Last updated on 24 March 2020.
In the past few years, research in Cyprus has increased considerably due to the integration of the country into the EU. The establishment of six more universities, both public and private, in addition to the University of Cyprus that already existed, has also contributed to this increase. The main funder of research in Cyprus is the EU, which has supported research by providing the majority of the funding. Since the EU has given a significant boost to research activity nationally by being the primary funder of research, its role is considered particularly important for further support of research both for researchers and the organizations that employ them.
In 2019 the Republic of Cyprus announced a totally new Governance structure and system of research and Innovation for Cyprus.
Image Source: National Board for Research and Innovation
The new structure revolves around three principal strategic pillars and six horizontal pillars that act as enablers of strategic importance. The strategic framework has been developed by the National Board of Research and Innovation (NBRI) its implementation will be under the responsibility of the Office of the Chief Scientist (RIF and Directorate for Research and Innovation of DG EPCD) and through a set of policy measures and activities targeting the aforementioned strategic pillars and enablers, will facilitate a strong boost of the research and innovation ecosystem.
Image Source: Office of the Chief Scientist. Strategy and Policy
Open Science, Open Access to research outputs will play a key role to the achievement of the vision of the Republic. In March 2020 the Minister of Finance stated that "Opening our data is providing an unlimited perspective on research, innovation, political accountability, development, democracy and progress. The richness of data that the government produces and holds is not the property of the Government and should not be locked in Ministry drawer, instead, it belongs to the citizens." The Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital policy announced at the same event that the issue of Openness is a crucial point to the fulfilment of the tasks of his deputy ministry.
Through the University of Cyprus Library, Cyprus has been participating in OpenAIRE projects since the beginning of the project in 2009, as a National Open Access Desk (NOAD). The main objectives of a NOAD are among others to support, promote and disseminate all relevant information regarding the policies of Open Access to all possible stakeholders.
Cyprus achieved this by establishing a collaboration mechanism among researchers, institutions, funding organizations, EC National Reference Points, repository managers, librarians and the librarians association – a real human network. Three parallel approaches are in continuous process for this achievement.
Central approach: Cooperation with the Research Promotion Foundation and the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development (the local NPRs for OA) in order to establish a National policy and promote any Open Science issue to the local community. This approach has been extremely efficient since through a great collaboration we resulted excellent and important outcomes.
Cluster approach: a) Co-organize/Participate in conferences of librarians/information scientists who acted as multipliers because they were able to disseminate the obligation derived by H2020 projects to their institutional researchers. b) Identification and participation with posters or papers in conferences / information days that took place in our region through which researchers were reached.
Individual approach: Emails to the Cypriot coordinators/partners of SC39 FP7 and H2020 projects and phone calls were answered for questions & help requests.
In addition and in order to provide useful and essential information to the local community, in 2019 the website OpenScienceCy has been created and curated by the Cyprus OpenAIRE NOAD.
In conjunction with participation in the OpenAIRE network, Cyprus NOAD had use the expertise and the advocacy material produced by completed and acting relevant projects such as the RECODE - Policy (RECommendations for Open Access to Research Data in Europe), PASTEUR4OA - (Open Access Policy Alignment Strategies for European Union Research) (acted also as Key Node), FOSTER - (Facilitate Open Science Training for European Research) (hosted training event).
Cyprus NOAD is continuously working for the fulfillment of all the above mentioned tasks.
Since 2009 Cyprus via the Library of the University of Cyprus is participating in European funded projects that aim to promote the Open Science policies of the European Commission, as National Open Access Desk (NOAD).
Many awareness activities (presentations, meetings, workshops etc) took place since 2009 focusing in several stakeholders.
In addition, as part of the NOADs obligations for Open Access and Open Science awareness activities, the form of a National Open Access Working Group was considered as an essential task for putting Open Science in action. So, in 2015, with the coordination of the OpenAIRE Cyprus NOAD the different stakeholders involved in the Working Group for Open Access (consisting of the National Point of Reference for Open Access, namely the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development, the Research promotion foundation, local academic institutions and research funders), and highly supported by the coordinators of the project PASTEUR4OA (Open Access Policy Alignment Strategies for European Union Research), the form of the document for the National policy for Open Access begun. On the 25th of February 2016, the Council of ministers of the Republic of Cyprus, had finally approved the adoption of the National policy for Open Access in Cyprus. The Cyprus OA policy document is available on the National Strategy for Research and Innovation page of the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development. The National policy provides guidelines and support for the implementation of Open Access for research outputs that are funded locally, aligned with the European policies and based on the already established infrastructure at European level (e.g. OpenAIRE). Several activities are taking place in Cyprus in order to support the adoption of the national policy and ensure the success of its implementation.
