A number of academic and administrative staff of the Islamic University of Gaza have completed a training program at the University of Glasgow in the UK as part of the academic exchange program of the project entitled "Research Output Management through Open Access Institutional Repositories in Palestinian Higher Education" (ROMOR), funded by the European Commission.
The twelve-day training program included a number of lectures and workshops on topics related to the management of scientific research outcomes through open access and digital publishing, as well as the best practices adopted at the UK universities. As part of the training program, the ROMOR team from the Palestinian universities participated in the CASRAI 2018 workshop (https://casrai.org/uk18/), which was held from 25 to 26 June 2018 in Glasgow. The workshop was attended by directors of national and university libraries and managers of research data in the UK.
The workshop tackled the problems related to the exchange of research data (researcher data, financier data, project data), the proposed criteria for managing research data, the latest solutions for research data sharing between different institutions and computer systems, the problems and challenges of open access and digital preservation, and the opportunities to benefit from these experiences at the national level. On 27 June 2018, the project team participated in another workshop entitled "Choose the right rights, Use the data right", which included several presentations and discussions of working groups on the topics of electronic copyright, data licensing and research publications.
The team also participated in a workshop entitled Repository Fringe 2018, which took place on July 2-3, 2018 in Edinburgh. The workshop is annually attended by the managers of and specialists in digital repositories in the UK universities to discuss and present the latest developments in this field. Dr. Rawia Awadallah, the project director, gave a presentation in the workshop in which she highlighted the most important challenges facing digital publishing and open access in Palestine, as well as an overview of the ROMOR project, its objectives, stages, and most important outputs and future steps.
In the course of the other training sessions, participants were briefed on the FOSTER platform (https://www.fosteropenscience.eu/) which was launched within an EU-funded project and encloses the most important training resources on open access techniques and concepts. Participants from the Palestinian universities have agreed to translate selected FOSTER resources into Arabic for use in training and education in Palestine, as well as to be published later on the FOSTER platform and other Arabic online learning platforms.
The training was conducted under the supervision of a group of experts and developers from various UK universities and institutions, in the presence of representatives of partner Palestinian universities in the ROMOR project, which are the Islamic University of Gaza, Birzeit University, Palestine Technical University - Khadouri, and Al Quds Open University.
It is worth mentioning that the ROMOR project is funded by Erasmus + European program. The project is managed by the Islamic University of Gaza, as the project coordinator, in partnership with several Palestinian universities as well as universities from the UK, Austria and Italy.