In July, Athena Research Centre (ARC) organised a Meeting entitled "Open Science in Greece: First Steps" aiming at formulating a national Task Force for Open Science. The Task Force (TF) was set up in September and assumes a bottom-up approach for the development of a national strategy for Open Science, which includes details on three key pillars: policy - legislation - infrastructure/services. The need of such a coordinated effort was expressed during the first Greek Open Science Symposium and is driven by the Greek academic and research community demands to better understand the national OS components already in place in order to then more effectively respond to the European developments, with most eminent being the establishment of a two-way communication with the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). It also comes as the next step of OS activities performed by the Greek OpenAIRE NOADs and the Greek RDA Node, who have been collecting information and producing primary material to be utilised by the Task Force.
September 2019 is a benchmark for Open Science developments in Greece as work towards developing a proposal for a national policy through the Open Science Task Force (OSTF) begun. Since then, the RDA Greek Node has worked with other members of the OSTF contributing to the cohesion and completion of drafting a National Plan for Open Science. During the last trimester, member representatives of the OSTF worked on defining the Open Science principles and policies to be integrated into the greek academic and research ecosystem. They met twice in the premises of Athena Research Center (ARC) in order to present their suggestions, share their reflections on specific matters as well as address comments that would lead to the final draft of the National Plan.
The meeting that took place in October pointed out the need for separating principles and national policies from relevant micro-policies and good practices for Open Science. In addition, the use of simple language and better allocation of information provided in the collaborative document were highlighted for making the text easy to read and avoiding mixing good practices with rules.
Work during the last month has been intensive and the Athena Research Center team has had one-on-one teleconferences with all the members of the task force in order to form two documents, as it has been previously agreed on: one containing the National Plan for Open Science and another one with Guidelines for Implementation. Τhe National Plan for Open Science, which includes the foundational principles and the national policy, was the focus of December’s meeting.The objective of this meeting was to improve the content and make final adjustments to the draft before handing it over to the political leadership who will decide on how it can be adopted at national level.
The OSTF observed that a long-term vision was missing out of discussions, so they agreed to the following:
Establishing/ Ensuring open access to scientific publications for all scientific products resulting from public grants.
Supporting and promoting best practices for open and FAIR data and for open research software.
Continuous training of researchers in open science practices and integration of new skills in higher education.
Boosting the use of national research infrastructures and interconnection with the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).
In early 2020, the final draft of the National Plan will be presented at the 2nd Open Science Symposium and will be made open to the public for further consultation. Next steps include plans to complete the second document, i.e the Guidelines for Implementation, which contains model policies for national Research Performing Organisations and Research Funding Organisations along with good practices for their adoption.
The OSTF activities have gained momentum among the european research and academic community who is interested in exchanging knowledge and skills with Greece regarding the development and implementation of Open Science policies. Thus, it becomes apparent that there is a growing need to examine the existing policy framework in Greece and support its alignment with the european conditions for Open Access and Open Science as well as to shift national focus to more research-oriented actions.
Find out more about the Greek OSTF: