Governing Council meeting (remote) on October 20th-21st 2020

The Governing Council (GC) of the SCOAP3 Collaboration–the world’s largest disciplinary open access initiative—held its annual meeting on October 20th-21st, during Open Access week 2020.

Organized virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a total of 47 participants (representing 25 countries and 2 international organizations) from across the SCOAP3 collaboration met to discuss major strategic issues for the program towards advancing its mission to provide open access to the research literature in particle physics at no financial burden to authors. 

The meeting of the 2020 GC was focused on two major strategic initiatives. The first was to vote on the recommendation of the SCOAP3 Tender Working Group (STWG) to maintain the current scope of the SCOAP3 initiative, in terms of publishing services and procurement conditions, by arranging a two-year extension of Phase 3 (currently 2020-2022) under existing terms. This recommendation was developed specifically to provide members of the SCOAP3 partnership (partner institutions and participating publishers) with stability during the financial uncertainty resulting from the COVID19 pandemic. The proposal by the STWG was subject to deliberation and members discussed the effects of the pandemic on institutional and local finances. There was broad agreement that SCOAP3 provides excellent value for money when benchmarked against other initiatives, and members agreed that it should be prioritised for support. As a result, the GC voted unanimously to support this proposal.

The second major strategic initiative under discussion was the SCOAP3 for Books program, an effort to transition a list of important books in high-energy physics and related disciplines to open access. Members of the Governing Council received an update from CERN on the ongoing procurement process, and were informed of the discussions to transition the identified texts to open.

During the meeting, some changes were also made to the governing entities of SCOAP3. Yan Zhao from the NSTL in China was elected to her second 2-year term, and Matthew Marsteller from Carnegie Mellon University elected to his third 2-year term, on the SCOAP3 Executive Committee (ExCo). After serving two full terms, Florian Schwennsen from DESY stepped down from the ExCo, and received a round of thanks from the GC for his participation, intellectual engagement, and consistent support of SCOAP3. Following a call for nominations in September 2020, Judith Ludwig, from the German National Library for Science and Technology (TIB), was appointed to her first term on the SCOAP3 Exco, commencing in 2021. Finally, the GC thanked its Chair (and ex-officio member of the ExCo) since 2017, Ivy Anderson of the California Digital Library, whose term expires at the end of 2020. Ivy’s involvement in SCOAP3 predates the initiative itself, as she has been involved since the program was originally conceived, marking over a decade of service towards SCOAP3’s mission. Ivy will be replaced in the role of Chair of the GC by Clare Appavoo of CRKN in Canada, who will commence her first term in 2021.