LIBER-OCLC: Innovation Awards 2020 – Arjan Schalken

LIBER-OCLC: Innovation Awards 2020 – Arjan Schalken


LIBER–OCLC Innovation Awards 2020 WINNER – Arjan Schalken

The annual LIBER Award for Library Innovation was instituted by LIBER with the support of OCLC. Every year we recognise the three abstracts which best describe innovative work within the overall theme of each specific LIBER Annual Conference.

The award was originally intended to support the physical participation of awardees, enabling them to travel to the LIBER Conference. Due to our LIBER 2020 Conference (Building Trust with Research Libraries) being shifted online, awardees were not able to make use of their award money to fund their physical participation.

As such, in December 2020, LIBER and OCLC decided to adapt the OCLC Innovation Award to rather fund a project run by the library/institution of the awardees.

Background of the Awardee

One of our awardees for 2020 was Arjan Schalken, UKB (Dutch consortium of university libraries), The Netherlands for his paper ‘Trust as key element in implementing green open access based on Dutch Copyright Law: sharing good practices from the You Share We Take Care pilot’.

More information about the current status of this initiative can be found on

The project that is funded with the award is also supporting open access but focusses on preprints.

Project Description

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

The team comprises seven Open Access and Open Science specialists, working at various Dutch universities and member of/aligned to the national Open Access working group of all Dutch university libraries (UKB).

The team members are:

Kristina Hettne – Leiden University

Arjan Schalken, UKB, UKB (Dutch consortium of university libraries and the National library of The Netherlands)

Dirk van Gorp – Radboud University

Jeroen Sondervan – Utrecht University

Ron Aardening – Maastricht University

Nicole Loorbach – University Twente

Astrid van Wesenbeeck – Royal Library of the Netherlands

Chantal Hukkelhoven – Wageningen University

Mainly acting as an advisory board, the National OA working group has been around for several years now, and its members have been involved in various national and international OA projects. The group also maintains the Dutch national Open Access website:

In recent years, there has been an increased interest in preprints within the academic community. By sharing preprints, researchers can make their work available well before the sometimes-lengthy submission process has finished, and this may have the added benefit of peer commenting before publication.

For some disciplines, a preprint archive is even a common final stop in the publication process. However, the sharing of publications before ‘official’ peer review has its risks, especially in a world where the sharing of early results amongst a wider (non-academic) audience can have unintended negative consequences.

Furthermore, though preprint sharing may be the norm in some disciplines, there are many researchers and supporting personnel who are as of yet (relatively) unfamiliar with the principle. Thus, the Dutch Open Access working group felt there is a need for clarification regarding preprints, not just for the academic world, but also for journalists and citizens, who may not have an appropriate background knowledge to properly evaluate/use preprints.

In this project the abovementioned team will develop a guide or instrument to inform researchers, journalists and citizens about preprints, answering the following questions (among others): What are preprints? What are the pros and cons of a preprint? Which repositories exist and what are the differences between them? How about the quality of preprints? etc. etc.

How did the Innovation Award make a difference in fulfilling the project?

The time and effort to write the guide or develop another instrument will be reimbursed by the respective universities where the participants are based. However, additional resources are necessary if we are to ensure that the guide/instrument will be used as extensively as possible. With such a wide audience, limiting ourselves to our usual institution-based communication channels will be counterproductive. A selection of the most suitable communication venues will be part of the project, and so cannot be included in this document.

Funds will be assigned to both communication (also to non-academic audiences), and to creation and publishing purposes, in order to make the end product as visually attractive, and easy to comprehend, as possible.


53rd LIBER Annual Conference