This is a guest post by Dora Sales and Alessandra Farné of the Universitat Jaume I, Spain
Before the COVID-19 pandemic came into our lives, the movement to foster open science and open access publishing was certainly already a key and essential aspect of all higher education agendas. But it can now be said that one of the many consequences of the pandemic is the revolution it has brought about in the scientific publishing system. There is growing awareness that the push for open science favours scientific research and the democratisation of knowledge. Open access makes research accessible to anyone who wants to consult it, whether to learn more, to apply its results or to continue building knowledge.
In Spain, the new Organic Law of the University System, which is expected to be approved and come into force in the coming months, explicitly speaks of the promotion of Open Science and Citizen Science. It enhances that scientific knowledge should be considered a common good and that, for this reason, public administrations and universities will have to promote Open Science through open access to publications and data that guarantee the communication of research, in order to achieve the objectives of responsible research and innovation promoted by the scientific community.
Increasingly, university staff, at all stages, need to be equipped with academic literacy about the publication and scholarly communication options available to them throughout their careers. To this end, instructional and multiplier teaching resources are essential. Aware of the inspiring work that Chris Morrison and Jane Secker (UK Copyright Literacy) have been developing for years, we have translated one of their star materials, The Publishing Trap (v2.0, available as an online resource), to prepare the Spanish version. The Publishing Trap is a game about research dissemination and scholarly communication in higher education. Ultimately, the game helps to understand how money, intellectual property rights and open and closed publishing models affect the dissemination and impact of research, and is of enormous value in advocating for greater acceptance of open access publishing models and trying to encourage academic staff to make informed decisions. The Publishing Trap is thought-provoking as well as instructive, and it does so in a fun way!
The Spanish version is currently in beta phase. The translation has not required, in principle, too many adaptations. To mention just one detail, for example, in the case of the Consultancy round, for the Spanish version we have added the concept of Transfer (transferencia) to align with university legislation. This June we have piloted the material by playing it with a group of colleagues and PhD students from our university, with diverse academic profiles and at different stages of their university career. With their (enthusiastic!) feedback we will revise the material and develop a more complex pilot when the new academic year begins, starting in September, before sharing the material with the Spanish-speaking community this autumn.
We will keep you posted!
Dora Sales is Senior Lecturer in the area of Library and Information Science (Tenured in Information Literacy for Translators and Interpreters), Department of Translation and Communication at the Universitat Jaume I.
Alessandra Farné is Lecturer (on tenure track) in the area of Library and Information Science, Department of Translation and Communication at the Universitat Jaume I.