Slovenian OpenAIRE national workshop on open science in the European Research Area

The conference Open Science in the European Research Area took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 17 November 2016. A national event of OpenAIRE2020 project and part of Science Month 2016, it was organized by the Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport (as the National Point of Reference on access to and preservation of scientific information) and the University of Ljubljana (as the OpenAIRE National Open Access Desk).

The topic of the conference was chosen because of the latest developments on open science in the European Research Area (i.e., Council Conclusions on the transition towards an open science system, Open Science Policy Platform, European Open Science Cloud first report). The speakers have first-hand experiences in topics they have presented. The conference was targeted to researchers and National Contact Points, other open science stakeholders participated as well. Videostreaming enabled remote participants to follow the conference program. Video will remain available on the web.

In the welcome addresses, Dr Tomaž Boh, State Secretary, and Prof Dr Goran Turk, Vice-rector of the University of Ljubljana, confirmed the support to open science at their respective organizations. Dr Zoran Stančič, Head of European Commission Representation in Slovenia, ensured that the European Commission has no doubts about open science – it is embedded in Horizon 2020 and changes will be suggested to EU Member States to attain the common goals.


Patrick Brenier (European Commission, DG Research and Innovation) spoke of the transition towards an open science system, which has many potentials and benefits for science and society. Eight top-level ambitions are to be realized by 2020. These are Open Data, European Open Science Cloud, altmetrics, change of business models for scientific publishing, rewards, research integrity, education and skills, and citizen science.

c75t8355Urban Krajcar, MSc (Ministry of Education, Science and Sport) presented the National strategy of open access to scientific publications and research data in Slovenia 2015-2020 that was adopted by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia in September 2015. The national strategy is fully aligned with provisions on open access in Horizon 2020.



Dr Wainer Lusoli (European Commission, DG Research and Innovation) started the presentation with quoting Commissioner Carlos Moedas that “By 2020, we want all European researchers to be able to deposit, access and analyse European scientific data through a European Open Science Cloud.” The latter is one of the pillars of the European Cloud Initiative, along with European Data Infrastructure and widening the user base (e-government and industry) and building trust (certification and standards).


Dr Tony Ross-Hellauer (OpenAIRE2020 Project) presented services and tools of OpenAIRE – a human and digital network of 50 partners – to support open science in Horizon 2020 for researchers, project coordinators and funders (the European Commission as well as national funders). New trends in scholarly communication are also being researched and developed within the project, i.e., linked open data, legal issues in open data, data citation, literature-data integration, open access metrics and open peer review.

Patrick Brenier (European Commission, DG Research and Innovation) described a challenge on wider access to scientific facts and knowledge. Part of the solution is already implemented as open access mandate to all scientific publications in Horizon 2020. From 2017, research data is open by default, with possibilities to opt out. Data should be as open as possible, as closed as necessary, and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable).


Dr Marijan Beg (University of Southampton) spoke about the virtual research environment which improves problems with time consumption, collaboration, reproducibility and abuse. Among the benefits of virtual research environment are documentation, computation and visualization in the same notebook, easy sharing, publishing and collaboration are enabled, research is reproducible.

c75t8450Dr Jonathan P. Tennant (Imperial College London) characterized the scientific communication system as largely funded by the public, governed by private interests, restricted in terms what can be done with it, access is a financial or status privilege, and research and communication is secondary to the business model. There are no reasons for not sharing everything. Researchers should be aware of their rights and should use Creative Commons licenses. Evaluation of science and peer review should adopt openness.

Panelists on open science listed also the following concluding remarks: power of research agencies should be collected to overcome current problems with open access to articles, preparation of research data for openness should not impose a high burden on researchers and should be customised to scientific fields, advice to all open science stakeholders is to not let commercial interest interfere.


Panel discussion: Prof Dr Gregor Majdič (chair), Dr Marijan Beg, Prof Dr Slobodan Žumer, Urban Krajcar, MSc, Dr Wainer Lusoli, Dr Jonathan P. Tennant

Petra Tramte, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport
Mojca Kotar, University of Ljubljana

Photo credits: Željko Stevanić, IFP, d.o.o.

Mojca Kotar

Mojca Kotar, Assistant Secretary General of the University of Ljubljana in the University Office of Library Services. OpenAIRE National Open Access Desk for Slovenia.

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