Greek National Workshop
The National Documentation Centre of Greece (EKT) organizes the National Workshop on Open Access policies, which will take place on Thursday, December 6th, 2012 at the Auditorium “Leonidas Zervas” of the National Hellenic Research Foundation (NHRF) in Athens. The workshop is part of the project activities of MedOANet (Mediterranean Open Access Network, www.medoanet.eu), which is led by EKT. The project addresses the necessity for coordinated strategies and policies which promote Open Access to research and knowledge, with a focus on six Mediterranean countries: Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal.
The Workshop aims to present current European policies and highlight best international policy practices, present the current situation in Greece and facilitate the process of implementing policies in Greece. It is one of the six national Workshops that take place during autumn 2012 in Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Turkey.
To learn more on the workshop, please visit http://www.medoanet.eu/events/greek-national-workshop.
Spanish National Workshop
The Spanish National Workshop has been celebrated on October 22nd, 2012. It has been organized by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) as part of the International Open Access week agenda.
The Spanish Task Force brings together all stakeholders involved in the Open Access movement: decision makers, research evaluation agencies, researchers, librarians and scientific editors. FECYT is working with them all in order to obtain their contributions for developing a roadmap on how to implement properly the Article 37 of the new Law of Science, Technology and Innovation about Open Access.
For the National Workshop there were invited speakers from those Regional Governments that already have an OA mandate (Madrid and Asturias), from public Universities with OA mandate (Autonomous University of Barcelona and University of Alicante), and experts in copyright issues. Also, a live connection was made with the Portuguese National Workshop.
This workshop brought about an important link between all stakeholders, and it fostered the debate and dialogue among them. Good practices and successful cases were shared. Also, stakeholders had the opportunity to have the European vision about the OA situation.
MedOANet partner workshop
The Hague, July 19th 2012
In this eventful week for Open Access the MedOANet project had its first partner Workshop, hosted by FECYT, (the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology) on the 16th of July 2012 in Madrid. The MedOANet project aims at facilitating the development of coordinated strategies and policies in Open Access to scientific information especially in the Mediterranean countries and reinforcing regional coordination of strategies and structures among member states. The goal of the workshop was to discuss the results of the recently conducted surveys on Open Access in the six Mediterranean countries of the consortium, the actions to be taken upon the outcomes of the surveys and the next steps within the project.
The surveys were conducted among research funders, research performing institutions and publishers, in France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Turkey. The results provide a representative overview of the current situation with regard to open access policies and practices among these three categories of stakeholders, as well as nuanced views into the situation in each of the six countries and with respect to specific aspects of open access practices, such as copyright, licensing, policy monitoring and implementation. Overall, the results clearly document the significant role of research performing institutions in Open Access developments, and particularly the progress achieved in repository development. Research performing institutions emerge as the most significant stakeholder with the ability to affect change in the process of improving access to research results. However, the surveys also demonstrate that progress in policy implementation among institutions is not satisfactory and therefore systematic efforts should be devoted to this end, while the responses from public funders document rather poor developments in this aspect as well. Publishers who answered the survey comprise mostly medium-sized and small scientific society publishers who are overwhelmingly positively disposed towards open access and already provide open access to parts of their content, even if they lack some systematic policies and processes/procedures related with copyright and licensing.
Most of the six countries displayed very similar results, however, specific developments and needs can be clearly outlined through the surveys for each of the countries and for different types of stakeholders. The consortium will now work on a detailed report presenting the results of the surveys for each of the countries, as well as the overall results, thematic approaches and conclusions. This will be a very useful document that will inform the national and regional coordination of policies and practices to take place within the project, as well as provide evidence-based information to policy makers in each of the countries and at the European level. The official results of the surveys will be released in the late fall of 2012.
This week has been a very exciting week for Open Access with the Communication of the European Commission on “Towards better access to scientific information” and the Recommendation to Member States on “access to and preservation of scientific information” released on July 17th 2012. MedOANet shares the European Commission’s vision of boosting the benefits of the public investments on science and research for researchers, businesses and the public through increasing access to publicly funded research. The project aims at placing Open Access to publicly funded research as high on the official agenda in Mediterranean countries as it is in The European Commission and Northern European countries like the UK. The consortium will do this by strategic networking and the development of an Open Access Tracker where all Open Access activities in the member states will be given more visibility. The next steps for the MedOANet project are collecting information for the input on the Open Access tracker, coordinating existing strategies and initiatives and establishing common best practice guidelines for policies.
