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University of Maryland works with HELIOS on open scholarship initiatives, with UMD Libraries in the lead.

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Last year, the University of Maryland was excited to join the Higher Education Leadership Initiative for Open Scholarship, or HELIOS, a new national initiative aiming to spark collective action to advance open scholarship. According to HELIOS, open scholarship (sometimes called “open science” or “open research”) is “an expansive term meant to encompass the rapid and widespread sharing of a range of scholarly activities and outputs, across disciplines,” including the research process itself, open access publication, and data sharing. HELIOS is a community of practice launched by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Scholarship. HELIOS’s membership now consists of almost 90 colleges and universities that have pledged to develop open policies, incentives, and practices on their campuses.

Even before joining HELIOS, several UMD faculty champions and academic units were working to advance open scholarship. For example, in 2020, the UMD Libraries initiated and cosponsored the creation of UMD PACT, which brought together open scholarship leaders across the university and promoted a new campus-wide Equitable Access Policy, approved in 2022. UMD Libraries recently launched its Open Scholarship Services program and is an institutional partner of the Open Science Framework, a collaborative research platform produced by the Center for Open Science. The Libraries are also working with other Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) schools on read-and-publish licensing agreements and other models that will result in broader public access to research and scholarship.

Several current members of UMD PACT are involved in HELIOS. Dr. Adriene Lim, dean of Libraries, is serving as the University’s designated representative, and has been an active participant in the Shared Open Source Infrastructure subgroup, which is currently creating a rubric for higher education workers to make informed decisions about when to buy, build, or partner on scholarly communications infrastructure.

Dr. Philip Cohen, professor in UMD’s Sociology Department and founder of the open access digital repository SocArXiv, joined the Cross-Sector Alignment group, which works to make connections with relevant groups in the ecosystem, such as government agencies, professional societies, and higher education and library organizations.

And Dr. Michael Dougherty, chair and professor in UMD’s Psychology Department, is a member of the Institutional and Departmental Policy Language subgroup. Dougherty recently spearheaded important open scholarship changes in Psychology, codifying open science within the department’s criteria related to faculty tenure, promotion, and annual review, and launched a funding initiative in his department aimed at broadening participation in science more generally.

UMD’s work with HELIOS is aligned with the federal government’s priorities as well. This past August, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a memo advising that all research publications and associated data produced by way of federal funding should be made free and accessible to the public without embargoes by 2026.

UMD Libraries has long advocated for open scholarship on our campus, and is looking forward to more national initiatives like HELIOS that will make knowledge more accessible, equitable, and sustainable for all.

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