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18 Dec 2018

A glimpse at the Greek Open Science Symposium activities and outcomes

The setting: Athena Research Center (ARC), as the coordinator of the  Greek RDA national node and the Greek OpenAIRE NOAD, organized a two day national symposium on “Open Science in the Greek Research Ecosystem: Research Data, Procedures and Collaborations” on 29 - 30 November in Athens. The symposium was co-organised by OpenAIRE, RDA Europe and the project for the Hellenic National Data Service - HELIX, and was the first attempt to bring together all stakeholders who act under the umbrella of Open Science in the national academic and research ecosystem.



Some demographics: Professionals and experts with diverse backgrounds representing a wide range of organisations and initiatives (libraries, research data related organisations, national research infrastructure nodes, open software initiatives and policy makers) from different parts of Greece, came to Athens to participate in this open dialogue and training sessions.

First day keynote session


With 180 participants in total, the symposium was a success not only due to the high attendance, but also because it set the scene giving the opportunity for all open science and data experts and enthusiasts to be part of a wider community of practice which was felt that Greece was missing in this area.


Value added in the national research area: Overall, of all values and principles of Open Science, what characterised the Greek Open Science Symposium was collaboration. Currently in Greece, there is the Greek RDA National Node that can act as a conduit for local users to engage in various areas of Research Data Management and exploit the current RDA outputs. There is a good policy and legal framework as derivative of EU communications and directives for open government and open data. In addition, there is both the e-infrastructure and research infrastructures to accommodate researchers’ and research communities’ domain specific and generic demands, also through cloud and High Performance Computing for big data.

Hence, the need for all national stakeholders to collaborate closer and work collectively in order to achieve a national Open Science ecosystem and effective representation in the EOSC while at the same time strengthening Research & Innovation in Greece, became apparent even from the first day. Key areas for collaborative actions as they were identified are:

  • Research Data Management / Data Management Plans: for data to be not only open but re-usable and reproducible; The Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation (H.F.R.I) to consider the introduction of Data Management Plans for all disciplines.

  • Institutional Policies and Repositories: for all institutions to adopt and enforce an Open Access/Open Science Policy in a unified approach reflecting issues found in the proposed EOSC Policy Framework which includes, among others, Ethics in research and researchers’ behaviour and the need for an Open Science Code of Conduct. Repositories to be interoperable and increase their research results’ visibility through OpenAIRE.

  • Open Access to publications: starting with Green Open Access since it’s the most mature at the moment.

  • Rewarding System: to work towards gradually moving away from the Impact Factor metric, embrace successful paradigms, such as the DORA Declaration, and influence efforts in the development of alternative rewarding systems.

  • Training: to equip librarians with the necessary data management skills for the long tail of science and offer researchers training in Open Science as well as in use of the national data management services.

  • Sustainability: for establishing a continuum (by-default) and open mechanism of publicly funded research which makes participation to Research and Science inclusive to all.


Fotis Karayannis,

Athena RC/ RDA-Europe Greek Node

Training sessions on open science and research data services: The purpose of the second day of the Symposium was complementary and aimed to inform about and train librarians, repository managers, researchers and research communities in services, implementation tools and practices for Open Access, Open Science and Research Data Management. Two parallel streams of hands-on sessions were running all day. Following the RDA-Europe presentation of Greek RDA Node by Fotis Karayannis on the first day, explaining the work of RDA at global, European and national levels, with emphasis on the RDA outputs adoption, the second day RDA-tailored hands-on session got the chance to explore some of the RDA outputs such as the Scholarly Link Exchange (Scholix) for interoperability, CoreTrustSeal certification as derivative of the DSA-WDS Partnership Working Group) and supporting services for early career researchers via the dedicated RDA Interest Group for Early Career and Engagement talk.


The session gathered around 35 participants, and during the CoreTrustSeal session the participants were gathered in groups to answer the related questionnaire on their institutional repositories.


Fotis Psomopoulos, Institute of Applied Biosciences (INEB), National Center for Research and Technological Development (CERTH) / RDA-Europe

Antonis Lempesis, Athena RC/ RDA-Europe


Elli Papadopoulou, Athena RC/ RDA-Europe Greek Node Manager

Parallel groups during the hands-on session for the CoreTrustSeal certification


On related side discussions about how RDA and the RDA national nodes can become more effective for the local communities, it was suggested that a dedicated follow-up workshop is organised to present the available outputs for the different audiences. In other words provide some pathways for different (types of) organisations which can use the RDA outputs.


Dr. Vangelis Karkaletsis, National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos” and Prof. Yannis Ioannidis in an open discussion for prioritisation and decisions on joint actions

What are the next steps: To move concretely to an accepted by all open science national policy, the creation of the National Open Science High Level Task Force, with participation from the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) was proposed, and bottom-up working groups for institutional policies and repositories were formulated. In particular, for  Open Access to publications it was expected and “agreed” that OpenAIRE NOAD organizations (Athena RC and HEAL-Link) could and should take a leading role and propose pragmatic solutions to be implemented.


For research data, the HELIX National Data Service was perceived as a key umbrella initiative to host and promote data management and EOSC related initiatives. It would be worth exploring HELIX further through the lens of RDA and RDA outputs adoption especially.


“This is a journey that we must take together,

not only because it’s pleasant, moreover because it’s necessary.”

Natalia Manola, Managing Director of OpenAIRE


* Search for #OpenScienceGreece on Twitter to learn more about the Greek Open Science Symposium activities!


Useful sources:

- Open Science Symposium event page

- RDA in Greece

- OpenAIRE in Greece

- Open Sciene in Greece

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