MedOANet welcomes the communication and recommendation on access to and preservation of scientific information issued by the European Commission
The Mediterranean Open Access Network Project (MedOANet http://www.medoanet.eu) welcomes and supports the European Commission’s Communication "Towards better access to scientific information" and the Recommendation to Member States on "access to and preservation of scientific information", released yesterday.
As an EU-funded project with a focus on facilitating the implementation of coordinated open access policies in Mediterranean Europe and beyond, MedOANet shares the European Commission’s vision of boosting the benefits of the public investments on science and research for researchers, businesses and the public by increasing access to publicly funded research.
The European Commission’s commitment to expand the current FP7 Open Access Pilot programme in Horizon 2020 and its commitment to provide financial support for the infrastructures that host and provide access to research results (publications and data) is a very positive development. We welcome the Commission’s announcement that Open Access will be the general rule for all peer-reviewed publications arising from all projects funded in Horizon 2020. MedOANet further considers important the clarification on behalf of the Commission that both self-archiving into open access repositories (‘green’ open access) and open access publishing (‘gold’ open access) are valid approaches to achieve the aim of full open access to publications resulting from Horizon 2020 and that support will be provided towards developing both types of open access; with infrastructures in the first case, and subsidies to meet open access publishing fees in the second. Another significant development announced in the Communication is a pilot for open access to scientific data generated by projects in selected areas of Horizon 2020.
MedOANet strongly supports the call for harmonization of policies and the adoption of national strategies and infrastructures by all the Member States. We especially welcome the recommendations for the establishment of relevant open access policies by public funders and academic institutions receiving public funding as a rule in the Member States. These are policies requiring immediate open access to publicly funded research with potential embargo periods of no longer than six months after publication (or twelve months for social sciences and humanities).
These recommendations are completely convergent with MedOANet’s mission and objectives to enhance existing policies, strategies and structures for Open Access, to contribute towards the implementation of new ones and to promote national and regional coordination. The European Commission’s Communication and Recommendation on access to publicly funded research strengthens the commitment of the project partners to work in facilitating the implementation of open access policies among research funders and research performing institutions in the six Mediterranean countries involved in the project and beyond by collaborating with policymakers and major stakeholders in a coordinated fashion.
MedOANet (www.medoanet.eu) addresses the necessity for coordinated strategies and policies in Open Access to scientific information in Europe. The project will enhance existing policies, strategies and structures for Open Access and will contribute towards the implementation of new ones in six Mediterranean countries: Greece, Turkey, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal. It will also promote national and regional coordination of policies, strategies and structures in these six countries and beyond.
The MedOANet Partners:
National Documentation Centre/NHRF (Greece-Coordinator)
FECYT - Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (Spain)
UMINHO - University of Minho (Portugal)
CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France)
CASPUR - Consorzio Interuniversitario per le Applicazioni di Supercalcolo Università e Ricerca (Italy)
HACETTEPE UNIVERSITESI - Hacettepe University (Turkey)
ENCES - European Network for Copyright in Support of Education and Science (Germany)
LIBER - The Stichting LIBER Foundation (The Netherlands)
UNOTT - University of Nottingham (United Kingdom)
Greek Task Force Meeting
The first National Task Force Meeting on Open Access in Greece was successfully organized by the National Documentation Centre (EKT/NHRF) on June 20th, 2012. The Task Force was constituted within the frame of the project Mediterranean Open Access Network (MedOANet), bringing together important stakeholders in the realm of research in Greece. One of the aims of this FP7-funded project is to support coordinated strategies and policies in Open Access to scientific information at the national level in Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and Turkey, as well as to help coordinate developments in those countries.
The National Task Force in Greece comprises representatives of research funders, research performers, publishers, and businesses. More specifically it comprises representatives of the council of University and Higher Education Rectors, representatives of the council of the Presidents of the Greek Research Centres, representatives of public Research Funders, such as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture, of private research Funders, such as the Onassis Foundation, the Hellenic Academic Libraries Link and the South Europe Libraries Link-Greece, representative of the European project OpenAIRE, representatives of Academic publishers and the business sector.
