Niels Stern appointed as Director of OAPEN and Co-Director of DOAB

The Hague, 25 November 2020. The OAPEN Foundation is delighted to announce that Niels Stern has been appointed as Director of OAPEN Foundation. Niels will take over from Eelco Ferwerda on the 1st of January, as Eelco will retire at the end of this year. Niels will also join Pierre Mounier as a member of the Executive Board of DOAB Foundation. And at the same time, Ronald Snijder will be appointed as Deputy Director of OAPEN.

The appointment comes at an exciting time for OAPEN, ten years after the launch of OAPEN Foundation and a few months after the launch of our newest resource, the OAPEN OA Books Toolkit. At the same time, we are migrating DOAB to an open source platform as part of the ongoing OPERAS-P project. And last but not least, OAPEN and DOAB were jointly deemed essential open science services by SCOSS, the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services, and are seeking support from the open science community in the current SCOSS funding cycle.

On behalf of the Board of the OAPEN Foundation, chairman Bas Savenije said: “In the past 10 years Eelco Ferwerda has successfully transformed OAPEN from a project to an organisation which is recognised internationally as an important player in open access book publishing. Important steps towards a sustainable organisation have been made and we are confident that Niels Stern is the right person to continue Eelco’s work and to shape the future development of OAPEN. The Board thanks Eelco for his accomplishments and we wish him the very best.”

“I feel very privileged to continue the great work that Eelco Ferwerda and his team have delivered for a decade now,” said Niels Stern. “OAPEN and DOAB are key services for scholarly open access book publishing. The number of books and their usage on the new platform is increasing rapidly, and both OAPEN and DOAB are deeply engaged in many exciting projects and networks, e.g. the OPERAS network. The momentum for OA books is rising. Being part of the SCOSS campaign adds to this momentum for OAPEN and DOAB. I look very much forward to contributing to the further development of OAPEN and DOAB to the benefit of the community for scholarly book publishing.”

Eelco Ferwerda said: “I have been very fortunate to have had a role in the development of OAPEN and DOAB and it has been a joy to work with so many people from all over the world with a passion for open access. I am thrilled that Niels is taking over and can’t imagine anyone better suited to lead OAPEN and DOAB in the years ahead. Although I am now retiring, I do hope to remain involved in OAPEN and DOAB in new ways, and do new things in the area of OA books.”

About Niels Stern

Niels Stern began his career in scholarly book publishing in 2003 with an emphasis on marketing and digital publishing. In this capacity he became a co-founder of the OAPEN project in 2008. Moving on to the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2011 as head of publishing he created a Nordic open access policy and publication repository. Since 2014 Niels Stern has acted as an independent expert for the European Commission on open science and e-infrastructures. He has evaluated and reviewed numerous European projects, such as HIRMEOS and OPERAS-D. In 2017 he joined the Royal Danish Library as head of department, managing licence portfolios for five universities and serving as chief negotiator for the national licence consortium. Niels Stern holds a Master of Arts degree from University of Copenhagen (Nordic Literature and Languages) and a Master of Arts degree from Goldsmiths College, University of London (Communication). He has published articles on open access and other subjects and in 2017 he co-authored the Knowledge Exchange Landscape study on monographs and open access together with Frances Pinter and Eelco Ferwerda.

Contact: Niels Stern at