OpenAIRE and libraries in Greece and Cyprus: For many years now, OpenAIRE NOADs in Greece (ATHENA RC and HEAL-Link) and Cyprus (University of Cyprus Library) have run joint webinars and workshops to raise awareness and train their national academic and research communities on Open Science practices. Most importantly, they have been supporting researchers in complying with Open Science requirements in the context of the EU Framework Programmes for Science, Technology and Innovation (FP7, Horizon2020, Horizon Europe).
OpenAIRE NOADs are professionals in library and information science who work in academic and research environments and assume the role of Open Science liaisons who support the alignment of national and European research policies and ecosystems.
Expanding collaborations: Digitalisation of science has posed new demands in the way research is conducted, shared and supported throughout a project lifecycle. The need for quality of research results and their reproducibility is expressed by the transition to the new standard of Open Science. Today, libraries seize this opportunity to upskill/reskill and support their library users to become digital literate and competent in the European Research Area (ERA) and Digital Single Market (DSM).
In Spring 2022, the Greek and Cypriot NOADs converged with the Association of Greek Librarians and Information Scientists - A.G.L.I.S. and the Cyprus Association of Librarians – Information Scientists - CALIS to address the evolution of Librarianship in the Open Science realm. The collaboration is based on the organisation of events that connect professionals and staff of public, school, academic and research libraries in Greece and Cyprus with OpenAIRE NOADs to exchange information and discuss recent trends. Furthermore, this provides a great opportunity to record the needs of the members of the two associations and the naional Open Science communities at large.
Starting off: The first webinar welcomed 240 library professionals and staff in talks and discussions that provided a good overview of the changing role of librarians in the digital age. The focus of the event was to highlight:
- Libraries which have traditionally been the place where research support is provided through the acquisition of infrastructure, tools, services for access to, analysis and sharing of scientific information, and
- Librarians who are directly involved with the academic and research community supporting their everyday queries and scientific needs through guides and instructions.
The agenda of the event was as follows:
11.00 - 11.10
Elli Papadopoulou, ATHENA Research and Innovation Centre / Greek NOADs coordinator
AGLISAnthi Katsirikou, President of AGLIS, Library Director, University of Piraeus
Theodora Petrou, President of CALIS, University of Nicosia Library
11.10 - 11.20
Open Science: The multidimensional role of libraries. A brief overview of related actions in Cyprus
Sylvia Koukounidou, Officer - University of Cyprus Library
11.20 - 11.35
Library staff contribution to consolidating Open Science
Vasiliki Strakantouna, Librarian of the Law School Library, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Argyro Frantzi, Library Co-Manager, Library of The Philosophical School, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
11.35 - 11.45
Citizen science: introduction to the role of librarians
Katerina Zourou, Web2Learn Director
11.45 - 12.00
Questions & Closing
Libraries in Open Science: In this first event, participants were navigated through the latest policies of the European Commission and the UNESCO Recommendations on Open Science. Among the things highlighted were the importance of quality data and their economy to increase living conditions through innovation and citizens' participation and trust in science. From that, it became apparent that Open Science is for everyone and can be applied by all libraries, not only academic, and that training is needed to successfully reach this systemic change. The presenters urged library professionals to upskill/reskill in order to in turn train and support their users in the application of best practices on Open Science. Librarians are the ones who should also upgrade or develop new services in their institutions that follow the FAIR principles to ensure harmonization of practices, policy compliance and ease scientific information exchange. The value of Open Science was made clear to everyone, who agreed that the support of institutions and funders is equally needed for Open Science to progress at national and institutional levels. New incentives and alternative rewarding mechanisms for the evaluation and promotion of researchers according to best practices should become a priority.
Achievements: The webinar communicated successful stories and NOADs' commitments from Open Science activities in Cyprus and Greece.
Since 2009 the National Open Access Desk in Cyprus, has participated in European projects to support the promotion of European and national policies related to Open Science. There are collaborations with public libraries for the promotion of Citizen Science initiatives and funding mechanisms such as "Cyprus University of Technology Open Access Author Fund" .
The libraries in Cyprus participate in the Consortium and Cyprus Association of Librarians – Information Scientists - CALIS for Open Science, supervised by the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy of Cyprus.
Coming up: Both communities of library professionals and information scientists in Greece and Cyprus remain active and embrace the advancements in the library science field. They will meet again in the Autumn to continue discussions about their daily Open Science activities and experiences. This collaboration is expected to flourish and provide exposure to new information and skills which is a prerequisite for the dynamic response of the libraries to the digitalization on science and society.