According to the European Commission, the term Open Science is a new approach to the scientific process based on cooperative work and new ways of disseminating knowledge by using digital technologies and new collaborative tools. Open Science is about extending the principles of openness to the whole research cycle, fostering sharing and collaboration as early as possible thus entailing a systemic change to the way science and research are done.
Open Science is frequently defined as an umbrella term that involves various movements and initiatives aiming to remove the barriers to sharing any kind of output, resources, methods, or tools, at any stage of the research process. As such, open access to publications, open research data, open-source software, open educational resources, citizen science, etc. falls into the boundaries of Open Science. Open Science Policy Platform, a high-level advisory group of the EU, has defined the following eight axes on which radical changes should be made to establish Open Science:
- Rewards and Incentives
- Research Indicators and Next-Generation Metrics
- Future of Scholarly Communication
- European Open Science Cloud
- Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable (FAIR Data)
- Research Integrity
- Skills and Education
- Citizen Science
Policies in the Greek academic environment/ community
A national policy and mandate for Open Access have not been established in Greece and specifically in the academic community. Neither the government nor national bodies individually have created and implemented an Open Access policy.
As far as the legislative framework is concerned, article 25 of Law 4310/2014 states that the Greek General Secretariat for Research and Innovation (GSRI) and the public research organizations should, among others, ensure that “…open access is provided to the outputs of its research staff, an interconnection system is developed with corresponding initiatives and a digital form of the final version of the outputs of the research staff, whose research is funded with public funds, is made available to public subject open access repositories.” Moreover, article 4 of Law 4485/2017 on the mission of Greek Higher Educational Institutions states that “… to develop common, open resources in education, research, technology and civilization”, without any further reference to “open resources.”
At an academic institution level, there is the resolution of the 71st Hellenic Universities Rectors’ Synod to sign the Berlin Declaration and to adopt the Open Access principle in the bibliography at the end of 2012. The Synod urged institutions to take initiatives in promoting open access. More specifically, papers need to be deposited in open access institutional repositories with a few exceptions and the members of the academic community should be informed about open access and be encouraged to publish in open access journals.
The resolution of the 90th Hellenic Universities Rectors’ Synod that took place in March 2019 concerning open access is a positive development. According to it, all academic institutions are invited to:
- Develop and implement Open Access policies in 2019, which will support not only the green but also the gold open access route. These policies should be implemented as a mandate for professors and researchers of the institutions to self-archive their scientific publications.
- Inform their professors and researchers.
- Provide open access support structures and processes by the guidelines of the European University Association, the European Commission, and the largest research funding bodies in the European Union.
- Make the self-archiving of publications in institutional or subject repositories and the provision of open access a precondition for funding from institutional resources.
- Make resources available to cover Article Processing Charges that are imposed by the publishers of open access journals to support the golden open access route.
In June 2018, HEAL-Link issued the Declaration on Open Access in Greece, which was supported by the Ministry of Education, Research, and Religious Affairs through then Minister Kosta Gavroglou. In brief, HEAL-Link expresses its interest in establishing an international initiative for the open-access transformation of scholarly journals focusing on the transformation from subscription to open-access publishing by community-specific publication preferences. Also, HEAL-Link supports new and improved forms of open access publishing and urges institutions to establish open access policies and professors and researchers to submit their scientific papers to their institutional repositories immediately upon publication.
Finally, the “National Plan for Open Science” prepared by the Task Force for Open Science was published in June 2020.