With great satisfaction we inform you that Open Access became in Romania the main „access to knowledge” as the brand new National Strategy for Research, Development and Innovation promoted it. The last cycle of policies in research, development and innovation has finished and a new period opened spanning until 2020. The new document was approved in Bucharest on 21st of October and ratified by the Romanian Government on 28th.
The new Strategy is aligned with the European policies - Innovation Union and takes traits of the new Horizon 2020 financing instrument.
Taking a look at the country profile put by the DG Research in the Research and Innovation performance in the EU Innovation Union progress at country level brings some realities concerning the valorisation of the research in terms of presence:
the share of national scientific publications in the top 10 % most-cited publications worldwide has declined slightly in recent years.
Overall, the number of international co-publications with other European countries is the lowest in Europe, suggesting that Romania does not benefit sufficiently from the international knowledge flows favoured by the ERA architecture.[...]
Demand for knowledge is weak and there is an underdeveloped innovation culture.
We are convinced that a solid implementation of the new Strategy through the attached National Plan (PNCDI 3) resulting in a wide dissemination of the Romanian research output as open access will lead to reaching the targets focused on scholarly communication.
The Strategy presents one important action(4) fundamental and frontier research(4.4) having a dedicated component:
4.4.2 Access to knowledge
An intensified publication activities and rapid expansions of scientific journals put financial pressure on the research institutions and individual researchers.
A restricted access to scientific knowledge weakens information exchange and knowledge transfer inhibiting innovation. For 2014-2020 strategy the priorities are ensuring and sustaining open access to research results through:
- ensuring access to the main scientific research flows for all research organisations.
- encouraging the publication of the Romanian research results financed from public budget in gold open access standard.
What the Strategy brings as a helping instrument for the future of Open Access is building a National Register of all Research and Development Infrastructures which will ensure an enhanced access to the infrastructures, both for public and private environments, and it will create a market for scientific and technical services, contributing to the international visibility of the research results of Romania and also to the economical sustainability of operating the implementations.
Another envisaged instrument useful for the future statistical analysis is the National Registry for the Researchers. Both registries will provide a good bases for establishing an Open Access infrastructure and a natural bridge to the European well established peering structures like OpenAIRE+ (Strategic orientation instruments - 4.2.7).
The governance(ch. 6) of the Strategy mentions the transparency entailed with regards to the data collected by the registries. In fact, the National Plan envisaged building a real National Archive for Research, Development and Innovation.
With regards to publication and supporting editorial processes, 2-10% of the entire research budget will be allocated and are considered indirect support actions.
The novelty introduced comes in the form of a brand new institution needed to be initiated having the main activity gathering all the data from all the actors involved.
One of the indirect actions (5.4.4) concerns:
2 . Subsidizing scholarly communication:
(a) Subsidizing local scientific literature accessible online (scientific literature, original books)
(e) Contracting communication services for the Romanian research output.
4 . Evaluation and monitoring of the Research, Development and Innovation system:
(a) Support projects for the National Archive for Research, Development and Innovation;
Still, the main analytic indicators for the scientific international presence are represented by the presence in Scopus and WoS and WoK, but there are mentioned "other indexes". This presents an opportunity for making the case of Open Access and the alternative metrics.
The last important detail concerning data gathering will be the use of a national identifier for the projects no matter the source of financing. This also allows a broader interconnectivity with the European projects.
The Strategy comes as a seal for the commitments taken by the Romanian Government in its engagement with Open Government Partnership. The document accessible on ogp.gov.ro sets two new big engagements: Open Contracting (25th of April, 2014) and Open Access (16th of May, 2014).
The new Strategy together with the National Plan and the National Action Plan for Open Government Partnership open up the field for a renewed scholarly communications valorisation practices creating good incentives for further Open Access developments.
Nicolaie Constantinescu, National Open Access Desk, OpenAIRE+