On March 1st 2022, the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers approved the Latvian Open Science Strategy 2021-2027, prepared by the Ministry of Education and Science. The Latvian Open Science Strategy aims to provide society, researchers, businesses, policymakers and other stakeholders with freely accessible scientific information (including scientific publications and research data), as well as to promote meaningful societal engagement in the scientific research process.
The Open Science Strategy is structured in 3 pillars:
I. “Open Access to Scientific Publications” addresses open-access publishing practices and defines a national open-access policy – all scientific publications produced for new state-funded research projects must be openly accessible in “green” or “gold” open access, without an embargo period.
II. “FAIR research data” foresees that research data should be open by default, and that data, metadata and e-infrastructures intended for long-term preservation and reuse must meet the FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) principles to the greatest extent possible.
III. “Citizen Science” foresees encouraging co-creation in the context of citizen science activities, supporting citizen science initiatives by e.g. providing access to scientific e-infrastructures (i.e. research data repositories) and integrating citizen science in Latvian science communication activities. Latvian stakeholders will be encouraged to participate in international initiatives and networks related to citizen science.
The Open Science Strategy includes undertaking several significant initiatives, such as:
- Creating a Joint ICT Services Center for Higher Education and Research, to improve the governance and quality of joint ICT services
- Developing a “DataverseLV” research data repository network, with a central node where all researchers can freely publish their research data
- Implementing a Data Stewards program (approx. 20 data stewards based in research institutions in Latvia)
- Requiring Data Management Plans (DMPs) for all projects funded by state-funded research programs
- Creating an Open Science monitoring system
- Encouraging greater participation of Latvian research institutions in the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)
The Open Science Strategy will not only benefit society by enabling easier access to research results and by promoting deeper involvement in the research processes, but also benefit businesses and policymakers. Researchers will be provided opportunities to develop data management competencies, receive support in research data stewardship, and benefit from new digital tools and repositories, thus enhancing research quality, integrity and productivity.
A full English translation of the Latvian Open Science Strategy will be shared once it becomes available.