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On the way towards Open Science: first Israeli national workshop


On the 19th of November, 2019, the first Israeli OpenAIRE National Workshop –titled: On the Way Towards Open Science: "Set Science Free" took place in Bar Ilan university (BIU).

The event was organized by the Iseraeli OpenAIRE NOAD Dr. Simcha Meir along with the libraries and information system department of BIU. With around 180 attendees, mainly librarians and researchers from all universities, and also a large number of colleges, representatives from various funding organizations: the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC), who is responsible for funding the Israeli system of higher education, was along with the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), the largest funding agency in Israel, and the Ministry of Science, with whom discussions on how to create an open science policy are ongoing, were some of the funding organizations that attended.

Prof Shulamit Michalei, vice president of research of BIU, gave the opening greetings and shared her views on the importance of open science. She spoke from experience about how researchers could benefit from open science and mentioned the high cost it imposes on the researchers, an issue that should be solved.

The first session was an introductory to open science. The first speaker, Pedro Principe who is the head of the south regional office in OpenAIRE, gave an overview on "the vision of the European Commission: policy and practice for Open Science and Open Access " and continued to explain the fundamental background behind the implementation of open access mandateand how OpenAIRE helps the researchers achieve this goal.

Noga Carmin, from ISERD the isreal Europe R&I directorate, spoke about the European Open Science Cloud initiative and the Israeli participation. She stated that the EOSC would provide 1.7m EU researchers an environment with free, open services for data storage, management, analysis and, re-use across various disciplines. 

 Dr Olga Goldin summarized her visit in Kaunas Technology University; where she learned from the 10 years of experience from her Lithuanian collogue on the practice of open science.

In the second session, Prof Beni Geiger from Weitzman institute and the head of ISF funding agency, said that he firmly believes that open publications and data sharing with the research community and the greater public plays a role in increasing the impact of scientific research. He talked about the new gateway platform that will be launched soon by the ISF where research funded by ISF, from all disciplines, can be published including articles, data, negative results, case repots ext.

He sincerely expects that the peer reviewed contents published in the ISF gateway will provide excellent exposure for ISF funded science to reach the worldwide audience.

Dr. Sigal Lahav Scher, from MALMAD discussed Open Access business models and negotiation licenses for Israeli academia. She went on to describe the OA publishing status in Israel explaining that the number of OA Israeli publications is relatively low and we should exert more of an effort to raise awareness among the research community.

Dr Dalit Ken Dror focused on some barriers that Open Access to publications and research products face and mentioned a few initiatives about how different models for open access. She addressed their advantages, flaws, and strategies that can overcome some of the barriers we will inevitably counter when we attempt to publish in open access.

The culminating session was a round table discussion on the Israeli landscape of Open Science with representatives from the main universities who described the status of their institute and what are the first steps to be taken. 

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