OpenAIRE-COAR 2014 Conference

Prof. Yiannis Ioannidis (OpenAIRE) during the Conference

The OpenAIRE-COAR 2014 Conference, titled “Open Access Movement to Reality: Putting the Pieces Together” took place between 21-22/5/2014 at the Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece. It was co-organized by the OpenAIRE project and the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), under the auspices of the Greek EU Presidency. Agro-Know was there, represented by Elena Kokoliou and me. The event was one of the series of events related to open access, linked open data and related topics organized in Greece during the Greek Presidency, such as the European Data Forum 2014, Semantic Interoperability Conference (SEMIC 2014) and the 2nd International Conference on Research Infrastructures (ICRI 2014). This provided us with an excellent opportunity to attend these Conferences and have a clear overview of what is happening in the European and Global context regarding open access, digital repositories and linked open data. At the same time, the organization of these events and mostly the huge participation of stakeholders all over the world can only highlight the huge interest and impact that open data and linked data play in the context of various data sources, such as institutional repositories, governmental data, research data etc. The event focused on open access and included several sessions covering different aspects of open access, ranging from legal to policy and reviewing/publication, so it was related to the ongoing work of AK-related projects, such as agINFRA and SemaGrow. Focus was put on text-mining for retrieving documents of interest for each user from the vast pool of OA publications. The message was obvious: The EC invests in OA, so for example Gold OA costs are eligible for H2020 pilot projects and well-defined data management plans are required by each proposal/project. This is expected to give a boost to OA publications and related infrastructures. The Conference consisted of a number of sessions which covered different thematics. I have kept some brief notes during the meeting, and you may find some of them below; unfortunately due to the lack of power outlets in the Conference room, my laptop wouldn’t last for more than a couple of hours, so I decided to leave it back home. This means that I may have missed some parts and information on specific sessions/presentations, as I am not used any more to keeping hand-written notes (even though I enjoyed it):

Session 1: Aligning Repository Networks

  • Donatella Castelli, Technical coordinator of OpenAIRE provided the background and a part of the technical infrastructure of OpenAIRE. For those not familiar with OpenAIRE, it provides the helpdesk supporting everyone interested in OA, a repository (Zenodo) and a portal for retrieving the resources.
  • SHared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE): a higher education and research community initiative to ensure the preservation of, access to, and reuse of research outputs. SHARE is an ongoing project, consisting of Discovery, Registry & Content Aggregation services, and focuses on a notification service as a major component.
  • LaReferencia: A federation of institutional repositories with scientific publications from 13 countries in Latin America, supported by RedCLARA. Everything is in Spanish and there are multilinguality / language issues e.g. with the Portuguese used by the Brazilian partners.
  • World Bank: It has invested a lot in open access to their data and publications. The OAI-PMH compliant Open Knowledge Repository was presented. The repository can be harvested.

Session 2: Research Data in the institutional context and beyond

  • It included presentations on policies, funding schemas, data management plans & workflows etc. for institutional repositories.
  • Research data should be deposited in thematic repositories instead of institutional, in order to facilitate access and retrieval by the related communities.
  • Extremely useful guidelines and support material on open access, data management etc. is available by the University of Manchester.
  • F1000 Research is an OA journal which accepts ALL types of scientific publications for life sciences. Post-publication peer review with invited peer-reviewers. Includes about 30 publications related to agriculture.


Prof. Yiannis Ioannidis (OpenAIRE) during the Conference

Prof. Yiannis Ioannidis (OpenAIRE) during the Conference


Session 3: Maximizing the exploitation of open research results through text mining

  • Prodoromos Tsiavos (EELLAK): Interesting presentation on the legal aspects of OA, licensing etc. Mentioned (among many other topics) the Open Metadata License, which might be useful for our purposes of aggregating metadata and then transforming them (e.g. enrichment, translation etc.).
  • Sophia Ananiadou from NaCTeM, University of Manchester presented Argo, NaCTeM’s interoperable text mining workbench, in a talk entitled “Argo: a platform for interoperable and customisable text analytics”. Argo supports workflows with editable steps and is free to use. Platform includes various components, such as language technologies, text-mining. The workflows can be deployed as Web Services, which may be extremely interesting for projects like agINFRA to reuse and integrate.


Session 4: The impact of openness and how to evaluate research

  • William Gunn from Mendeley presentation on metrics of scholarly performance. Mendeley does not use standards (e.g. schemas, classifications); instead they let users free to select and then they see if they need to formalize things.
  • Erika Widegren (Atomium Culture): presented the outcomes of a survey on opening up scientific results to the public.


Session 5: The now and the future of open scholarly communication


Session 6: Panel Discussion Selected panelists from major organizations (INRIA, OECD, SPARC, EC) responded to one question each (different for each panelist). 5 mins were given to each panelist, no slides allowed (only one exception). It summed up the Conference outcomes and provided ideas for the next years/next event.


Created with flickr slideshow.


General The event was attended by about 150 participants from various initiatives and organizations. I was personally glad to see many people with whom we have met during the previous Research Data Alliance meetings, such as Kevin Ashley (Director of the Digital Curation Center, UK), Wolfram Horstmann (freshly appointed Director of Goettingen State and University Library), Peter Doorn (Data Archiving and Networked Services), Natalia Manola (OpenAIRE), Eleni Petra (“Athena” Research and Innovation Center) and of course Leif Lakksonen (project coordinator of RDA Europe). The agenda was really well-designed, covering a wide variety of topics on Open Access, ranging from policies and legal aspects to case studies, experiences and applications (e.g. OA journals and institutional repositories). Some important organizations were represented (EC, RedCLARA, Mendeley, OECD, WorldBank, PLOS etc.). , sharing their large-scale experiences with the audience and there was enough time during the breaks for networking and getting involved in interesting discussions. The organization was excellent, too, making all participants feel comfortable and enjoy the Conference.

You can find some photos from the event here.


  1. Dear Agro,

    Thanks for the nice de-briefing of the OpenAIRE/COAR Athens Conference. If anyone from Agro is interested in seeing the slides for my talk “Peer review to save the world”, feel free to share the slides:

    Also, as part of our participation at the Conference we have launched the peer-review analogue of the “Budapest Open Access Initiative” called the “Independent Peer Review Initiative” and we invite you to join the growing list of signatories here: You can follow us on Twitter here: @libreapp

    Best wishes,

    Dr Michael Taylor
    Research Fellow
    National Observatory of Athens

    • Dear Michael,

      Thank you for dropping by our blog and thank you for your kind words. Based on your feedback, we have slightly revised the reference to your presentation, adding a name, a title etc. The initiative looks really promising and at the heart of what we are doing, so we will join the effort soon!


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