“ROMOR” workshop reviews outcomes, new possibilities to develop research repositories

Birzeit University hosted the final workshop for the Research Output Management through Open Access Institutional Repositories in Palestinian Higher Education Institutions (ROMOR) project on October 8 and 9, 2019. The workshop reviewed the project’s deliverables, its impact and sustainability.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Higher Education and the Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission, eight Palestinian and European universities participated in ROMOR, funded by Erasmus+. They are Birzeit University, the Islamic University of Gaza, Al-Quds Open University, Palestine Technical University-Kadoorie, and the universities of Vienna, Brighton, Glasgow and Parma.

Khalid Swaileh, Birzeit University’s vice President for academic affairs, praised the program for having added innovative value to higher-education institutions in Palestine for the past three years. Institutional repositories, Swaileh explained, promote free and unrestricted access to the research output of institutions and thus manage, disseminate, and advance scientific research, also raising an institution’s visibility and esteem among fellow researchers.

Nasser Farhat, president of the Islamic University of Gaza, stressed the importance of developing research at Palestinian universities and of fostering scholarly communication and coordination between Palestinian universities and universities abroad. ROMOR has been the platform that brings the efforts of Palestinian academics together, Farhat added, thus promoting open data culture.

Falah Kittaneh, secretary of the Scientific Research Council at the Ministry of Higher Education, emphasized the ministry’s commitment to supporting scientific and scholarly work and to promoting the use of open institutional repositories for universities. He encouraged academic institutions to digitize and publicize Palestine’s knowledge production so that research results become available to a wider audience.