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 affect the pace of changes/ new developments in R&I. In this webinar, OpenAIRE Managing Director Natalia Manola informed participants about the latest Open Science achievements at international, european and national levels. Moreover, she explained the role and main objectives of OpenAIRE AMKE and the EOSC Association urging other organizations to join their activities. She also informed participants about the NI4OS-Europe project mission and work plan. Furthermore, Natalia presented the current status of national Open Science policymaking in both Greece and Cyprus while highlighting challenges in policy adoption and expressing suggestions for the future.

OpenAIRE NOADs contributions: Members of the OpenAIRE AMKE in Greece are ATHENA Research and Innovation Center - ATHENA RIC (regular member) and Hellenic Academic Libraries Link - HEAL-Link (associate member). In Cyprus, OpenAIRE AMKE is represented by the University of Cyprus Library. A National Member Consortium (NaMeCo) Agreement is being prepared by the Greek members as part of the formal procedures to create national Open Science partnerships that co-shape the future of Open Science, as mentioned in the OpenAIRE statutes. So far, the NOADs have performed significant work in the field of training and support.

In terms of Open Science policies adoption at the national level, both countries have made considerable progress. More specifically, one of the important drivers for such developments in Greece has been the Symposium for Open Science which was organized by ATHENA RIC in 2018. The outcomes of the discussions resulted in further cooperation of major Greek scientific stakeholders who formed a bottom-up Open Science Task Force that produced a proposal for a National Plan for Open Science in Greece.

The proposal has since been embedded in the public consultation phase of the Digital Transformation Bible of the Ministry of Digital Governance (Dec 2020), though it focuses solely on hardware and excludes Open Science at large. It should be noted that the Task Force is currently moving towards a more formal substance through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) involving all members in the development process.

In 2015, the Cypriot NOAD coordinated the development of a national working group to produce policy suggestions on Open Access to publications. A year later, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus approved the National Policy for Open Access to scientific publications which is in force today. Now, there is an effort to re-organize and mobilize this initial working group as well as an intention to work with the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy. This work is also supported in the context of OpenAIRE and NI4OS-Europe activities.

Highlights: At the end of the presentation, a panel group of Sylvia Koukounidou and Anastasia Ioannou from University of Cyprus Library, Eleni Toli and Elli Papadopoulou from ATHENA Research & Innovation Center, including speaker Natalia Manola, expressed their views and answered questions. They mentioned that the scientific needs for Open Science are known. Tools and technologies are created, working groups need to be set up and staff should be trained to enhance the work of researchers. It is believed that a more substantial dialogue between Universities and Research Infrastructures is needed. Governmental structures change and the amount of ministries in charge of Open Science across EU countries differ. Questions mainly applied to the example of Greece and Cyprus. The former is split into three Ministries without having yet an established role in the national Open Science ecosystem, while the latter have a new body, namely the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy.

Understanding the landscape and collaborations: In FP7, there was the need to communicate and support academic and research stakeholders with understanding Open Access principles and following best practices. Today, Open Science expands this need to meet among other things the FAIR principles for data bringing extra requirements and skills upfront.

OpenAIRE has been working with the European Commission to foster Open Access and Open Science uptake for 10 years now through its infrastructure (authoritative source), services and human networks (NOADs).

OpenAIRE promotes open scholarship and improves the discoverability, accessibility, shareability, reusability, reproducibility and monitoring of data-driven research results, across scientific disciplines and thematic domains, cross-border in Europe and beyond. Aims to become the foundation for national coordination on Open Science in Europe, achieving long-term sustainability and economies of scale.

The next phase of OpenAIRE, as a non-profit legal entity, overcomes issues such as availability of tools and technologies, and focuses more on quality assurance processes, like certification, quality and reusability.

The European Open Science Cloud - EOSC arises from the EC's aim to promote the access and reuse of research data resulting from publicly funded research. As such implementing Open Science (OS) policies, workflows and infrastructures throughout all corners of the European research sphere are critical to make EOSC work. EOSC is a co-created set of services and interests for many of its users, with an open governance structure and a space for bottom-up innovation and a long term pillar of the Digital Single Market.

Today, the EOSC is governed via the EOSC Association which is a partnership for perennial programs on Open Science and FAIR data. The Association forms the scientific innovation agenda and supports governments to align national research settings.

OpenAIRE is a core service provider in the EOSC architecture and supports its fundamental operations by being involved in activities that define processes to be followed in EOSC, e.g. EOSC Resource Data Model which includes guidelines on how to register to EOSC.

National Initiatives for Open Science in Europe – NI4OS Europe is a project that aims to be a core contributor to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) service portfolio, commit to EOSC governance and ensure inclusiveness on the European level for enabling global Open Science.

Moreover, the project works on the following areas:

  • Technical, to onboard national repositories and services to the EOSC grid
  • Development of new services and tools, following Open and FAIR principles
  • Governance and organizational, to support national Open Science initiatives

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