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A glimpse at the outcomes of the Greek Open Science Symposium

The OpenAIRE logo was customised to reflect the key points of actions as identified during the open discussions with stakeholders at the Greek Open Science Symposium.
First day keynote session

The setting: Athena Research Center (ARC), as one of the coordinators of OpenAIRE and the Greek OpenAIRE NOAD organized a two day national symposium on “Open Science in the Greek Research Ecosystem: Research Data, Procedures and Collaborations” on 29- 30 November in Athens. The symposium was co-organised with the Greek RDA node and the project for the Hellenic Data Services - HELIX, and was the first attempt to bring together all stakeholders who act under the umbrella of Open Science in the national academic and research ecosystem.

Some demographics: Professionals and experts with diverse backgrounds representing a wide range of organisations and initiatives (libraries, national research infrastructure nodes, open software initiatives and policy makers) from different parts of Greece, came to Athens to participate in this open dialogue and training sessions.
With 180 participants in total, the symposium was a success not only due to the high attendance, but also because it set the scene giving the opportunity for all open science and data experts and enthusiasts to be part of a wider community of practice which was felt that Greece was missing in this area.

Image on the right: Panel discussion on policies and priorities for a National Open Science Strategy - (left to right) Prodromos Tsiavos, Consultant Attorney at ARC; Prof. Nektarios Tavernarakis, president of FORTH for the Council of Presidents of Research Centers; Lia Ollandezou, Hellenic Academic Libraries Link (HEAL-Link) AUTh; Prof. Yannis Emiris, University of Athens for the Hellenic Foundation for Research & Innovation - H.F.R.I; Prof. Diomidis Spinellis, Athens Economics and Business University for the Greek Open Technologies Alliance (GFOSS); Prof. Markos Koutras, Vice-Rector of Finance, Planning and Development of the University of Piraeus, for the Rectors Council.

First day of discussions: Following keynote sessions for the EOSC, OpenAIRE, RDA-Europe and LIBER, a panel discussion moderated by Natalia Manola, called representatives from the Rectors Council, the Council of Presidents of Research Centers, the Hellenic Foundation for Research & Innovation - H.F.R.I., the Hellenic Academic Libraries Link (HEAL-Link) and the Greek Open Technologies Alliance (GFOSS) in open conversations, also with the audience, so as to understand the current state of open practices followed in Greece, with a focus on Open Access to publications performed in Higher Education Institutions and research centers.

Discussions were fruitful and very engaging leading to the conclusion/inference that Greece has already quite a good understanding of the ecosystem and what needs to be done to align with the European practices and communicate with their peers. In addition, institutional repositories have been developed and run by almost every academic library thus support of Green Open Access (OA) is ensured. The open dialogue with the audience also made very clear that there is a lack of coordination to take things forward. When the discussion focused on Open Access to publications in Research Performing Organizations it was expected and “agreed” that OpenAIRE with the NOAD organizations (Athena RC and HEAL-Link) could and should take a leading role and propose pragmatic solutions to be implemented.

The afternoon session explored data management services, tools and FAIR compliance of domain specific research infrastructure national nodes.  The keynotes for the Digital Infrastructure for Research, and especially for the Hellenic Data Services - HELIX drew a lot of attention as a core horizontal service able to be used as the foundation for many research communities, off the box compatible with OpenAIRE Guidelines and EOSC rules of participation (as they come along). A flash talk session with eight (8) presentations of core Research Infrastructures that are included in the National Roadmap for Research Infrastructures took place after the HELIX keynotes. Moreover, these infrastructures are: DARIAH-GR for Humanities, INNOVATION-el for Materials and Analytical Facilities, CLARIN-EL for Language Resources, PANACEA for Atmospheric Data, INSPIRED for Structural Biology, ELIXIR-GR for life sciences, SODANET for social sciences, HELPOS/EIDA for seismological science. The session went through very well and showed that the data management issues and approaches are common, and that the communities are in need of core national data services to fulfill their open science/data requirements, as well as of continued support from the government as part of their sustainability.

Second day of seminars: The purpose of the second day of the Symposium was complementary and aimed to inform about and train librarians, repository managers, researchers and research communities in services, implementation tools and practices for Open Access, Open Science and (Research) Data Management. Two parallel streams of hands-on sessions were running all day.

First two parallel sessions were about Open Science policy characteristics and educational proposals for Research Data Management with the Hellenic Data Service "HELIX". In this context, the capabilities of HELIX services for publications, data and labs were demonstrated through live tutorials, which gave the opportunity for participants to practise on specific features with the help of the HELIX team. Additionally, those interested in policies benefited from open discussions that were happening at the Open Science Clinic session, a great outcome of which was the creation of a working group for institutional policies and legal advice. The educational paradigm of the Greek translation of the FOSTER Open Science Training Handbook was also explained with the help of volunteers who made this initiative a reality.

