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Empowering Open Science: Kick Off of the OpenAIRE-Advance H2020 project

Empowering Open Science: Kick Off of the OpenAIRE-Advance H2020 project

On 1st January 2018, OpenAIRE entered a new exciting phase with the start of the OpenAIRE-Advance project. During the Kick Off meeting, taking place from 17 to 19 January in Athens, Greece, 50 partners will gather to work on this timely continuation of OpenAIRE’s mission to support the Open Access/Open Data mandates in Europe and globally.

While sustaining the current successful infrastructure, comprised of a human network and robust technical services, OpenAIRE-Advance will work towards making Open Science the default in Europe, reshaping the scholarly communication system towards openness and transparency serving as a trusted pillar of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

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OA in Cyprus

The National Research Environment

In the past few years, research in Cyprus has increased considerably due to the integration of the country into the EU. The establishment of six more universities, both public and private, in addition to the University of Cyprus that already existed, has also contributed to this increase. The main funder of research in Cyprus is the EU, which has supported research in the past few years by providing the majority of the funding. Since the EU has given a significant boost to research activity nationally by being the primary funder of research, its role is considered particularly important for further support of research both for researchers and the organizations that employ them.

Research in Cyprus at a national level is not coordinated by a central agency that keeps records for all researchers' activities. All researchers produce their research on behalf of the organization that employs them; while the majority of them are employed by academic institutions.

Nationwide, research is funded primarily by the Research Promotion Foundation (RPF), the EU, and academic institutions with their internal funds that are intended for research. RPF was founded in 1996 and was established by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus to promote the development of scientific and technological research in the country due to the fundamental importance of research in contemporary societies. At this time, RPF is not responsible for recording all researchers' activity in the island; however it is responsible for the promotion of research by funding a part of it.

At a national level Cyprus has officially adopted an Open Access policy in 2016 in order to record all publications that come from nationally funded projects and research.

Open Access and Repositories

In November 2008 the Senate of the University of Cyprus, supported and accepted the Library Committee’s proposal to sign the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. (http://oa.mpg.de/lang/en-uk/berlin-prozess/signatoren/). Berlin declaration was also signed in 2011 by the Governing board of the Cyprus University of Technology.

In October 2009 the Cyprus Academic Library Consortium (CALC) has signed a nationwide subscription contract with BMC (Biomed Central) for an open access model to the BMC journals. According to the author-pay-model-contract the contribution fee for all authors from Cyprus institutes (public and private Universities, research centres, hospitals etc.) will be discounted by 50% for their future publications to BMC journals.

On the 25thof February 2016, the Council of ministers of the Republic of Cyprus, approved the adoption of the National policy for Open Access in Cyprus.

The document’s approval was the outcome of a great collaboration between the different stakeholders involved in the Working Group for Open Access (consisting of the NPR for OA, local Academic institutions and national funders), coordinated by the OPENAIRE2020 Cyprus NOAD (University of Cyprus Library) and highly supported by the coordinators of the project PASTEUR4OA.

The Cyprus OA policy document is available on theNational Strategy for Research and Innovation pageof the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development.

The National policy provides guidelines and support for the implementation of Open Access to research outputs that are funded locally, aligned with the European policies and based on the already established infrastructure in European level (e.g. OpenAIRE).

Open Access awareness activities are implemented mainly through the Project OpenAIRE, which is represented by the University of Cyprus Library since 2009, and through these there will also be support for the implementation of the National OA policy. 

Institutional policies will be the next step in order to be aligned with the National policy.

Furthermore, the Cyprus NOAD has established a collaboration mechanism among researchers, institutions, funding organizations, EC National Reference Points, repository managers, librarians and the librarians association – a real human network that ensures that the idea, spirit, approach and practices compliant with Horizon 2020 Open Access (OA) mandates will continue to spread and be served.

There are three parallel approaches for dissemination purposes.

 I. Central approach: Cooperation with the Research Promotion Foundation and the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development (the local NPRs for OA) in order to forward informative material via email for Open Access & OpenAIRE project. During the last two years this cooperation along with the creation of the OA working group, has played an important role to the implementation of the National OA policy.

  II. Cluster approach:  a) Co organize / Participate in conferences of librarians/information scientists who acted as multipliers because they were able to disseminate the obligation derived by H2020 projects to their institutional researchers.  b) Identification and participation with posters or papers in conferences / information days that took place in our region through which researchers were reached.

  III. Individual approach: Emails to the Cypriot coordinators/partners of SC39 FP7 and H2020 projects and phone calls were answered for questions & help requests. 


Currently there are 3 Open Access Institutional Repositories in which researchers can submit their research output in Cyprus:

Ø  The repository LEKYTHOS, University of Cyprus

The University of Cyprus Library as the regional NOAD of Cyprus offers Lekythos (academic – institutional repository of University of Cyprus) to all the local researchers that would like to deposit their publications that derived from projects funded under the several scientific Areas. It also hosts doctoral and master thesis, conference proceedings and digital cultural items.

Ø  The repository KTISIS, Cyprus University of Technology 

Ktisis is the Institutional Repository of the Cyprus University of Technology-Library. Ktisis is an open source institutional repository gathering any digital material relating to the various activities of the Cyprus University of Technology especially original research material produced by the members of the University.

Ø  The repository KYPSELI, Open University Cyprus

Kypseli, is the institutional repository of the Open University of Cyprus which host publications, thesis and digital cultural material.

Contributors Contact Details

Vasiliki (Sylvia) V. Koukounidou (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Filippos Tsimpoglou (ftsimp @ nlg.gr)

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