MIDDLE EAST TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OPEN SCIENCE POLICY
The development and change in information and communication technologies have significantly affected the ways in which knowledge is produced, recorded, and accessed. The free sharing of the produced knowledge with the public and the need for efficiency and re-use of information has developed the concepts of “Open Access” and “Open Science” in the world. In this regard, Middle East Technical University (METU) is committed to contributing to the advancement of science and technology at an advanced level and to the wide dissemination of knowledge for the benefit of society and all stakeholders by adopting open, reproducible, and reliable research outcomes and practices.
METU believes that open science contributes to making research more transparent and rigorous; it encourages innovation and participation of all segments of society in scientific studies. For this purpose, METU is attentive to develop and use the tools and research processes that encourage and support open science, and open access to publications, course resources, and research data.
The text of this policy and directive is based on compliance with the articles 4/C and 12/C of the Higher Education Law No. 2547 and the Open Science Model Policy for universities issued by the Council of Higher Education and the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698. To open access to all postgraduate theses, the directive on the receiving, storing and accessing the electronic copies of graduate theses applies.
Jurisdiction and Policy Impact
This policy covers all scientific studies, open course materials, and audiovisual resources produced by METU members and students in print and electronic media, and determines the principles of achieving these studies in the OpenMETU system. The policy includes open courses and similar materials submitted by the authors who are not a member of METU with the request to be stored in the archive of METU. In cases where the research is funded by third parties, any agreement with parties regarding access rights and storage takes priority over this policy.
Rights, Responsibilities, and Duties
Middle East Technical University is responsible for the following:
- To support the sharing of publicly funded scientific studies and research outputs with the public free of charge.
- To ensure that the scientific knowledge produced at METU is systematically and accurately indexed, preserved, and transferred to future generations.
- To register the Open Science System in the national and international collation and listing systems (TAA, OAI, BASE, ROAR, OpenAIRE, ROARMAP, OpenMETU, OpenDOAR, Open Education Consortium, etc.).
- To contribute to the development of national and international cooperation in new researches by means of sharing scientific knowledge.
- To promote the use of METU Open Course Materials (Open Courseware - OCW).
- To support participation in citizen science projects through Open Science practices.
- To monitor the content of the academic repository with the statistics provided by the system and to supervise policy compliance.
- To establish Open Science practices in improving research assessment and measurement criteria and to provide an open peer review experience.
- To provide and improve mechanisms and services for appropriate guidance to researchers
- To appoint a data manager responsible for all data-related issues in compliance with national and European Union laws, including, but not limited to, issues related to the development of data management plans.
- To ensure the compatibility of the University's academic repository and other research infrastructures with the FAIR data principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) and technical specifications of the European Open Science Cloud.
- To enable researchers to specify the terms of sharing by utilizing the licenses such as Creative Commons in content and data sharing.
- To ensure the mandatory use of unique identifiers (such as DOI, ORCID, or others).
Researchers are responsible for:
- To manage their publications, data, and educational resources according to the principles and conditions set out in this policy and directive.
- To ensure that the pre-print, post-print, or publisher edition of the scientific works they contribute is placed in the OpenMETU system on time according to the conditions permitted by the publisher.
- To comply with any legal obligations under any organizational, regulatory, institutional, and other contracts related to the production, processing, storage, management, and distribution of publications and data in the absence of any agreement with any third parties of priority.
- To ensure that the principles governing the processing of data (according to the existing policies and funders' authorities) are included in a data management plan.
Open Access to Publications
- The researchers are responsible for making or ensuring that the full text (the published article or the peer-reviewed copy of the article before publication), as well as the machine-readable electronic copy of the relevant metadata before or after publication, is uploaded promptly. This also applies if the publications are published in open access (Gold Open Access).
- In the case of “Green Open Access”, the full text of all publications must be accessible under a standard open license within a maximum of 6 months (or within 12 months for publications in the social sciences and human sciences). It is mandatory to upload the monographs in the academic archive; however, access will remain closed until the publisher embargo ends.
- In order to increase the visibility of “closed” publications, the metadata of such publications must be accessible openly.
- METU encourages its members and students to protect copyright ownership and to license publishers only for the rights necessary for publication. (This is possible by using an addendum in the publication contract. See https://sparcopen.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Access-Reuse_Addendum.pdf).
- METU encourages its researchers to upload their publications to the academic archive before the date of the current policy takes effect and to make the publications openly accessible as soon as possible.
- While METU evaluates the publications of its members and students individually or institutionally (including evaluations of research performance incentive, appointment, and promotion systems), only the publications whose metadata and full texts are uploaded to the academic archive according to the above-mentioned conditions.
- METU members and students can store their studies they conducted with more than one researcher from more than one institution in the OpenMETU system. In multi-author studies conducted by more than one METU member and student, one of the authors ensures that the source is transferred to the OpenMETU system by adding the DOI number and the names of other authors.
Open Access to Research Data
- METU provides the necessary incentives and regulations for its researchers to upload the data they obtained in the scientific studies to OpenMETU according to the international standards (ensuring that the data and services are traceable and available in compliance with open and FAIR principles).