During the next parallel sessions, the programme focused on practices and implementation tools for Open Access and Open Science as well as interoperability and other technical matters of infrastructures and services for Research Data Management. Amnesia - the OpenAIRE anonymisation tool, and openDMP - the machine actionable Data Management Planning tool, were demonstrated along with procedures for registration of services to the einfraCentral / EOSC catalogue. In an RDA-tailored session, participants also got the chance to explore the RDA outputs of Scholarly Link Exchange (Scholix) for interoperability, CoreTrustSeal certification as derivative of the DSA-WDS Partnership Working Group) and supporting services for early career researchers via the dedicated RDA Interest Group for Early Career and Engagement talk.

During the last session, participants learnt about the OpenAIRE Research Community Dashboard and OpenAIRE Content Provider Dashboard. The prior being a service developed to facilitate researchers’ communication and collaboration in data sharing and evaluation during their projects, and the latter being the service which provides interoperability and metadata enrichment resolutions for repositories in support also to the FAIR principles. In addition, participants familiarised themselves with the BiP! Finder tool, currently expanding its initial scope to accommodate wider communities’ needs (apart from biomedical fields) for popularity and influence of article level metrics based on citations. Last on that stream of parallel sessions were the presentation and walk through the e-publishing platform which has been developed by EKT, and an impromptu live survey on institutional repository matters aimed to become the initiator of a series of discussions with interested people. In fact, its success in achieving that is reflected in the outcome of this session as it triggered the creation of a working group for repositories interoperability issues.

Value added in the national research area: Overall, of all values and principles of Open Science, what characterised the Greek Open Science Symposium was collaboration. Currently in Greece, there is a good policy and legal framework as derivative of EU communications and directives for open government and open data. In addition, there is both the e-infrastructure and research infrastructures to accommodate researchers’ and research communities’ domain specific and generic demands, also through cloud and High Performance Computing for big data.

Hence, the need for all national stakeholders to communicate with each other and work collectively in order to achieve a national Open Science ecosystem and effective representation in the EOSC while at the same time strengthening Research & Innovation in Greece, became apparent even from the first day. Key areas for collaborative actions as they were identified are:

- Open Access to publications: starting with Green Open Access since it’s the most mature at the moment.

- Research Data Management / Data Management Plans: for data to be not only open but re-usable and reproducible; H.F.R.I. to consider introduction of Data Management Plans for all disciplines (even SSH that it currently lacks of)

- Institutional Policies and Repositories: for all institutions to adopt and enforce an Open Access/Open Science Policy in a unified approach reflecting issues found in the proposed EOSC Policy Framework which includes, among others, Ethics in research and researchers’ behaviour and the need for an Open Science Code of Conduct. Repositories to be interoperable and increase their research results’ visibility through OpenAIRE.

- Rewarding System: to move away from the Impact Factor, embrace successful paradigms, such as the DORA Declaration, and influence efforts in the development of alternative rewarding systems.

- Training: to equip librarians with the necessary data management skills for the long tail of science and offer researchers training in Open Science as well as in use of the national data management services.

- Sustainability: for establishing a continuum (by-default) and open mechanism of publicly funded research which makes participation to Research and Science inclusive to all.

Dr. Vangelis Karkaletsis, National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos” and Prof. Yannis Ioannidis in an open discussion for prioritisation and decisions on joint actions

What are the next steps: To move concretely to an accepted by all open science national policy, the (re-)creation of the National Open Science High Level Task Force, under the auspices of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) was proposed, and bottom-up working groups for institutional policies and repositories were formulated. In particular, for Open Access to publications it was expected and “agreed” that OpenAIRE NOAD organizations (Athena RC and HEAL-Link) could and should take a leading role and propose pragmatic solutions to be implemented.

For research data, the HELIX National Data Service was perceived as a key umbrella initiative to host and promote data management and EOSC related initiatives.

Finally, the seminars and practices analysed revealed librarians’ and researchers’ need for further training on research data on services such as HELIX data services, on the creation of Data Management Plans through OpenAIRE openDMP tool and on anonymisation procedures with use of OpenAIRE Amnesia. Academic librarians have shown a prominent interest in Open Access and Open Science policy sessions, scholarly communication and support for researchers throughout their projects’ lifetime and research efforts at all levels of their career (focusing also at early career researchers). Sessions about interoperability of repositories were among the popular ones for repository and infrastructure managers.

“This is a journey that we must take together,

not only because it’s pleasant, moreover because it’s necessary.” 

Natalia Manola, Managing Director of OpenAIRE

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