Malta launches its first National Open Access Policy for public consultation

Last Updated on Sunday, 14 November, 2021 at 8:24 am by Andre Camilleri

Minister for Equality, Research and Innovation Owen Bonnici launched a draft national policy on open access for public consultation, in an event held at Villa Bighi.

Minister Bonnici said that; “Research that leads to innovation, and hence economic growth, needs to be fast tracked. Having easier access to scientific information, enhanced circulation of knowledge and better managed research data, as laid out in the Open Access Policy, will surely contribute to economic growth based on knowledge-intensive and added value business activities.”

He explained that the 2017 Electoral Manifesto identified the need for supporting the broader dissemination of research results to align Malta with European Union developments on open science, and this policy will be a reply to that pledge.

Open science represents a new approach to the scientific process and captures a systemic change to the way research has been carried out for the last fifty years. This approach is based on new ways of disseminating and diffusing scientific knowledge through cooperative work and collaborative tools, facilitated with ameliorated use of digital technologies. Open science enhances openness of all forms of research outputs at any stage of the research cycle, with most of the focus being placed on open access to publications and open research data.

In fact, MCST Executive Chairman Dr Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, during his opening address, said that, “By practicing open access, researchers will not only improve the quality of research through enhanced reproducibility, but it will also increase the visibility of local researchers across the EU and internationally.” Moreover, he stated that, “I am proud to say that the council always advocated for inclusiveness, which was also showcased in the way we undertook the development of this policy. The council worked in close collaboration with all relevant local stakeholders and sought the advice of national experts, ultimately devising a national policy with the potential of providing a clear advantage for Malta as a forward-looking EU member state.”

The draft policy can be accessed through the link published below, and any comments and feedback can be sent to by the 21st of November 2021.

The policy document presents an actionable roadmap for Malta to transition to a state of immediate open access in terms of publications, and to achieve significant progress in upgrading existing and developing new policies and infrastructure. The draft policy defines concrete phases for each policy area, with actions at each phase to develop the necessary experience, skills, and competences, and establish permanent infrastructure in turn exploitable in successive phases. The fact that phases of each subject area build on previous ones facilitates the process towards achieving the projected goals as set out in the National Open Access Policy.

The draft policy can be accessed through the link:

- Advertisement -