The Research Infrastructure dedicated to supporting and sustaining open scholarly communication in the Social Sciences and Humanities in Europe, OPERAS began, in September, a new phase of development with the OPERAS-PLUS project. UC is a member of the Executive Assembly of the European infrastructure and has strong participation in the new project, leading one of the eight work packages and a task dedicated to a future infrastructure service, besides supporting other strategic activities.
The recently started project has a 3-year duration and has obtained 2.7 million euros in funding from the European Commission to further develop and sustain the infrastructure and its services in the transition to become an ERIC: European Research Infrastructure Consortium. OPERAS was selected in the ESFRI Roadmap in 2021 for its scientific excellence and strategic importance for the European Research Area (ERA). Its transition to an operational ERIC will take place by the year 2028.
The OPERAS-PLUS project intends to support this implementation process. It will strengthen the infrastructure in its preparatory phase, keeping the path towards implementation as an ERIC. The project is focused on two main pillars, from which the working groups are structured and organised. On the one hand, there is the Infrastructure Sustainability pillar; on the other, the Service Management pillar.
The project's objectives for the infrastructure development include:
● Strengthening its governance structure in terms of financial, legal and human resources;
● Supporting the network of national nodes (central support points from each national representative) and its national activities;
● Developing the service portfolio by providing both the necessary technology and a monitoring system for services development;
● Maximising the impact of OPERAS in the European Research Area and internationally, extending it beyond its current scope, and onboarding new members and countries into the infrastructure.
The official start of OPERAS-PLUS took place on 01 September 2022, with its virtual kick-off meeting on 31 August, and a face-to-face kick-off on 04 and 05 October at OPERAS' headquarters in Brussels. The meetings were attended by representatives of the 14 countries that are part of the project (13 from the European Union and the United Kingdom). Check the list of members on the project page.
Role of the University of Coimbra
The University of Coimbra is a member of the Executive Assembly (core group) of OPERAS and is strongly engaged in the OPERAS-PLUS project, leading a work package aimed at the development of national nodes (WP7), and leading a task force to study the development of the academic translation platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities (task 5.5), both coordinated by Delfim Leão, with Task 5.5 also involving UC Framework. Moreover, the UC has strong participation in the working group dedicated to communication and dissemination (WP8). The University also provides support to the other work packages of the project, fulfilling its role as the national representative of Portugal in OPERAS and a leader of the Special Interest Group focused on the theme of Multilingualism. Carmen Soares, Lorena Caliman, Nelson Ferreira and Isabel Gouveia are the members of the Centre for Classical and Humanistic Studies who integrate the project. Learn more about the Special Interest Groups of OPERAS on this page.
The body of work will stand in the continuity of work already realised in the former projects - OPERAS-D, OPERAS-P, HIRMEOS, as well as collaborating with ongoing projects: COESO; TRIPLE; DIAMAS; Skills4EOSC, and other projects coming up in 2023.
OPERAS-PLUS is coordinated in Germany by the Max Weber Stiftung, headed by Michael Kaiser.
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Project webpage: operas-eu.org/projects/operas-plus/
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