Community News Magazine Open Science

Eastern Partnership countries open up to Open Science

Group photos people at a workshop.
Participants of EaPConnect’s OpenAIRE workshop in 2019. (©URANAssociation)

When a scientist spends a lot of time and energy planning, conducting and analysing research, there is sometimes a desire to share the results as widely as possible and Open Science initiatives have become popular. NRENs in Eastern Partnership countries are better prepared to enable Open Science nationally following events organised in the EU-funded EaPConnect project – and several have been developing Open Science activities with other European initiatives.

In 2019, the first EaPConnect project held two workshops that brought Open Science to the forefront for its partners in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. In September, in Yerevan, EOSC (European Open Science Cloud) and services in it were spotlit, along with relevant EGI (European Grid Infrastructure) tools. In June, in Kiev, the OpenAIRE project, portals and tools were showcased. OpenAIRE featured again most recently, in a February 2021 event for researchers at the Institute of Information Technology of the Azerbaijanian National Academy of Sciences, organised by AzScienceNet and the second EaPConnect project.

“GÉANT and our partners support the Open Science FAIR principles that make data more accessible for research communities: when we plan project activities, we keep these principles in mind to ensure our partners can contribute to Open Science in their national context.” Veronika Di Luna, GÉANT, EaPConnect Project Manager

National capacity-building events in Armenia, Moldova and Georgia went ahead in recent months in conjunction with the National Initiatives for Open Science in Europe (NI4OSEurope) project. These promoted the Open Science concept and raised awareness of EOSC, adding to the construction of the EOSC service portfolio. In September 2020, RENAM (Moldova) and IIAP NAS RA (Armenia) held national capacity-building events and GRENA (Georgia) followed suit in November. The Armenian OpenAIRE NOAD (National Open Access Desk) was presented: thanks to support from EaPConnect, NI4OS and Horizon 2020, this already linked to the pan-European OpenAIRE infrastructure. Representatives of universities and research institutions, librarians and policy makers heard about Open Science and FAIR data (findability, accessibility, interoperability, reusability) principles and about NI4OS-Europe, EOSC and OpenAIRE. Debate and discussion among the participants revealed a high level of interest in taking these topics further.

A face frequently seen at these events was Dr. Iryna Kuchma of EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) who presented Open Science policies and OpenAIRE activities and services.

“It is great to see Eastern Partnership countries so open to the Open Science message. I look forward to seeing how this develops into active participation in these initiatives that will allow these countries to really contribute to the wider adoption of Open Science principles around Europe and the world.” Iryna Kuchma, EIFL, Open Access Programme Manager

National dissemination events in Georgia on 14 April and in Moldova on 21 April, organised by GRENA and RENAM in connection with the EU-funded NI4OS-Europe project, are the next step in these open science developments.

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