Malta launches first National Open Access Policy for public consultation

The Open Access Policy aims to improve access to scientific information and manage research data better

Research and Innovation Minister Owen Bonnici (Photo: DOI)
Research and Innovation Minister Owen Bonnici (Photo: DOI)

Minister for Research and Innovation Owen Bonnici launched Malta' first National Open Access Policy for public consultation, in an event held at Villa Bighi on Saturday morning.

Bonnici said that, “Having easier access to scientific information, enhanced circulation of knowledge and better managed research data, as laid out in the Open Access Policy, will surely contribute to economic growth based on knowledge-intensive and added value business activities.”

He explained how in 2017, the need to align Malta with European Union developments on open science, was identified. The ministry said that Open science represents new ways of disseminating and diffusing scientific knowledge, through cooperative work and collaborative tools, facilitated with ameliorated use of digital technologies.

"Open science enhances openness of all forms of research outputs at any stage of the research cycle, with most of the focus being placed on open access to publications and open research data," the ministry said.

MCST Executive Chairman Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando said that, “By practicing open access, researchers will not only improve the quality of research through enhanced reproducibility, but it will also increase the visibility of local researchers across the EU and internationally.”

The draft policy can be accessed online and any comments and feedback can be sent to [email protected] by the 21 November.

The policy document presents an actionable roadmap for Malta to transition to a state of immediate open access in terms of publications, and to achieve significant progress in upgrading existing and developing new policies and infrastructure.