OA in Greece

Print PDF

The National Research Environment 

On the basis of the size and significance of their research output, and their legal status, Research Institutions in Greece can be broadly grouped into Higher Education Institutions (HEI), i.e. Universities, and Research Centers (RC). However, other types of institutions also carry out research in Greece, albeit to a much smaller extent, such as public and private hospitals, museums, private companies, etc. The greatest part of the scientific output in Greece can be attributed to the HEIs.

HEIs and RCs are governmental organizations. HEIs and, since late 2009, most RCs, fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning, and Religious Affairs. There are still, however, several specialized RCs (e.g. for agricultural research) attached to particular ministries. Until the end of 2009, however, RCs were supervised by the Ministry of Development, a fact that impeded scientific progress and created a divide among Greek researchers.

Greek research teams and organizations actively obtain EU funds to support their research. It is well known that funding from the Framework Programmes is the single most significant source for research funding in Greece, since the national funds allocated to research do not exceed 0.6% of the GDP. Nationally, research projects are funded mainly by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) while the contribution of the private sector in research funding is quite limited, well below EU standards. The Greek government and private funders do not, as of yet, have official OA policies or mandates.

Open Access and Repositories

As is the case in most European countries, thus far OA issues are undertaken by individual institutions. Institutional initiatives are almost exclusively pursued in the form of creating institutional or subject repositories, journals and journal archives, and through the signing of the Berlin Declaration on OA. It is significant that there are only four signatories to the Berlin Declaration from Greece thus far. This, and a variety of other factors, suggest that the awareness of OA within the research community in Greece is not very high.

According to the information in ROARMAP, no Greek institution thus far has an explicit OA mandate. On the other hand, the policies of some of the Institutional Repositories in Greece indicate that, in fact, Open Access to deposited research is obligatory. Further, as stated above, no OA mandates are active on the part of research funders, i.e. the state and private organizations, and no relevant national policy.

There is a dedicated national portal on OA, www.openaccess.gr, set up and operated by the National Documentation Centre (EKT/NHRF). In place since mid-2008, openaccess.gr provides information and news that relate to developments in OA in Greek and English, and is targeted toward Greek audiences. Further, EKT is creating a new OA blog at www.openaccess.gr/blog, to launch in late April 2010. Its aim is to stimulate discussion on OA in Greece among researchers and policy-makers. Apart from the above, it is notable that at least three conferences took place in Greece on the topic of OA within 2008.

Open Access repositories

According to the Registry of Open Access Repositories, 17 OA repositories operate in Greece as of February 2010. 13 of the repositories are IRs, while the remaining four are digital collections either of cultural material and/or past editions of journals. Approximately half of the Greek HEIs operate an OA IR. The development of OA repositories in Greece is steady, but the effort is fragmented. Furthermore, with few exceptions, it appears that senior researchers in Greek institutions are not used to depositing current peer-reviewed research; most Greek IRs are populated with theses, as well as cultural and archival collections of various universities. A search engine, the development of which has been a private enterprise, provides a single point of access to most repositories and other collections (www.openarchives.gr)

Open Access publishing

23 Greek OA scientific journals are listed in DOAJ, as of February 2010. A big leap took place in 2007, when the numbers doubled from 8 to 17. Steady growth has been observed since then. A recent survey on “Scholarly Publishing & Open Access in Greece, 2009 Report’, commissioned by SELL (Southern European Libraries), shows that the actual number of OA scientific journals in Greece may in fact be as much as double the number appearing in DOAJ. This suggests that more work is necessary on promoting these journals to international audiences and making them available to the world by means of the best accepted practices.

Useful links and resources

Contributors Contact Details

Victoria Tsoukala, Ph.D.,
National Documentation Centre
Athens 11635