National Open Access Desk

  • Kevin Ellul  |

    Josianne Vella  |
    • The University of Malta (UM) is the highest teaching and research institution in Malta and was founded in 1769. It is a publicly funded institution and caters for 11,000 students which include over 1,000 international students from 92 different countries and comprises over 1,000 academics, and approximately 800 technical and administrative staff. The UM is made up of 14 Faculties and a number of interdisciplinary Institutes, Centres and Schools. The UM strives to create programmes of studies and research which are relevant and timely in response to the needs of the country.

      Researchers at the UM conduct research in various fields, and as the sole University on the island, the UM has particular responsibility to cater for study areas on a national dimension. In September 2009, the UM has set up a Corporate Research and Knowledge Transfer Directorate so as to assist the UM to transform itself into a contemporary third generation University built on three significant pillars, being teaching, corporate research, and direct and active participation in sustainable socio-economic development.

      The UM Library is actively participating in OpenAIRE as well as contributing towards various Open Access initiatives both at institutional and national level. To this end, in October 2014, the UM Library launched the first Open Access institutional repository (IR) on the island, OAR@UM. The scope of this endeavour is to enhance the visibility as well as preserve the intellectual output and research being carried out at the UM. This digital repository holds the research publications of scholars affiliated with the UM, together with digital items including audio visual material. Moreover, owing to the fact that OAR@UM is the sole Open Access repository on the Maltese Islands, the UM is providing the opportunity to non-UM researchers to upload their research output on its repository. Hence, the remit of OAR@UM has been extended to cater as a national Open Access repository for Malta.

      The UM has also implemented an Open Access Policy whereby academics and reseachers are encouraged to upload their research output in Open Access. The policy advocates in favour of Green Open Access – nevertheless, the UM will be supporting Gold Open Access when funds for Article Process Charges are available.

      Support and landscape

      • In January 2017, the UM Library established an Open Science Department whose remit is to support the dissemination of the intellectual output, research and data produced by the UM. The department is fully committed to promote Open Science and to support with the processing and uploading of research output on the IR – OAR@UM.

      National initiatives

      • The Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST), acting for and on behalf of the Foundation for Science and Technology, is a public body established by the central government in 1988 with the mandate of advising government on science and technology policy. Its remit includes the development of the national research policy and strategy, and is responsibile for policy recommendations in the area of science and technology and also represents the Government of Malta in various EU fora.

        MCST is a participant of the ERAC Standing Working Group on Open Science and Innovation while the UM Library is acting as a National Point of Reference for Access to and Preservation of Scientific Information in Europe. Both MCST and the UM Library are following developments on the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).


      OpenAIRE statistics

      16643 OA publications in 2 repositories
    • National policy

      The Malta Council for Science & Technology (MCST) has secured the support of the Commission's Policy Support Facility (funded through Horizon 2020) to draft a National Open Science Policy. 

      Following the kick off meeting that was held in Brussels in July 2019, two (2) country visits (in Malta) of the panel of experts were held in October 2019 and December 2019. 

      The implementation of the policy is planned to take place in the last quarter of 2020.

      Institutional policy

      The University of Malta (UM) adopted an Open Access Policy which was approved by Senate on 20th September, 2017. The aim of this policy is to support UM researchers in providing Open Access to their peer-reviewed research publications through deposit in the UM’s Institutional Repository, OAR@UM.

      The full version of the University of Malta Open Access Policy can be viewed here.

      Malta has 1 major Institution which is listed here:

      University of Malta (UM)

      You can find more information about UM in OpenDOAR and ROARMAP.

      Funder policy

      Malta has not implemented a funder Open Access/Open Science policy yet.

    • Key networks and aggregators

      • OAR@UM is the UM's institutional repository (IR) and is managed by the UM Library. It is an online archive that collects, preserves and disseminates the intellectual output of the UM. Subsequently, it is a vital tool for scholarly communication, preservation of knowledge and an important resource to enhance the visibility of the research carried out at the UM.

        As of February 2020, 44,412 items have been uploaded in OAR@UM. These include over 17,823 peer-reviewed research articles, 2,184 audio-visual recordings, 2143 book chapters, 676 monographs, 2,226 conference proceedings, 1717 ephemera and 7,029 others (images, reports and editorials). Moreover, 10,614 electronic thesis and dissertations are also available in restricted access. Current statistics can be found on OAR@UM Update which is statistical report published on monthly basis. Furthermore, OAR@UM servers as a platform for 74 full-text journals which are available in Open Access.

        To further enhance transparency and visibility of the research being uploaded in OAR@UM the Library registered the institutional repository with various OAI Service Providers. These include CORE and BASE.

      Data repositories

      National publishing initiatives

      Most scientific journals published locally are being published by UM academics within the various Faculties, Institutes, Centres and Schools. These journals are currently being uploaded in the UM institutional repository, OAR@UM and made available in Open Access. The complete list can be found here.

      National agreements with publishers


      OA books

      No information available.

    • Adoption of Open Access is supported by the UM Library through the organisation of seminars, awareness raising events, and educational and training ventures. Training workshop entitled Enhancing the visibility of your research output: A hands-on workshop on how to upload your research papers on the UM Institutional Repository - OAR@UM are organised on monthly basis by the Library’s Open Science Department in collaboration with Library’s Outreach Department.
    • Funding Agencies

      No funding agencies are registered in ROARMAP yet.

      Integrated in OpenAIRE

      Malta has no funding agency integrated in OpenAIRE yet.

    • 23 January 2019
      Scholarly journals published by academic societies have to struggle through the complex publishing landscape in order to maximise their visibility, discoverability and usage. This is due to the fact t...
      09 February 2018
      The University of Malta (UM) Library in conjunction with OpenAIRE organised a one-day workshop entitled Open Access in Practice: Dissemination, Visibility, Usage & Impact of Scholarly Re...
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