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University of Cyprus: supporting, establishing and implementing EC’s vision for Open Science


Being an OpenAIRE NOAD was and still is an added value 

The most important asset that OpenAIRE has and provides to all of us is the great human network that is always there for support.

by Sylvia 

The OpenAIRE team has the pleasure of speaking to Sylvia Koukounidou, Coordinator of Digitisation and Archives Office, Library-University of Cyprus. Read her reflections on Open Science.


How does the University of Cyprus support Open Science in Cyprus?

The University of Cyprus (UCY) is a young and rapidly expanding university. Despite its brief history, it has managed to earn the respect of the international academic community and the appreciation of Cypriot society. For the last 13 years, among other tasks, the University of Cyprus is actively supporting the European Commission's vision for Open Science. Since 2009, the Library is participating in European projects and acting as the only National Open Access Desk (NOAD) in the country. Our Library is also actively involved in the promotion and transmission of knowledge regarding Open Science aspects. For more than ten years, the University of Cyprus Library is organising numerous webinars, conferences and in-person events to provide the necessary knowledge to all different stakeholders. One of our main goals is to reach and support not only academia but also to engage and involve the local community. Thus, the thematic areas covered in our events vary. Undoubtedly the University of Cyprus, via its Library and through participation in European projects and networks, is working hard and systematic to establish and implement Open Science aspects in the local research community and beyond.

When and why did you decide to join OpenAIRE and become a NOAD?

The UCY considers being the leading University and the most active research institution in Cyprus. Thus, the decision to join OpenAIRE early enough (2009) came as a logical consequence of the University's readiness to take part in evolving projects and networks. Until now, the University of Cyprus has implemented many research projects funded by the European Commission, the National Research and Innovation Foundation and several public and private Research Organizations. Furthermore, our University has excellent scientific staff, research infrastructures and participates in many networks. Open Access policies were often discussed among our researchers and support was needed. Despite the outstanding performance of the University, there is always room for further improvement to make UCY a point of reference in Europe's research activities. Even though our University stands out for its high level of education and its rich research work, being the OpenAIRE NOAD was and still is obviously an added value, setting the University in the centre of Open Science developments.

What do you think is missing in Cyprus to fully embrace Open Science?

The truth is that many milestones have been achieved since 2009, with the most important one being the approval of the National Policy for Open Access in the Republic of Cyprus by the Council of Ministers (2016). This was the outcome of the coordination of the Working Group for Open Access we invited as OpenAIRE NOAD back in 2015, which was part of one of our OpenAIRE dissemination events. Another important thing to be noted is the continuous support we provide not only to our university researchers but also to all the Cypriot researchers and stakeholders, either as part of their obligations to their grants or for infrastructure creation and compatibility issues. We also support policymakers and funders regarding several Open Science related topics, issues and aspects. During the past two years, we have worked closely with the involved stakeholders, putting a lot of effort to revise the national policy and our participation in the discussion for its actual implementation. We must find the way and create the tools (policies, guidelines, infrastructures) to follow the rapidly changing Open Science environment.

What are your top three priorities you will focus on in the next year? 

 How do you think OpenAIRE will help you succeed?

OpenAIRE was and still is the main source where we first look for answers regarding several Open Science-related issues. The tools and knowledge developed are there to be used by everyone. In my opinion, the most important asset  OpenAIRE has and provides to all of us is the great human network created that is always there to help and support.

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