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OpenAIRE Italian National Workshop 2018

workshop_italy_2018 Emma Lazzeri presentation in the National Workshop

The OpenAIRE National workshop held at the University of Turin aimed at presenting the different perspectives on the future of scholarly communication in Europe, focusing on new infrastructures and new services towards a more open and sustainable ecosystem.

High-level speakers were invited to provide an answer to some issues like: How shall we communicate and evaluate science in the next few years? Do we still need journals? What about PlanS? And what about FAIR data and the EOSC, European Open Science Cloud? And the Social Sciences and Humanities?

Presentations and recordings are available at

The European landscape was the topic of the first session.

Alea Lopez de San Román (European Commission, DG RTD) started by defining Open science as “a systemic transition of the science system which affects the way research is performed, knowledge is shared, diffused and preserved; research projects and results are evaluated; research is funded;  researchers are rewarded; future researchers are trained which affects the whole research cycle and all its stakeholders”. She reminded us – as Jon Tennant puts it – that Open Science is just good science, and it’s good for science (efficiency, verifiability, transparency, inter-disciplinarity), for the economy ( access to and re-use of scientific information by industry, innovation) and for society (broader, faster, transparent & equal access for citizens, increased societal impact of science and research).

She then presented the steps the European Commission took since 2007 towards Open science and recalled the 8 priorities according to the Open Science Policy platform:

  • Rewards and Incentives

  • Research Indicators and Next-Generation Metrics

  • Future of Scholarly Communication

  • European Open Science Cloud

  • FAIR Data

  • Research Integrity

  • Skills and Education

  • Citizen Science

They are all issues to be tackled in the next future.

Horizon Europe (FP9) will strengthen the Open Access/Open Data mandate in order to embed Open Science in every step and field of the research.

A key component of the future European research will be FAIR data. FAIR data management will be mandatory in Horizon Europe – at the moment, they are still in the trialogue phase – and FAIR data will also be the building of EOSC, the European Open Science Cloud. EOSC was launched on November 23, 2018 in Vienna; for its implementation, the reports Prompting an EOSC in practice and Turning FAIR data into reality are primary tools.

On the data side, in 2018 the EC proposed the so-called “data package” addressing

As for publications, the bid for a European publishing platform was not assigned. A new call is due in the next few weeks.

Publications were also the focus of Stephan Kusters’ (Science Europe) talk on PlanS and cOAlitionS, the funders’ consortium aimed at full and immediate Open Access to publications from publicly funded research through a shift towards new models of academic publishing and a system for scholarly publications that is more transparent, efficient and fair. He also explained why PlanS id different: because it aims to align national OA policies, entails mandating OA by funders, funders commit to cover costs (APCs, platforms, journal flipping), it sets a clear timeline: 2020, with transition periods, and it is about principles, not about particular publication models. He recalled PlanS strong principles:

No publication should be locked behind a paywall

OA must be immediate, i.e. no embargo periods

Publication under an open license; no transfer/licensing of copyright

No hybrid model of publication, except as a transitional arrangement with a clearly defined endpoint

Presenting the newly issued Guidance for implementation, Kuster reminded that to be compliant with PlanS you can publish in an Open Access journal or platform, deposit without embargo in open archives, publish in a hybrid journal under transformative agreements.

Robert Kiley (Wellcome Trust) showed a practical implementation of the PlanS principles in the new Wellcome Trust Open Access policy: no embargo, CC-By licenses, APC paid by the funder, preprints required and support to the DORA Declaration. A good practice in implementing DORA’s principle is to consider for applications and grants all types of research outputs, such as datasets, code, protocols… which can not be evaluated anyway by rankings!

Shalini Kurapati (TU Delft) gave another captivating and useful talk on the practice of FAIR and Open Data from the perspective of a data steward. Data stewardship – which is data support and not data police! – is the job of the future, as in EOSC at least half million stewards are needed. She started from the current crisis in scholarly communication, generated by the hyper-competition to publish in the high ranking journals so that you have irreproducible research and not sound methodologies as being first has become more important than being right or sound. Open Science and its principles of transparency, accountability, reuse can leverage the needed shift towards a better science. FAIR data play a crucial role in Open Science and, let’s stress it, a correct data management is also the basis of any good research. She presented the Data stewardship program at TU Delft, featuring a data stewards in each faculty, to take care of data, at 360 degrees. Training and reward systems are of utterly importance, and they can not be a single institution effort: we need a global (and urgent) action to secure researchers with the skills and recognition they deserve.

Emma Lazzeri (CNR ISTI) presented OpenAIRE infrastructure with a particular emphasis on the new products in the portfolio. One of the main goals in the new phase of OpenAIRE, OpenAIRE Advance, is to repackage services providing them as complete products. OpenAIRE is currently working to bundle the current services into products to address specific stakeholders’ needs and Product Management processes in order to deliver Dashboards specifically designed for Research Communities, Content Providers, Funders, institutions and projects. Plus Explore service for All.

In the second session, different stakeholders gave their vision on Open Science and publishing.

Liz Allen (F1000) clearly demonstrated the willing and the commitment of a really innovative Open Science publisher in tackling and try to solve the issues of the current communication system, namely too much research behind paywalls, long delays in publishing, peer review non-transparent, lack of access to data, too much good research never published, a significant research waste. Innovative publishers can provide, to respond to these needs, immediate Open Access, speed publication, open peer review, open data associated to the article, preprint, cost reductions. Innovative publishers can also provide tools to “mobilize” research and create real impact, to track metrics on different research outputs, to increase visibility and discoverability. In other words, publishers – as service providers – should meet the increasing demand of a radical change in scholarly communication.

Federica Rosetta (Elsevier) presented the offer of a “traditional” publisher more and more engaged with Open Science tools but… still missing the content, locked behind paywalls. However, during the question time, Federica gave the flavour on how Elsevier is reacting  

An insight on how Elsevier approaches Open Science principles and how it embeds them in its roadmap for product development, co-creation and collaboration with external

partners was given. Initiatives that contribute to the development of a FAIR and Open Data ecosystem were presented.

OPERAS, the research infrastructure for the Social Sciences and Humanities, was presented by Elena Giglia (University of Turin). OPERAS gathers different players (researchers, publishers, librarians) from 38 institutions and 12 countries around the vision of a more efficient and sustainable ecosystem in scholarly publishing. The focus in on the book, because the long argument is the researcher’s laboratory in the Humanities. OPERAS’ approach is to nurture the players – not to replace them – by offering new services and tools that can increase the overall quality of the system. Following the EOSC Declaration, “no discipline will be left behind”, OPERAS will also join the GoFAIR initiative, with a specific Implementation Network for the FAIRification of research data – which are quite different than in hard sciences – in the Social Sciences and Humanities.

A world without APCs is possible was the focus of Stefano Bolelli Gallevi’s (University of Milan) talk. He presented the Riviste UNIMI platform, hosting 40 Open Access journals at no expenses for authors and readers. Powered by OJS – Open Journal System, the University of Milan platform showed an impressive growth since its inception in 2008, perfectly meeting its vision of giving visibility to the research of the university, particularly in humanities and social sciences, of finding a sustainable communication tool in terms of costs and human resources, and of enhancing ways of communications and dissemination of the results of research. The platform has strict quality criteria with regard to peer review, Code of ethics, identifiers, legal deposit. 780.000 downloads in 2018, more than 5000 authors and 9000 registered readers are the evidence that the experiment worked. 

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