OA symposium: Towards a more knowledgeable world: Open Access research in MENA

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Towards a more

knowledgeable world:

Open Access research in MENA

28th October 2021, 2pm (GMT+4, Dubai)

Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes

Free Virtual Symposium

Date and Time

28th October 2021, 2pm (GMT+4, Dubai)

Duration: 5 hours 30 minutes
Free Virtual symposium

About this event

We believe that increasing the accessibility and visibility of research is key to ensuring the future sustainability of scholarly communications ecosystems, supporting diverse research communities and the needs of the wider public.

Our free symposium “Towards a more knowledgeable world: Open Access research in MENA” contributes to this theme with a series of talks by leading regional stakeholders and global organisations offering valuable insights regarding the implementation and benefits of open research practices.

This event will provide effective strategies and useful tips for governments, higher education institutions, and individual researchers, with a panel of expert representatives from global organisations and leading regional stakeholders.



What is Open Access? – Naresh Agarwal and Jeffrey Pomerantz from Simmons University

SESSION 1 – Research Libraries: Open Access Initiatives and Measurement

  • • Open Access Initiatives at Qatar National Library – Milan Vasilijevic from the Qatar National Library
  • • Strategies to Reach 100% Open Access in Open Science – JK Vijayakumar, a Strategic Information Advisor
  • • The Reach and Importance of Open Scholarly Metadata – Vanessa Fairhurst from Crossref

SESSION 2 – Publishing: Open Acess Products and Practicalities

  • • Underscoring the Importance of Publishing an Open Access Social Policy Journal – Natasha Mansur from the Gulf Education and Social Policy Review of the Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research
  • • DHA Open Access Support for Healthcare Publishing in the Middle East – Bakheet Beshtawy from the Dubai Health Authority
  • • A Win-Win Situation, How Open Access Textbooks Benefit Everyone – Dr. Emily Choynowski from Knowledge E
  • • Article Processing Charges and Business Models – Kamran Kardan from Knowledge E

SESSION 3 – Resources and Strategies: Research, Communication and Impact

  • • Open Access for Author Visibility and Impact – Caryn Anderson from Knowledge E
  • • Adopting ORCiD in Open Research Infrastructure: Publishing and Beyond – Nabil Ksibi from ORCiD
  • • The Open Access Directory – Peter Suber from Harvard University and Nancy Pontika from CORE

Meet the speakers

Bakheet Beshtawy

Bakheet is a Specialist Librarian at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). He has been working at DHA since 2001 and is responsible for managing and developing all of the library’s electronic collections, services and training. Bakheet’s main objectives are to continue the library’s medical education and research. The DHA’s library owns a large electronic collection of primary resources (journals) from all major publishers. Bakheet additionally ensures that training and support is an ongoing activity in the library.

Caryn Anderson

Caryn is an educator and consultant in the fields of knowledge and information services, scientific research quality, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Caryn is the Training and Strategy Expert at Knowledge E. She focuses on strengthening capacity in higher education, libraries, and governments in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. She is a Fulbright Specialist and Associate Editor of Library & Information Science Research.

Emily Choynowski

Emily, the Head of Publishing at Knowledge E, has a PhD in English Literature from the University of Bristol and sits on the Editorial Boards of a leading literature journal and a university press. Emily has eight years of experience in the commercial publishing sector, managing large publishing teams based across the globe.

J. K. Vijayakumar

Vijay is the Strategic Information Advisor at KAUST. He carries 22 years of leadership experience in higher education libraries, scholarly communication, and research. He has been serving King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) since 2009 in various portfolios of the University Library Director, Manager of Research and Information Services, Senior Subject Specialist and currently as Strategic Information Advisor. He was instrumental in successfully leading several Open Access initiatives at KAUST.

Jeffrey Pomerantz

Jeffrey Pomerantz is Associate Professor of Practice and Online Program Coordinator for the School of Library and Information Science at Simmons University, where his teaching focuses on Metadata and Digital Libraries. He’s previously been a Senior Researcher with the EDUCAUSE Center and is an editor of the Open Access Directory.

Kamran R. Kardan

Kamran is the Founder and CEO of Knowledge E. He holds a BSc in Engineering, an MSc in Marketing, and an MBA from the University of Manchester. With 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, Kamran has worked closely with top consortia, libraries, ministries, hospitals, and corporations within research and education.

Milan Vasiljević

Milan Vasiljević holds a МA degree in Library and Information Science from UCL, Qatar, and one from the University of Belgrade, Serbia. He has more than fourteen years of professional experience in various types of libraries. The main area of his interest during the last eight years has been electronic resources. He is a big advocate for Open Access and more sustainable subscription models. Currently, he works at Qatar National Library as Manager of Electronic Resources and Licensing.

Nabil Ksibi

Nabil is the Engagement LEAD at ORCiD and is responsible for fostering ORCiD community adoption for ORCiD Global Direct Members. As part of his responsibilities, Nabil supports ORCiD members as they develop new and existing integrations and workflows. Nabil is passionate about Engineering, Art, and Humanitarian work. In addition to English, he is fluent in Arabic and French.

Nancy Pontika

Nancy Pontika holds a PhD in Open Access and her interests are open science and responsible research and innovation. She is an Open Access Aggregation Officer at CORE and has been involved in five European projects: FOSTER, FOSTER Plus, OpenMinTeD, FIT4RRI and ON-MERRIT. She serves as the Editor of the Open Access Directory.

Naresh Agarwal

Naresh Agarwal is an Associate Professor and Director of the Information Science & Technology Concentration at the School of Library & Information Science at Simmons University, Boston. He is President-elect of the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIST). Naresh is an expert on information behaviour and knowledge management and serves on the editorial board of the Open Access Directory.

Natasha Mansur

Natasha Mansur is the managing editor of Gulf Education and Social Policy Review (GESPR) and a non-residential researcher at the Al Qasimi Foundation. She holds a dual PhD from The Pennsylvania State University in Education Theory and Policy and Comparative and International Education.

Peter Suber

Peter Suber is Director of the Harvard Open Access Project at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication (Harvard Library). He was the principal drafter of the Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002) and serves on the editorial board of the Open Access Directory.

Vanessa Fairhurst

Vanessa Fairhurst joined Crossref in 2017 and works as Community Engagement Manager. Previously, she worked in International Development with a focus on access to information and academic research in developing countries. Vanessa oversees the Crossref Ambassador Program and manages the Crossref Community Forum.

In collaboration with: