Being part of the OpenAIRE network has always been a rewarding professional experience.by Gintare Tautkeviciene
The OpenAIRE team has the pleasure of speaking to Gintare Tautkeviciene, Associate Professor, Library Director in the Library of the Kaunas University of Technology. Read her reflections on Open Science.
As an OpenAIRE NOAD at the Kaunas University of Technology, we have aimed to create opportunities for communication between different stakeholders in Open Science by organizing events (e.g., the conference "Focus on Open Science") and by seeking synergies of various initiatives. We coordinated the activities of the National Node for the Research Data Alliance (established in the frame of the project RDA Europe 4.0 in 2019) that involved the representatives of key stakeholders of Open Science in the country. The University is also involved in different activities related to Citizen Science, e.g. H2020 project "Supporting Sustainable Institutional Changes to Promote Citizen Science in Science and Technology (TIME4CS)".
We became a NOAD in 2009 due to getting involved in the OpenAIRE project. Receiving an offer to become a project partner was probably because of our previous experience at the Library of Kaunas of Technology to promote Open Access: our first initiatives were in 2003, encouraged by EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries). Enquiry into the benefits of "open" for the research workflow has driven our attempts to advocate for Open Science for many years and has become part of our organizational identity. By joining the network of OpenAIRE NOADS, we tapped into a great source of knowledge, so being part of the OpenAIRE network has always been a rewarding professional experience.
We need to approach Open Science as a priority and a value-adding phenomenon rather than just a formal requirement that funding institutions want researchers to comply with. But for this, we first need a strong national policy to consolidate and support the different initiatives related to Open Science in the country. Another condition would be implementing changes in the research assessment policy to acknowledge Open Science practices. We believe that these formal elements, along with raising awareness on the benefits of Open Science, would accelerate the change of culture towards Open Science.
At the end of 2022, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports will start two programmes devoted to promoting and applying Open Science practices in Lithuania. One of them, drawing on the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), will address the need to accelerate the development of researchers' competencies and improve institutional practices of researchers' career development and assessment in line with the policy of the European Research Area. The other programme will rely on the funding of InvestEU Programme 2021-2027 to build institutional capacity and strengthen research infrastructures in line with FAIR principles for the integration into EOSC. Both programmes, along with the structural changes in the management of research funding on the national level, will develop a more favourable environment for Open Science in Lithuania.
Raising awareness on the benefits of Open Science and training and education remain relevant needs both nationally and institutionally. Addressing them on the institutional level will be our priority next year. Another priority will be revising institutional policies and procedures in line with the forthcoming changes on the national level.
So far, most of our activities to promote Open Science has been inspired and supported by OpenAIRE –a powerful hub of knowledge and infrastructure. Zenodo, for example, is a great service that compensates for local deficiencies. We are looking forward to using other OpenAIRE services and continuing as members of this network because this means staying in touch with the state-of-the-art developments in Open Science and research infrastructures.
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