The launch of the new Library of Science website in Poland

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French National OpenAIRE Workshop: the new era of OpenAIRE

About: On Friday 2nd July 2021, the French NOAD organized a half-day event to present to the French scientific community the advancements of the OpenAIRE organization as well as inform about its core Open Science services. Invited speakers contributed with presentations and discussions with the audience. Moreover, the workshop highlighted how services are used in practice by other projects or initiatives who shared their experiences and ongoing work. The workshop, also, provided a clear view abo...

Embedding Amnesia, OpenAIRE’s free and open-source software, in COVID-19 research workflows to enable secure processing and sharing of sensitive data

Background: Since the beginning of the pandemic, 'ΑΤΗΕΝΑ' Research Center has been active in communicating best practices and achievements from the national and European R&I ecosystems to the Greek academic and research communities. To maximize the impact of this effort for the benefit of researchers and health practitioners, the OpenAIRE Greek NOAD has been collaborating with national stakeholders and initiatives from different domains (e.g. SSH, Bioinformatics, Computer Science, Public Management) to both support diverse research endeavors and offer opportunities for discussion about strengths and weaknesses observed in the followed approaches.

Practical workshops: In continuation of the COVID-19 series, more practical workshops are foreseen to enhance community understanding of the use of available tools as well as to build capacity on specific aspects in the COVID-19 research data lifecycle.

The workshop that was held in June 2021 ran together with the OpenAIRE NOAD in Cyprus and concentrated on the processing of data that carry sensitive and personal information taking as a use case real data from medical records of a hospital in the United Kingdom. Moreover, OpenAIRE's anonymization tool "Amnesia" was demonstrated as a tool that can be embedded in COVID-19 research workflows to enable personal identifiers' removal with guarantees.

Presentation and demo: Guest speaker and trainer for the needs of the workshop was Manolis Terrovitis, who is the creator of the Amnesia tool. Manolis started with a presentation to set the basis of the legal framework pertaining to sensitive information (GDPR) and Open Access restrictions in Europe. The presentation went on to communicate data security and privacy methods, including encryption, and highlighted the two most commonly used anonymization techniques stating that they are usually misused by researchers:

  • Anonymization that transforms personal data into exploitable non-personal data so they can be re-used or exposed or given to third parties without limitations, e.g. GDPR. The anonymization process offers guaranties that original data cannot be retrieved,
  • Pseudo-anonymization that removes direct identifiers while retaining secondary information. The pseudo-anonymized data are partially protected, but they remain personal data and can lead to the recognition of a person when reverse engineering is applied.

In order to comply with Open Access principles, the preferred method is anonymization with guarantees, such as those characterizing k- and km- anonymity techniques.

Amnesia is a free and open-source software that can be downloaded and installed locally in all operating systems (Windows, Linux, etc). 

It is a unique tool for implementing anonymization to set-valued data. Despite its complexity and the different algorithms that it runs, its interface is simple and user-friendly.


The way Amnesia works is as follows:

  1. Researchers import their data in tabular formats (e.g. .csv, .xls)
  2. Researchers select from or create the generalization hierarchies, which are compiled following rules for generalizing values in a semi-automatic way. Hierarchies can be saved and re-used or they may also be imported from other sources.
  3. Researchers choose the most suitable method for their situation (e.g., k-anonymity or km-anonymity) and link the hierarchies with the respective attributes of the records.
  4. From the results of the data generalization, researchers can choose the solution(s) that fits their needs.
  5. The anonymized data can be saved locally or directly deposited to Zenodo!

Hands-on and discussion: During the workshop, Manolis answered all the questions posed by the participants and had one-on-one break out sessions with those who needed more assistance. The discussions mainly focused on understanding the proper use of Amnesia in the different contexts and domains represented by participants and how anonymization is integrated in third party systems. Clarifications and tips included specific steps of the anonymization process in Amnesia, like the rounding of continuous variables where Manolis suggested selecting the largest range in the data to achieve the major accuracy.

Amnesia Seminar: anonymization of data with guarantees

 In June 30th, an Amnesia open to all seminar was organised, where participants could experience and learn how anonymization of data is performed with it. Organisers  'Athena' Research Center, as part of the activities of the OpenAIRE NOAD in Greece, supported and launched this informative and educational online seminar, in support of research activities relevant to the coronavirus disease. This seminar run in collaboration with the OpenAIRE NOAD in Cyprus.  Short description The ...

Slovak National Strategy for Open Science 2021 - 2028

At the beginning of June 2021, The National Strategy for Open Science 2021 - 2028, with its first Action Plan 2021 - 2022, was adopted by the Slovak government (both in the Slovak language are uploaded below, English version of the National Strategy will be available in September 2021). The creation of the National Strategy is an integral part of the Action Plan of the Open Government Partnership Initiative 2020-2021. The Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information (Slovak NOAD) active...

National policy and support actions for research data skills - impact and experiences: outcomes from the FAIRsFAIR & OpenAIRE stakeholder Workshop

FAIRsFAIR and OpenAIRE organised a joint workshop on April 28th aimed to discuss the role of national-level initiatives to advance skills development for research data management. At a European level, the emerging European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) provides impetus for skills development. However, the recent report of the EOSC Working Group on Skills & Training finds that national skills policy is usually fragmented or underdeveloped when concerning skills for research data and data-intensiv...

