Norway - Open science country note

Open science and the national context

Concerning open access to articles – According to “Long-term Perspectives: Knowledge provides opportunities”, White Paper on Research No. 18: 2012-13: “In principle, it is the Government’s view that all research that is wholly or partially funded through public allocations must be made openly available. Open access to scientific articles means that readers may read them without restriction on the Internet. The Government will require that all scientific articles that are wholly or partially publicly funded must either be published as open access articles or self-archived as agreed on with the publisher.”

Concerning open access to data, op cit: “The Government will adapt for better access to publicly funded research data.” Specific targets have not been announced.

Open science research and innovation actors

1)      The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research

2)      The Research Council of Norway (RCN)

3)      Universities and university colleges

4)      Research institutes:

The Norwegian Social Science Data Centre (NSD) is one of the largest research data archives of its kind, providing data to researchers and students in Norway and abroad. The main objective is to improve the possibilities and working conditions for empirical research that is primarily dependent on access to data. To achieve this objective, NSD works to reduce the financial, technical, legal and administrative barriers between users and data resources.

UNINETT Sigma AS manages the national infrastructure for computational science in Norway, and offers services in high-performance computing and data storage. The services are used for research infrastructure projects, financed by the Research Council of Norway and collaborators.

CRIStin (Current Research Information System in Norway) is a research information system for hospitals, research institutes, and universities and university colleges. CRIStin serves as i) a provider of research information and support to research communities and institutions and to the authorities; ii) a co-ordinator at national level – for example within the open access system, and in successfully negotiating agreements on the procurement of electronic research resources; and iii) implementer of statutory instructions, so far related exclusively to institutions’ reporting of their own research.

BIBSYS is the national library service for the universities and university colleges. BIBSYS facilitates the publishing and dissemination of research and student work in open institutional archives.

Policy design - Open data

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act, public sector data shall be available free of charge. The public sector information directive will be implemented during 2015 (research data are exempt).

Regulation relating to research data in Norway concerns, foremost, protection of rights and sensitive information. Some legislation mandates archiving of research data, but there is no mandatory “open” clause. The Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi) launched an initiative for open public sector data a few years back. This initiative has a (limited) bearing on research input data, but not on data resulting from specific research activities.

For the latter, the Research Council of Norway currently established a policy for research data resulting from RCN-financed projects. The RCN is also considering mandatory data management plans (DMP) for all projects in the interests of enhancing open data. In the October 2014 call of the RCN National Infrastructure Scheme, research infrastructures that support open data were a priority.  There are no specific target groups for the call; its total budget is EUR 100 million, but no specific amount is allocated for this purpose. 

Policy design- Open/increasing access to scientific publications
  • The government White Paper on research mentioned above states very clear ambitions regarding both green and gold open access to scientific publications. There are no national mandatory green open access demands, but most institutions have implemented regulations regarding own-archiving (green OA) for all new research employees. In addition, several institutions have economic incentives promoting green OA.
  •  The Research Council of Norway (RCN) has a mandatory green OA policy for all projects receiving its grants. To implement this policy, the RCN will utilise the national current research information system data provider, CRIStin.
  •  In addition, the RCN is launching a scheme to stimulate the institutionalisation of article processing charges (APC) financing. This initiative, STIM-OA, will cover up to 50% of all Norwegian research institutions’ documented costs for APC for gold open access publications. The RCN has estimated that this will amount to EUR 1 million for 2014, and the institutions’ outlays will be reimbursed in 2015. Should the estimates prove to be too low, the budget for 2015 and following years can be increased. STIM-OA is a five-year programme. At the end of the programme period, the RCN expects the institutions to have incorporated APC costs into their annual budgets. From 2020, APC costs therefore should be incorporated in overhead costs.
  • The RCN will monitor the development of both green and gold open access in collaboration with CRIStin. The CRIStin system can identify RCN research projects behind the resulting publications, and can thereby indicate the role of RCN in national research results, estimated cost responsibility, and so forth. 
Open science and international co-operation

Through its organisation CRIStin, the Ministry of Education and Research is involved in several international projects.

  •  A forum for National Reference Points in the European Commission meets twice a year.
  •  PASTEUR4OA (Open Access Policy Alignment Strategies for European Union Research) aims to support the European Commission’s Recommendation to Member States of July 2012, that they develop and implement policies to ensure open access to all outputs from publicly funded research. PASTEUR4OA will help develop or reinforce open access strategies and policies at the national level, and facilitate their co-ordination among all Member States. It will build a network of centres of expertise in Member States that will develop a co-ordinated and collaborative programme of activities in support of policy making at the national level under the direction of project partners. Norway is the key node for the Nordic countries.
  • OpenAIRE started as a three-year project, and is now applying for an extension. It has established an infrastructure to support researchers in their compliance with the EC OA pilot and the European Research Council (ERC) Guidelines on Open Access. It provides an extensive European Helpdesk System, based on a distributed network of national and regional liaison offices in 27 countries, to ensure localised help for researchers. An OpenAIRE portal and e-Infrastructure for the repository networks are in place to explore scientific data management services together with communities from five disciplines. It also provides a repository facility for researchers who do not have access to an institutional or discipline-specific repository.
  •  SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics) is a partnership of thousands of libraries and key funding agencies and research centres in three dozen countries. Working with leading publishers, SCOAP3 has converted key journals in the field of high-energy physics to open access at no cost for authors. SCOAP3 is centrally paying publishers for the costs involved in providing open access; publishers in turn reduce subscription fees for all their customers, who can contribute to SCOAP3. Each country participates in a way commensurate with its scientific output in this field. Existing Open Access journals are also centrally supported, removing any existing financial barrier for authors.
  • CESSDA (Council of European Social Science Data Archives) has served as an informal umbrella organisation for European national data archives. Now, CESSDA is established as a permanent legal entity owned and financed by the individual Member States’ ministries of research or a delegated institution. Norway is hosting CESSDA; the main office is located in Bergen.
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