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Punctum Co-Director Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei Elected to The OASPA Board of Directors

Published onJul 13, 2020
Punctum Co-Director Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei Elected to The OASPA Board of Directors

Today, OASPA announced the winning candidates of the 2020 election for its Board of Directors, which includes our own Co-Director, Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei! Vincent joins the other new board members Juan Pablo Alperin (PKP), Sarah Greaves (Hindawi), Lara Speicher (UCL Press), and Stephanie Orphan (Portico) in steering this outstanding organization as it champions open access publishing for the global public good.

Established in 2008, The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) is a membership organisation that represent the interests of Open Access (OA) publishers globally in all scientific, technical and scholarly disciplines. This mission is carried out through exchanging information, setting standards, advancing models, advocacy, education, and the promotion of innovation.

See Vincent’s election platform below for insight into the work he plans to carry out while serving on the board. Congratulations to both Vincent, the new Board of Directors, and OASPA at large for their meaningful and progressive work toward strengthening our community!

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei’s Election Platform

The platform that I propose for my candidacy to the OASPA board is based on three principles: publicly funded knowledge ought to be freely accessible; open access requires open infrastructure; without the inclusion of non-Western scholcomm perspectives, open access cannot be equitable.

OASPA represents the interests of open access publishers in a scholarly communications landscape that is rapidly evolving, through the introduction of initiatives such as Plan S, the cancellation of package deals with commercial publishing conglomerates, and the rise of transformative agreements. All of these developments have both led to a broadening and diversification of the open access debate and business models, as testified by the proliferation of “open” solutions, variants, and colors, but has also obfuscated the basic ethical imperative that provides the foundation of open access: publicly funded research ought to be freely available to the public. Leadership in the scholarly publishing field means to actively promote this as the core tenet of open access publishing, as a horizon of equity.

It is becoming increasingly clear that without a commitment and further development of open scholarly infrastructure, open access publishing will continue to be vulnerable to form of commercial capture that open access was intended to resist and change. The OA Switchboard, initiated by OASPA, is an example of such infrastructure that should provide a durable foundation for open access publishing models to thrive in the long term. At the same time, outreach to and active collaboration with open source development communities that are working on different aspects of scholarly communications could further enhance the future prospects of open access and facilitate further innovation in the field.

Finally, it is clear that the membership of OASPA is still primarily centered around Western academic publishing, whereas the Global South both has extensive and useful experience with OA infrastructure (for example in South America), and is most in need of access to scholarly literature. Open access will not be equitable as long as those voices are not given significantly more prominence within the open access debate, both within OASPA and within the wider scholarly publishing community.


Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei studied composition at the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague, linguistics at Leiden University and UMass Amherst (MA, 2005), and ArtScience at the Royal Art Academy, The Hague (MMus, 2007). He holds a PhD in Media and Communications from the European Graduate School, Saas-Fee (2011, summa cum laude), and a PhD in Modern Thought from the University of Aberdeen (2017). In 2011, he founded publishing house Uitgeverij, and in 2016 he joined punctum books as co-director and Chief Financial Officer.

In addition to his work for punctum, Vincent has hands-on experience in the Dutch non-profit landscape, having served on the board of several cultural institutions, including the Leiden Linguistics Student Association TWIST and Stichting Zeebelt (The Hague), while also serving on the Committee for Creative Development of the Municipality of The Hague.

Founded in 2011, punctum books is a fully OA publisher which charges no author-facing fees. Over the years, punctum books has been a prominent voice in the scholarly publishing and scholarly communications landscape, both in terms of its advocacy for public access to publicly funded knowledge, and through its emphasis on the importance of community-owned open infrastructure for the transition to a more fully OA scholarly publishing landscape. Therefore, punctum books is engaged in multiple partnerships focused on building open infrastructures, such as with the Coko Foundation who are developing open-source book publishing software (Editoria), and we are also one of the main partners in the Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs (COPIM) project funded by Research England and the Arcadia Foundation.

Vincent plays a central role in these partnerships, as well in punctum books’ unique partnership with University of California-Santa Barbara (UCSB) Library, centered around open books in the humanities and social sciences, and modelling new modes of collaboration in scholarly communications between publishers and academic libraries. He also actively contributes to public debates around scholarly publishing and open access (see, for example, his recent piece “Viral Open Access in the Times of a Global Pandemic”).

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