- METU Research Ecosystem complies with the principle of "as open as possible and as closed as necessary". If the data is not open due to legal, confidential, or other related reasons (for example, sensitive or personal data), this should be clearly explained. It provides the metadata that allows the data to be found in any case.
- METU encourages applications under the requirements of Open Science Cloud to monitor Open Science resources.
- METU researchers provide an appropriate data management plan for every research activity they are involved in.
- METU researchers define post-project usage rights through the determination of appropriate licenses.
- The minimum archive period for METU research data is 10 years after the appointment of a permanent identifier. After the expiration of the required archive period, or if these records are deleted or destroyed for legal and ethical reasons, all legal and ethical perspectives of such actions must be taken into account.
METU actively promotes the understanding of Open Science practices beyond open access to publications and data. For example, it monitors participation in citizen science projects, the use of open peer review, the use of open educational resources, the release and development of data and contents under open and standard open licenses.
- METU creates the necessary infrastructure for the transition to Open Science; it takes the necessary measures to ensure its financing, sustainability, widespread and effective use.
- METU ensures that the data indexed in the OpenMETU system is processed from a single center to all users quickly and according to international standards.
- The OpenMETU system is compatible with International Open Access Systems, guides, and consortia, such as the OAI-PMH protocol, the Open Education Consortium, and OpenAIRE, and is linked to the European Open Science Cloud.
Research Evaluation and Measurement
- METU guarantees to develop a research evaluation framework that promotes research quality and Open Science behavior and practices by monitoring developments in Europe on this issue and the work of the European Open Science Policy Platform in cooperation with funding organizations and other appropriate units. It takes into account the effects on researchers from different disciplines and different career stages.
- It commits the establishment of a reward mechanism for the researchers using Open Science applications (e.g., sharing imprecise results through open platforms, using open software and other tools, to participate in open collaborative projects (citizen science, sharing open course resources), etc.).
- METU coordinates open training courses in collaboration with the Head of Library and Documentation Department, Department of Information Technologies, and other appropriate departments and institutions to increase, adopt and implement the Open Science awareness; to improve the data management skills of the researchers and support staff. Such training courses include knowledge necessary for open access publishing, open data, data management, research data, and research ethics and they develop the skills
- The training is offered to researchers at all career stages, taking into account different disciplines, and is included in the curriculum.
- Appropriate financing is provided for these activities and for this purpose, synergies are investigated together with other stakeholders, as well as funding organizations.
Validity of the Policy and the Directive
This policy and directive will be reviewed and updated every two years by the Senate of the Middle East Technical University. The rectorate of METU will be responsible for the implementation of this policy and directive and will assume the executive role in resolving disputes that may arise when necessary and in making changes to the policy and directive. The entire policy and directive will be implemented for one year from the effective date, and the part related to research data will be implemented as a pilot for two years from the same date.
Middle East Technical University Open Science Commission
METU conducts the necessary studies to monitor, support, evaluate and update the implementation of the Open Science Policy and Directive when necessary. It ensures the promotion and implementation of Open Science and open access in METU. It sets out the rules of operation necessary for this and works in coordination with the Open Science Advisory Board. The commission is chaired by the vice-chancellor appointed by the Rector and meets at least twice a year when it is deemed necessary. Expert members of the commission are appointed by the rectorate for a period of three years. These members may be reappointed at the end of their term of office. Commission members are constituted of the following;
- Vice President in charge of Library and Documentation Department
- Vice President in charge of Department of Information Technologies
- Head Director of the Library and Documentation Department
- Head Director of Department of Information Technologies
- At least two faculty members specialized in Open Science and Institutional Repository
- The related staff of the Department of Information Technologies
- The related staff of Library and Documentation Department
The committee shall be responsible for revising the policy and directive whenever it is deemed necessary.
Suggestions and opinions will be submitted to METU Rectorate.
Open Science Coordinators
Open Science Coordinators coordinate the promotion and awareness of open science and open access activities in the academic units to which they are affiliated. When necessary, it provides data and information about the unit to relevant units, boards, and commissions within the scope of Open Science. Each academic unit manager assigns a coordinator for this purpose. This coordinator can be the same person as the quality coordinator, as well as a different academic who is an expert on the subject. The appointment and change of the Open Science Coordinator shall be notified in writing to the president of the Open Science Commission no later than two working days.
Open Science Advisory Board
It coordinates the promotion and awareness studies of Open Science in faculties, institutes, and colleges. It determines the access condition for a publication or study in OpenMETU when necessary. The Board works in collaboration with the Open Science Coordinators and submits opinions to the Open Science Commission when necessary.
The Open Science Advisory Board consists of the following members. The advisory board is chaired by a member who will be elected amongst the members of the board for one year. The same member may be re-elected as chairman.