The choice of long-term data repository is left to the researchers. The policy encourages the use of either disciplinary data archives, institutional repositories, or Zenodo. A Zenodo community named CYPRUS has been created and is curated by OPENAIRE Cyprus NOAD. The DG EPCD has encouraged all universities, researchers and research institutions to make use of this. The creation of a national data archive was discussed at a May 2018 meeting of the National Working Group.
In 2019, a revision of the policy (draft document) was created by the Cyprus OpenAIRE NOAD (based on the OpenAIRE RPO template), and forwarded to the relevant stakeholders. The document is under study and is to be further discussed in 2020.
Regarding the fulfilment of EOSC vision, Cyprus is participating with two partners (the University of Cyprus and the Cyprus Institute) in the InfraEOSC 5b project, National Initiatives for Open Science in Europe – NI4OS Europe that aims to be a core contributor to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) service portfolio, commit to EOSC governance and ensure inclusiveness on the European level for enabling global Open Science.
In November 2008 the Senate of the University of Cyprus, supported and accepted the Library Committee’s proposal to sign the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. Berlin declaration was also signed in 2011 by the Governing board of the Cyprus University of Technology and in 2017 by the Open University of Cyprus.
In addition, the forming of Institutional Policies are now in progress in Cyprus in the biggest universities of the country. In particular, Open Access committee has been formed by the University of Cyprus to handle the issue and propose any necessary actions and tasks needed to adopt and implement the institutional policy. Other Universities are also discussing in different levels and bodies the introduction of an institutional OA policy.
The new funding schema of the National research funder “Restart 2016-2020”, announced late 2016, included the requirement for Open Access to Research outputs of the projects funded by the National Research Promotion Foundation. Compliance of the researchers with the national open access policy, cannot yet be reported. Institutional policies will be the next step in order to be aligned to the European and National policy.
APCs have been in the agenda of the meetings/discussions for a long time in different levels and stakeholders.
By late 2017 the Cyprus University of Technology presented the «CUT Open Access Author Fund». The academic community of CUT is now able to apply for a maximum amount of €5000 to publish their research publications in Open Access journals or books.
Furthermore, there has been a great initiative from a pharmaceutical company which decided that within the framework of its Corporate Social Responsibility will finance the publications of authors with a maximum funding amount of €3000 if they provide their research in Open Access. The Senate of CUT approved the creation of the “Remedica Open Access Author Fund” and it’s been in act since 2013.
There are two harvesters in Cyprus. Cyprus Open Archives harvests all repositories based in Cyprus, providing one point access to digitized or digital born material, including research publications, thesis or cultural heritage items. Another harvester hosted by the Ministry of Education and Culture was created mainly for providing digital items to Europeana and mainly harvests cultural heritage items.
In October 2009 the Cyprus Academic Library Consortium (CALC) has signed a nationwide subscription contract with BMC (Biomed Central) for an open access model to the BMC journals. According to the author-pay-model-contract the contribution fee for all authors from Cyprus institutes (public and private Universities, research centres, hospitals etc.) will be discounted by 50% for their future publications to BMC journals.
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Local Open Access support initiatives are mainly through Cyprus academic institutions. Almost all institutions participates and organise events and awareness activities especially on Open Access week.
Furthermore, the Cyprus NOAD participates in “on-demand” events to inform any stakeholder needed about Open Access issues and is in close collaboration with the Cyprus Association of Librarians-Information Scientists for providing feedback about Open Access developments, policies etc. Material from recent events can be found in the following links:
Open Data Day: Transparency, Innovation, Development, 2020 Event organized by OpenAIRE and the Ministry of Finance, Department of Public Administration and Personnel
Open Science: From theory to practice, 2019 National OpenAIRE event
Open Science and the Role of Repositories, 2018 National OpenAIRE event with the collaboration of RPF & DG EPCD
Open Access: the direct dissemination of the produced scientific knowledge, 2017 Workshop for Open Access with the collaboration of OpenAIRE, RPF, OUC & DG EPCD
Open Access in Cyprus, 2016 Event by Open University of Cyprus 2016
National Workshop For Open Access, 2015 OpenAIRE/FOSTER event 2015
Cyprus has 1 major funding agency integrated in OpenAIRE.