A project with the overarching aim to initiate actions toward establishing a national Open Access (OA) policy in Libya and in its higher education institutions was launched through the collaborative efforts of the Government of Libya and UNESCO.
Inaugural Meeting and Planning Workshop for Open Access for Libya was held at Hotel Regency palace from 17 to 19 May 2016. The event, which was implemented within the framework of “National ICT project for capacity building in Higher Education of Libya”, was attended by 23 high level government officials and delegates of nine Universities in different parts of Libya.
The OA project will create necessary conditions to create a policy framework and national system that will ensure that all publicly funded research in Libya becomes freely and openly available and that Libyan academia are not left behind in the global OA movement. The project will not only ensure strengthening research and innovation processes in the country but it will also ensure that Libya is enlisted highly on global systems, such as Global Innovation Index (GII), that ranks innovation and research strength of countries. The proposed strategy will also formulate a framework to monitor progress and establish benchmarks.
The project has a strong networking and capacity enhancement component, which will be implemented within the broader framework of reconciliation and reparation agenda of the Government of Libya.
The Meeting created a platform to understand trends and emerging challenges related to the impact of Open Access on scientific information acquisition and sharing; clarified the context and the utility of Open Access policy and analyzed existing barriers or support for Open Access Policy adoption; discussed specific technology generated trends, and their consequences for development in scientific (both social as well as natural sciences) information and research sharing; and discussed several collaborative and collective efforts and actions required to initiate Open Access movement in the country. Attendants from various Libyan universities actively participated in discussions and shared their experiences. The meeting also benefitted from the expertise of Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press, Qatar, which provided technical expertise during the meeting. Following intensive discussions, and in a participatory manner, the meeting finalized a detailed “way-forward” for the project.
A side meeting of the Vice President of the Presidential Council Dr Fathi Ali and Dr Ghaith Fariz, UNESCO Representative to Libya, as well as other UNESCO delegates was also held to discuss and consolidate modalities for implementation of the project.
Open Access (OA) is a term widely used to refer to unrestricted online access to articles published in scholarly journals. OA movement is aligned with the overarching Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with its focus on bolstering human capital and the World Summit on the Information Society’s goal of building open and inclusive knowledge societies.
UNESCO supports OA for the benefit of the global flow of knowledge, innovation and equitable socio‐economic development. To achieve the goal of open and inclusive knowledge societies, different approaches and strategies have been adopted by UNESCO.