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3rd webinar series in Greek: season finale with Intellectual Property Rights


The focus: Research has different interpretations by stakeholders. Most tend to focus mainly on the research output and neglect in-between processes leading to it. This webinar of the OpenAIRE National Open Access Desks in Greece and Cyprus perceived research as a process and analysed the implementation of intellectual property practices in all the steps of a research lifecycle.

In his presentation, invited speaker Prodromos Tsiavos, legal adviser at Athena Research Center and an expert on Open Science policies concentrated on european initiatives about IPR and EU regulations regarding the flow of scientific information and highlighted key implementation points for researchers. More than 160 participants attended the webinar and engaged in discussions with the speaker at the end of the presentation.

EU initiatives and regulations: European Union has set as a policy priority to maximise and enhance data (research, public, private, personal, non-personal) availability, distribution and flow, in support of which legislations are developed and enforced. Prominent paradigms are Directive 2013/37/EU on the re-use of public sector information, including research data, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for sensitive and personal data handling. Information flows within the EU are enhanced and promoted under three conditions: 1. personal data protection, 2. protection of european companies, and 3. research commercialisation. In that context, EU initiated the project GAIA-X where representatives from politics, business and science came together to develop common requirements for a European data infrastructure in a homogeneous, open and secure fashion. Within the project GAIA-X, companies, universities and public agencies are interconnected and have the ability to both access and share data securely and confidently.

Key points for researchers: Next part of the presentation focused on three stages of the research lifecycle: a. beginning/ planning of research, b. research processes and c. distribution of research outputs, including underlying data such as primary data.

a. Beginning/ planning of research

During this stage, researchers should clarify the ownership of intellectual property rights through consortium and funding agreements or by examining the institutional framework in force so as to define their role during the research process (e.g. data and rights producer and collector).

b. Research processes

When conducting research, scientists should specify their relation with the corresponding funding organisation, examine their commitments according to the Code of Ethics and communicate with the Ethics Committee. Also, attention should be given to Confidentiality Regimes, such as Non-disclosure agreements (NDA), that create a confidential relationship between the interested parties, thus protecting any confidential or proprietary information or trade secrets involved. Especially for the Greek Research Area, Prodromos informed that the General Secretariat of Research and Technology (GSRT) will announce a new legislation for patent application with specialised conditions.

c. Distribution of research outputs

When sharing the outcomes of their research, researchers should choose appropriate licenses, ideally standard and open licenses, that promote openness and re-distribution of scientific results.

Discussion: After the presentation, participants were enthusiastically engaging in conversations with the speaker. They communicated daily challenges faced in their institutions and made questions based on real case scenarios.

The copyright of master's dissertations and doctoral theses gained a lot of interest by many participants due to lack of institutional regulations that define mutual rights and responsibilities between the interested parties (professors and students). Prodromos clarified that copyright holders of thesis are students and not professors, and that this should be well-defined to avoid misunderstandings and dysfunctions. Conversation expanded on the publication process with respect to patents and the steps which should be taken into consideration by institutions, librarians and researchers on that matter. Finally, a couple of questions revolved around reproducibility, personal data protection and the value of consent.

You may find the recordings and presentations here.

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23 Sep 2021

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