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 as analyzed in detail the publication lifecycle of the platform.
About ORE: Open Research Europe is the EC's effort to support researchers' compliance with the Open Access to publications policies it sets out in the Framework Programmes of H2020 and Horizon Europe (check more information at the end of the page). The platform is reliable, open, and free and provides high-quality results to the users. Scientific projects under the aforementioned FPs are eligible to use ORE for publishing peer-reviewed findings in Open Access without paying for Article Processing Charges (APCs). The platform ensures wide coverage of thematic publications so that all scientific disciplines are represented.
Key features: ORE follows a model that introduces a distinct pre-publication process before articles peer-review. Thus, researchers benefit from the pre-publication of a paper by securing the originality of their intellectual work. Moreover, the review of submitted articles is an open and transparent process in ORE, throughout which the quality of both information and data is secured.
ORE links to OpenAIRE, the European open access and scholarly communication infrastructure. It also follows best practices such as the use of Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) for digital objects (DOIs) and individual researchers (ORCIDs).
In addition, ORE allows all researchers to post messages on the platform promoting an open dialogue in science communication.
The process: The pre-publication phase involves submission of preprints and full check over the author eligibility, the article's scope and potential plagiarism. Then, the pre-published articles are assigned PIDs and can be exported in various formats that allow for content data-mining.
Next, a peer review process is activated where authors invite other scholars to review their intellectual work. This review is open and transparent (open peer-review), and according to the outcomes can fall under the categories:
✅Approved with reservations
Only "approved" and "approved with reservations" pre-published articles advance to publication.
When published, the authors have the opportunity to improve their articles by addressing the reviewer's constructive comments. New versions of final publications can be submitted at any time.
Future plans: Victoria Tsoukala informed that the EC envisions to expand to other actions beyond Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe Research and Innovation (RIA) projects, due to the great interest expressed already by the European scientific community. Furthermore, the EC will explore synergies with national funders, some of whom are keen to follow the EC's scientific publishing paradigm to support their national policies on Open Access.
Discussion: Most of the questions posed by participants were about articles' pre-publications and open peer-reviews. Victoria Tsoukala elaborated on those processes and stated that researchers may be able to suggest reviewers for their submissions, yet there are specific eligibility conditions that have to be met before their formal acceptance by F1000, i.e. by the ORE provider. For peer-reviewed yet non approved articles, they remain on the platform as pre-prints and are visible by everyone. Those articles can be improved at a later stage following reviewers comments and are eligible for re-submission. If they get accepted, then they become a versioned publication linked to the original which failed peer-review in the first place.
Victoria clarified that the platform does not accept project deliverables because it is by design meant solely for scientific articles. Also, that ORE acts on behalf of researchers to deposit the published articles on Zenodo, the CERN and OpenAIRE catch all repository, thus reducing the burden from researchers.
Lastly, Victoria urged the audience to use the platform and enjoy the advantages of an evolutionary publishing lifecycle.