European or international projects is OpenEdition involved in?

PM. OpenEdition’s international strategy is tied in with the development of OPERAS, the European infrastructure dedicated to open scholarly communication. We therefore coordinate several projects related to the development of our activities in several areas: the TRIPLE project, which is coming to an end, has enabled development of the GoTriple discovery platform for the social and human sciences; COESO, coordinated by the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences) is developing a participatory research support platform called VERA; the OPERA-PLUS project, coordinated by our key partner in Germany, the Max Weber Stiftung, is contributing to the development of the OPERAS infrastructure itself. We are also taking part in Skills4EOSC projects on open science training and coordinating a project funded by the Mellon Foundation on usage metrics for open access books. You can find the list of all the projects we are involved in here:

  • What are the next milestones in terms of OpenEdition’s editorial and international strategies?

SG. OpenEdition’s editorial strategy is multifaceted and includes continuing to develop high-quality, smooth relations with our communities, as well as streamlining and boosting access to our services and resources. Several actions and projects are leading us in the right direction, especially under the aegis of the COMMONS project. From an international perspective, our strategy is tied in with the development of OPERAS. We will have the chance to present our strategies at the upcoming “Rencontres OpenEdition” event in Marseille next May.

PM. We are in the process of launching the projects we have just been talking about. The projects are due to last between 18 months and three years. Our long-term objective is to create this “Capacity Centre”, which we hope will have a global reach. One of the main challenges we face is building bridges with Diamond publishing communities outside of the European network.

For more information

Read the University of Aix-Marseille’s press release.

Cite this blog post
OpenEdition team (2023, February 9). OpenEdition contributes to European projects focusing on developing the ‘Diamond’ publishing model. Open Electronic Publishing. Retrieved June 18, 2024, from

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