The final conference of the MedOANet project took place in Athens on 17-18 October 2013. As President of LIBER, I was invited to be a member of a roundtable panel on the second day of the conference, and to give the summing up at the end of the event.
MedOANet is an EU-funded project and the aims of the conference were these: to present the results of the project, placing them in the wider European perspectives on Open Access policies, and to provide a forum for the current debate on Open Access policy implementation practices within the EU. Specifically, the MedOANet final conference wished to focus on best practices in policy implementation among research funders and research-performing institutions, as well as a discussion of open access within the European Research Area.
MedOANet has concluded that a Green Open Access policy approach is the right approach for Mediterranean countries as they initiate policy development. This stands in strong contrast to countries such as the UK, who have favoured a Gold approach. The Conference gave an overview of Open Access policy developments in a number of countries: Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Denmark, the UK, Ireland, Hungary and Belgium.
The meeting also looked at constructing relevant research infrastructures, concentrating on OpenAire, the RECODE project for policies on research data, the FOSTER project (looking at devising and running a ‘train the trainer’ programme for Open Access under Horizon 2020), and PASTEUR4OA, a project which will focus on the co-ordination and development of Open Access policies in Europe.
A European roundtable looked at the place of Open Access in the European Research Area, led by Octavi Quintana-Trias, Director for the ERA (DG Research and Innovation). The final session of the Conference described the MedOANet Guidelines for Implementing Open Access policies in research-performing organisations.
In my summing up, I used the current debates in the UK about the UK OA policy position to illustrate the importance of making the right decision in policy matters. I also emphasised how Open Access has allowed universities in Europe to re-invent themselves and to re-insert themselves into the research workflow.
MedOANet has been a success in delivering a sound Report on Open Access policies for Mediterranean countries. Both the project team and EU staff who funded the project are to be congratulated.
President of LIBER