This first meeting was organized around two sessions: the first, an introduction to Open Access and Open Access developments internationally, in Europe and in Greece; the second involved the presentation of and discussion on strategies and processes on implementing Open Access policies for funders, research performers and publishers and enforcing Open Access, as well as a discussion on particular challenges facing each of the stakeholders categories that relate to providing access to research.
In presenting the current situation in Greece as mapped by the project through extensive surveys, it became apparent that a lot more needs to be done in the country with respect to implementing policies (no research institution or funder currently has an open access mandate), as well as with respect to developing the necessary technological infrastructures that will empower institutions in providing access to the research they produce and in preserving it (less than half of the higher education institutions and only one research centre currently possess an institutional repository).
At the same time, this is a turning point for the educational and research system in Greece, which is under reform, and therefore it is a good opportunity to promote positive changes in the system with reference to access to, dissemination of and preservation of research. Stakeholders from the research and education sector were very positive about the concept of Open Access, and in fact, the Green route to open access, as a way of providing access to their research outputs, safekeeping and promoting their research activities. To this end, specific policies and texts thereof, were discussed to be forwarded for debate and, potentially, endorsement to the Council of the University Rectors and that of the Presidents of the public Research Centres, as well as the Higher Education Technological Institutions. Additionally, the possibility was discussed of including a clause on Open Access in a sample regulation for Universities that is being prepared by the Ministry of Education, to assist the Universities in preparing internal regulations, which are called for by the new law on Higher Education.
Further important points that were raised concerned the significant role of the research and academic libraries in awareness-raising regarding Open Access and in educating researchers about its benefits, as well as the concerns, on the part of the researchers regarding intellectual property rights in the internet, and especially with regard to research data in the realm of culture, whose openness is largely prevented in Greece by a strict antiquities law.
Overall, the representatives of the stakeholders expressed their commitment to promoting the concept of open access to research, especially that funded with public resources, and to further widening the group of stakeholders that will participate in a systematic national process towards Open Access in the fall in view of increasing its impact.
Open access journals: are we asking the right questions?
The academic publisher Elsevier is being boycotted by the online HE community due to the prohibitive costs of its journals.
A mass online movement to boycott the academic publisher Elsevier has emerged over the past week. This has come about through a growing awareness among researchers and scholars that their output is being sold back to their own institutions at prohibitive costs. The proposed solution is an open access model.
The price of information
On January 21st Timothy Gowers, a mathematician at Cambridge University, wrote a blog post outlining the reasons for his longstanding boycott of research journals published by Elsevier. This firm, which is based in the Netherlands, owns more than 2,000 journals, including such top-ranking titles as Cell and the Lancet. However Dr Gowers, who won the Fields medal, mathematics’s equivalent of a Nobel prize, in 1998, is not happy with it, and he hoped his post might embolden others to do something similar.
It did. More than 2,700 researchers (more than 8,600 on 21st March, see http://thecostofknowledge.com/) from around the world have so far signed an online pledge set up by Tyler Neylon, a fellow-mathematician who was inspired by Dr Gowers’s post, promising not to submit their work to Elsevier’s journals, or to referee or edit papers appearing in them. That number seems, to borrow a mathematical term, to be growing exponentially. If it really takes off, established academic publishers might find they have a revolution on their hands.
Exploring open access in higher education
What is the benefit of open access to academia? Who will pay for open education resources? These questions and many more are answered by OA experts in a chat panel.
Will publishers respond positively to open access policies?
Ivy League universities are leading the way when it comes to open access to published work but publishers will also have to embrace change. Will they?
EIFL-OA case studies
EIFL provided financial support to 13 projects that implemented national and institutional open access advocacy campaigns to reach out to research communities and open access publishing initiatives.
Through small grants and support from their own institutions, the projects engaged in a wide variety of campaigns and activities, including: holding workshops, creating websites, building institutional repositories, creating an e-learning course, and implementing an OA publishing platform. All of which resulted in increased awareness about and understanding of OA.