Adaptation of FAIR Data Maturity Model indicators in Validator

OpenAIRE is working to adapt the FAIR RDA Data Maturity Model indicators in our OpenAIRE Validator. The Validator is available to every logged-in user via the PROVIDE dashboard and is intended to provide an impression of the FAIRness of their repository. The FAIR Maturity Model Indicators, as core criteria to assess the implementation level of the FAIR (Data) principles, implemented in the OpenAIRE Validator, aims to offer to the datasource managers, a way to assess the implementation of FAIR (D...

An overview of content providers registered in OpenAIRE

OpenAIRE PROVIDE allows for registration of content providers that are compatible with OpenAIRE guidelines. By registering in OpenAIRE, content providers are becoming a building block of a global Open Research community, a gateway to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). Over the years several repositories have joined OpenAIRE, contributing to build the OpenAIRE Research Graph, which collects metadata records from more than 70K scholarly communication sources from all over the world, including...

Tools for legal issues in Research Data Management

Background: In the framework of the NI4OS-Europe project, ATHENA Research and Innovation Center (ATHENA) developed tools that respond to emerging Open and FAIR Research Data Management (RDM) demands of researchers and provide a first set of clarity for EOSC resource providers' compliance with the Rules of Participation (RoP). NI4OS-Europe is the European project that supports the development and inclusion of National Open Science Cloud Initiatives (NOSCIs) in 15 south-east european member states...

OpenAIRE Research Graph: An intelligent gateway to scholarly communication

The OpenAIRE Research Graph is gradually becoming a key asset of OpenAIRE. We are investing a lot of effort in its development and improvement. Quality, inclusiveness, transparency and open governance are key in our thinking, but underneath all, there is a huge ongoing technical effort for making it robust and usable for discovery and monitoring. Many of our users are asking us to know more about what the graph is about? Why do we need one and what does OpenAIRE Graph bring in? We listened ...

Cypriot NI4OS-Europe event and OpenAIRE contribution

About: On April 23, 2021 the University of Cyprus Library organized an Open Science event to update on the latest developments of European Research and Innovation actions, mainly focusing around the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) developments. The event welcomed 65 participants spanning from academics, researchers to policy makers, funders, librarians and Open Science enthusiasts. Agenda: The Cypriot Open Science event was organized in the context of the National Initiatives for Open Science...

European Commission introduces the Open Research Europe platform to the Greek and Cypriot scientific communities

Focus: In April, the Greek and Cypriot OpenAIRE NOADs, in collaboration also with the Scholarly Communication Unit of HEAL-Link, organized an event to inform their scientific communities and individual researchers about the newly launched European platform for open access publications, namely the Open Research Europe (ORE). The event welcomed Victoria Tsoukala, Policy Officer-Seconded National Expert- Open Access-Science Cloud - European Commission (EC), who presented key features of ORE as well...

Open Science & Research Data Management in Horizon Europe for Turkey

On Thursday 11th March 2021, an event organised by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) took place with a variety of guests and topics. The action is under the "Turkey in Horizon 2020 Phase II" Technical Assistance Project which is co-financed by the EU and the Republic of Turkey and implemented by the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Industry and Technology within the scope of the Competitive Sectors Programme. OpenAIRE offered help and support to the organiser as...

OpenAIRE and EOSC in national settings: the Greek and Cypriot paradigms

About: In the framework of established collaboration between OpenAIRE NOADs in Greece and Cyprus, and in support of the NI4OS-Europe project where they both contribute, a webinar was organized to update the Greek and Cypriot scientific community about news from the evolving European Research and Innovation (R&I) area. In brief: Data intensive scientific demands and emerging technologies that are progressively embedded in scientific practices, such as artificial intelligence, significantly af...

Importance of long-term data preservation

There is increasing recognition of the importance of data especially as its production and volume grows at ever increasing rates. It has been observed that the volume of data now present when compared to just two years ago is many-fold larger. This leads to the difficult question of what are valuable data and what are not. Indeed, much of the data being generated is from automated systems such as consumer internet-of-things (IoT) devices, weather detection instruments, and so forth. In many case...

Event Series held 'Research Data Management in Austria'

For some time now, data management plans (DMPs) have been required for externally funded projects by some funding institutions. Especially in the humanities, this way of recording research materials and results is often not yet widespread and therefore often poses challenges for researchers. In this workshop, the DMP of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) was discussed step by step as an example, and exemplary answers from classic humanities projects were given. The series of events was developed wi...

„Transformative Agreements: Overview, Case Studies, and Legal Analysis” – Open Science Platform report

A new report has been published by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling at the University of Warsaw to present the current situation regarding transformative agreements. The report entitled "Transformative Agreements: Overview, Case Studies, and Legal Analysis" sheds light on transformative agreements from the factual and legal point of view, as well as provides some recommendations in this area. The first chapter provides the context and main principles...

In the crystal ball: report from the Swedish webinar on the future of Open Science in Europe

"It is great being able to participate without travelling, but it's tiresome to sit in a webinar meeting for half a day." Our participants were mostly happy with the program offered, but had some objections and some ideas for making it better next time. We had 171 registered participants, mostly from university libraries in Sweden, but also other research stakeholders both in Sweden and the Nordic countries. We had four presentations and a group discussion at the end. Liber's President, Jeannett...

Online Good Practice Exchange programme at DANS in the Netherlands

After being postponed twice, due to Covid-19, the online OpenAIRE Good Practice Exchange (GPE) programme organized by DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services) took place on 18 January 2021. The goal of the programme is to provide a framework through which OpenAIRE NOADs can share their knowledge and expand their skills in Open Science. And because DANS is a national centre of expertise and repository for research data, the main topics on this day were best practices on Research Data Manageme...
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