Faculty of Technology and Applied Sciences at Al-Quds Open University, in cooperation with the Deanship of Scientific Research and the Open Learning Centre at the University, held a workshop titled “Research Output Management through Open Access Institutional Repositories in Palestinian Higher Education Institutions” at the University's headquarters in Ramallah, and in Gaza through video conference.
The workshop is conducted following the recommendations of the ROMOR project, which is funded by Erasmus+ program, which is in its turn supported by the European Union. The recommendations called for organizing a workshop on Research Output Management through Open Access Institutional Repositories in higher education institutions.
The workshop, which was held through video-conferencing with Gaza Strip, serves faculty members, library directors and heads of departments in the different centers and units of the University.
The workshop started with Prof. Sameer Al-Najdi stating that QOU is a partner with Erasmus+ in three projects supported by the European Union, including the ROMOR project. Moreover, The University has gained a number of international awards in the field of educational open courses, adding that faculty members and researchers need continuous training in the field of open access to resources. He also mentioned that this project is important for the University in general.
Al-Najdi explained that European Erasmus+ projects are research projects that include partnerships with local, regional and European universities. The advantage of such projects is that they provide opportunities for people to communicate with local and international colleagues, as well as to learn about the global experience in the field of research. He also stated that this project is one of the important projects of the university, and that QOU is a pioneer in the field of digital learning and e-learning in Palestine, and will remain so, pointing to the fact that the University has obtained Arabic and international awards in this field.
The Dean of Scientific Research, Prof. Husni Awad, added that open access to information has become one of the most important needs of the academic community and scientific research. This is being attributed to having new methods of scientific communication that provided unprecedented opportunities for having scientific communication through digital repositories and open source information systems, which are some of the most important forms of open access to information.
Prof. Awad added that these open resources enable authors and publishers to reach the largest number of beneficiaries who can easily access their resources to use them and share their ideas and create an appropriate scientific climate. He also indicated that QOU has adopted an open source system for scientific journals to provide access to all published scientific research papers without financial or legal restrictions, and these open systems are expected to make promising future for scientific publishing in universities.
The Dean of the Faculty of Technology and Applied Sciences, Dr. Yousef Abu Zir said that this workshop aims at building the capacities of faculty members, researchers and relevant centers at the university to manage the output of scientific research and to build a digital repository for the storage and management of scientific research papers at the university.
Dr. Abu Zir stated that the project of Research Output Management is a three-year project that aims at providing better access to information in higher education institutions. The project was organized by four partner universities in Palestine and four European universities. He added that this workshop is an introduction to a training that will be presented by the Europeans at the beginning of next year and it will be based on the needs of QOU which were discussed in previous workshops. This workshop will introduce and explain to participants the terms and concepts that are related to open access digital repositories.
Dr. Abu Zir added that the project provides an opportunity to arrange an exchange program for students and faculty members with European universities. This semester, two students from QOU are currently studying at Parma University in Italy and two other students will be sent to the same university next semester. Next year, four students will spend one semester at “TU Wien” in Vienna.
The Director of the Open Learning Center at QOU, Mr. Baha Thabet, talked about the strategies, standards and management of published scientific research which are open and available for use. Mr. Thabet also raised the need to develop a strategy to achieve the research objectives through identifying them and understanding both current and future position of educational institutions. He also pointed to the importance of having management planning of data.
Mr. Salamah Qararia from the Library Department, Mr. Jad Freij from the Media Production Centre, and Mr. Kameel Zaid from the Deanship of Scientific Research also participated in the workshop.