A successful conclusion of ROMOR’s summer school on FAIR Research Data in Italy

ROMOR project has successfully concluded the summer school on FAIR Research Data Management which took place at the University of Parma in Italy from 1-10 July 2019. The school was conducted in the framework of “Research Output Management through Open Access Institutional Repositories in Palestinian Higher Education “ROMOR” project funded by EU Erasmus + programme, and it was attended by more than 50 staff members form Palestinian universities and European universities as well as many EU experts in open science and institutional open access repositories.

Dr. Rawia Awadala, ROMOR’s project coordinator, has pointed out that this 10-day summer school discussed some interesting topics related to open science, research output management, establishing and managing open access institutional repositories at Palestinian universities… etc. She has also stressed that the summer school hasn’t only brought together staff members from Palestine but also a group of prominent experts from EU with long lasting and distinctive experience and knowledge in various fields related to the thematic area of the summer school. Those expertshave enriched the discussions and given the trainees valuable insights about variety of topics, Dr. Rawia said. More importantly, the four Palestinian universities represented in the school worked within groups to come up with practical models which can be used in the management of their data within universities.

Many interesting topics had been discussed in the first 5 days of the summer school. This included many lecture and workshops on data management, access to data, intellectual property within institutional repositories, data analysis using R and many other areas related to the core work of ROMOR project.

Focusing on data management, Mr. Peter Burnhill spoke about key concepts related to FAIR Data and data stewardship concepts. In addition, he explained the core principled of FAIR data and the way that Palestinian universities could benefit form these concepts to develop and manage their open access Mr. Peter's lectures focused on data stewardship concepts and the main principles upon which FAIR Data is based and how to use them to develop data management models in Palestinian universities. Mrs. Susanna Mornati, in another lecture, spoke about the Federation of Open Access Repositories “COAR” and its key principles, and how they work to enhance institutional repositories and to make the accessible and compatible with the internet. Ms. Mornati provided a set of recommendations to support institutional repositories and open access in Palestine. In a lecture entitled “OpenAIRE and RDA: community-driven tools and support for research data access and reuse”, Ms. Lazzeri spoke about the initiative launched by the European Union OpenAIRE, which aims at promoting open publishing and development of institutional repositories on the based on a set of best standards.

Stemming from the key importance of temporary technologies in analyzing the data, the summer the during days 4-5, on data analysis using R through a set of lectures and meetings. These meetings were delivered and managed by Marianne Corvellec & Nilani Ganeshwaran and focused on the mechanism of data analysis and how to deal with different types of data through R. Both days have involved practical workshops were trainees could use R studio and process the data using variety of techniques and methods.

The last few days of the summer school were dedicated to discussing the outcomes of the working groups/teams which have been formed to come up with the best models to manage the data within the four participating universities in Palestine. The four teams in collaboration with the EU experts have managed to develop institutional data management models based on the principles being deceived along with the summer school including FAIR principles, data preservation, IP issues..etc. At the end of the school, the four developed models were presented to share ideas and get valuable feedback for experts and other participants.

Dr. Rawia Awadallah pointed out that the ROMOR project management and in collaboration with partner universities have developed a website http://fair-rdm.unipr.it/ containing all the training materials that were presented during the summer school. She has also stressed that the available materials cover a range of interesting topics in areas related to data and management, institutional repositories, intellectual property policies … etc. “ She advised and encouraged all colleagues from Palestinian universities to scan the website, have a look on the training materials, and to make the best use of the content to develop and manage open access repositories in the Palestinian universities.