An Interview with TU Delft Open Publishing on joining OASPA

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TU Delft OPEN Publishing has recently become a member of OASPA in the small professional publisher category, further enriching the growing community of members. To gain more insight into their recent affiliation with OASPA and to learn more about them, we conducted an interview with Just de Leeuwe, Publishing and Open Access Advisor.


Q. Tell us a bit about your organisation and the service it provides – and your role within it.

TU Delft OPEN Publishing is the diamond open access publisher of Delft University of Technology, established 1842, the oldest and largest technical university in the Netherlands. We have acted since the inception in 2019 as an alternative to commercial publishers and have no APCs or BPCs.

We publish scientific journals that we launch or have journals transferred to us from another business model. We publish books in the form of monographs, edited volumes and textbooks for students. We also assist editors in publishing conference volumes. I am the senior publishing officer and my main focus is to implement the strategic goals of the University and embed our services within the university faculties and stakeholders. Together with our colleagues, I share my passion for open science and open publishing  to provide publishing services to our community and I am  overseeing the launch of innovative new types of publications.


Q. Why did you decide to join OASPA and what do you hope to get out of your OASPA membership? 

We hope that OASPA will be a unifying factor that supports all bona fide open access initiatives and thus act as a partner for us in the work we do.

We hope to learn from all the examples, best practices and advice that come to us through OASPA. The OASPA lectures are a good example of this. Furthermore, we hope that OASPA will work hard to tell the story of open access in a compelling way, including to policy makers and funders. We are also looking forward to being recognised as a credible partner (publisher) in the diamond open access landscape and stay informed on the latest developments in publishing. 


Q. How is your organization showing its commitment to making globally equitable participation in open scholarly communication a reality?

Anyone with a working relationship at TU Delft can publish free of charge with us. We review work solely for scientific or educational value. Potential authors or editors can come to us in an approachable way and get advice from us. For those who do not wish to publish with TU Delft OPEN Publishing, we provide advice. For example, we review contracts of publishers to see if the balance between publisher and author is correct. 


Q. What do you think are the main challenges for funders and institutions to move to incentivising open publishing practices as a positive contribution to career development?

We are working hard to measure and value impact in a different way. That means less emphasis on the traditional metrics like IF and more emphasis on values that are society oriented.

It is also important to name and value all those who make contributions to the publication as a final product. Think of the reviewers, the helping hand of student assistants, the creators of the scientific figures, translators, the authors of the underlying datasets.

Fortunately, the topic of Recognition and Rewards at the national level is becoming a regular part of academic appreciation and scientists’ careers. But there is still much work to be done.

We are also working on raising awareness of the institution’s actual costs associated with transformative agreements. The aim is to trigger a behaviour shift and ultimately a change of culture in research. 


Q. How do you think OASPA can help mitigate those challenges?

OASPA’s long track record and thorough information as a body has given it the stature of an authority. An authority made for and by its members and therefore reflecting the status quo and recent developments. In addition, through workshops and seminars it creates openings for community members to connect with each other. That allows for broadening of knowledge and progression in the actions of the participants. 


Q. Anything else you wish to share?

Collaboration with appropriate partners is important to us: other Dutch University presses as University of Groningen Press and Radboud University Press, index bodies like DOAJ and DOAB, the Association of European University Presses (AEUP

Since 2022 TU Delft OPEN Publishing has been working closely with several publishers to publish the books of authors affiliated with Delft in open access modus. This is done on the basis of mutual interests and based on affordable financial principles.

The TU Delft academics are at the heart of our services. We listen to their needs and we value their input, and as a result offer tailor-made, professional services.

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