Malta takes another step towards a national open access policy

Malta has taken another step towards a national open access policy, which will serve to help support local research within the Maltese scientific community

Malta has taken another step towards a national open access policy, which will serve to help support local research within the Maltese scientific community

Open access forms part of an open science spectrum and deals with the setting up of a set of principles dealing with the removal of the barriers to the dissemination of research knowledge through scientific publications. This comes in two forms - that of scientific journals together with scientific research data.

This is supported by the European Commission at an institutional level through its framework programmes, at Member States level and internationally. The current pandemic crises is an example of the importance of free access to scientific information for researchers, professors, students, businesses, journalists and non-academic professionals amongst other key stakeholders.

Malta benefited from the European Horizon 2020 Policy Support Facility in developing a tailor-made Open Access policy.  The process kicked off during a meeting in Brussels in July 2019, followed by two country visits by the European Commission and its appointed independent experts in October and December 2019.  During their first visit, the panel had individual meetings with national stakeholders, while in their second visit a workshop for the stakeholders was arranged.

“MCST is always striving to improve the research and innovation landscape in Malta. Open Access should serve as another step in supporting the local research community in sharing and accessing scientific knowledge,” MCST’s Executive Chairman, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando said during the closing dissemination event, ‘An Opportunity for Malta.’

The Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST) which falls under the Parliamentary Secretariat Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services and Digital Economy within the Ministry for Finance and Financial Services, is the governmental body responsible for Research and Innovation (R&I), Space, Science and Technology. MCST was also the national entity entrusted with the National Open Access Policy for Malta. 

The final report with the recommendations was launched on Friday, through the online video conference that was also streamed live on the Council’s social media access. The document can be accessed via the MCST website at https://mcst.gov.mt/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/OPEN-ACCESS-MALTA-REPORT.pdf.

 

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