- Open Science Coordinator of the Faculty of Arts And Sciences
- Open Science Coordinator of the Faculty of Architecture
- Open Science Coordinator of the Faculty of Engineering
- Open Science Coordinator of the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences
- Open Science Coordinator of the Faculty of Education
- Open Science Coordinator of the School of Foreign Languages
- Open Science Coordinator of Vocational School
- Open Science Coordinator of the Institute of Applied Mathematics
- Open Science Coordinator of the Institute of Informatics
- Open Science Coordinator of the Institute of Marine Sciences
- Open Science Coordinator of the Institute of Social Sciences
- Open Science Coordinator of the Institute of Natural and Applied Sciences
- Open Science Coordinator of the Department of Music and Fine Arts
- Open Science Coordinator of the Turkish Language Department.
The Right of Access
The right to benefit from scientific and intellectual studies in OpenMETU is realized under the following conditions.
- Anyone can freely access the studies that are registered in the system and open to access.
- When the information resources stored in the system are used, it is necessary and mandatory in terms of scientific ethics to refer to the resources by the person using them.
This policy and directive came into effect with Decision No. 2 of the Middle East Technical University Senate dated 12.2.2019 and taken at the meeting with no 2019/2.
This policy and Directive are executed by the rectorate of Middle East Technical University.
Appendix: Abbreviations and Definitions
OpenMETU: METU Open Science/Access and Institutional Repository System
METU: Middle East Technical University
University: Middle East Technical University
Library and Documentation Department: METU, Directorate of Library & Documentation
Department of Information Technologies: METU Department of Information Technologies
TÜBİTAK: Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey
YÖK: The Council of Higher Education
OECD: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
OAI-PMH: Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting
OpenAIRE: The name of a European Commission Open Science Infrastructure Project
ORCID: Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier
OCW: Open Courseware
DOI: Digital Object Identifier - Numeric Object Identifier
- Open Peer Review: It is defined as a scientific review mechanism in which both the reviewer and the author know each other's identities during the period of review and publication.
- Open Science: It is to perform science in a way that publications, research data, lab notes, and other research processes can be accessed openly with the conditions enabling the re-use, distribution, and reproduction of the research, in which other researchers can work and contribute together.
- Open Education Resources: According to OECD, it is defined as “teaching, learning and research materials using open licenses that allow free re-use and continuous improvement by others for educational purposes”.
- Open Access: The condition that the scientific literature can be accessed, read, saved, copied, printed, scanned, linked to full text, indexed, transferred to software as data, and used for all kinds of legal purposes through the internet without financial, legal and technical barriers.
- The Golden Way Open Access: The studies of researchers published in academic journals are open access through the published journal and from the moment it is published.
- The Green Way Open Access: It is the open access to copies of the accepted version of researchers’ published studies in academic journals in open archives.
- Open Data: It is the data that can be used, reused, and distributed freely by anyone without being subject to any copyright, patent, or other control mechanisms.
- Academic Studies: It refers to all the studies that arise as a result of the research, funds, and creative activities of METU members and students.
- Academic and Subject Archives: The systems that collect, organize, and archive, on a long-term basis, publications, data, and other intellectual products (theses, course materials, study reports, etc.) produced from scientific research supported by public sources.
- Embargo: It refers that scientific studies of METU members and students in the academic archive system (article publishing, patent application, corporate and national interests, etc.) remain closed to access for a certain period of time for various reasons.
- Research: It is defined as all kinds of creative and systematic studies with the goal of advancing knowledge.
- Research Data: It is the data used to verify the results presented in scientific publications (e.g. statistics, experiment results, measurements, observations, interview records, images, etc.) or other data used during a project and described in the data management plan.
- Researcher: It is defined as any member of METU research staff at all levels, regardless of their level of employment, including employees and doctoral students.
- European Open Science Cloud (EOSC): It is a project that the European Commission announced in April 2018 that aims to collect the “embedded” data of 1.7 million researchers and 70 million scientists and technologists in the European Union in academic journals and books and make this data available to everyone. https://ec.europa.eu/research/openscience/index.cfm?pg=open-science-cloud
- Knowledge Resources: It refers to the printed (books, magazines, newspapers, reports, etc.), electronic (online databases), and multimedia (CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, VHS, etc.) resources in the library collection.
- Storage: It refers to the storage process of scientific and intellectual studies in the METU academic archive system.
- DOI (Digital Object Identifier): It is the identifiers that define an online intellectual property or part of that intellectual property within the online environment. https://www.doi.org/
- Institutional Repository: It defines the system containing a digital environment in which scientific and intellectual studies produced at METU are archived/stored and presented to open access.
- OAI-PMH: It is a protocol developed by the Open Archives Initiative. This protocol is used to collate (or collect) metadata definitions in an archive.
- Scientific and Intellectual Studies: It refers to the studies like articles, theses, books/book chapters, audio-visual materials, papers, presentations, projects, reports, designs, patents, course materials, and software product, which are produced by METU members and students as a result of funds they received and productive/creative activities.
- FAIR principles: An acronym for research data management or any of the initiatives related to the European Open Science Cloud. It is based on the principles that data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable principles. https://www.go-fair.org/fair-principles
- ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID): It refers to a permanent digital identifier that uniquely identifies researchers and supports the automatic connection between scientific activities.
- OpenAIRE: It is a technical open access infrastructure project that allows access to scientific publication outputs, open research data and research information, analysis of data and provides various services to content providers in line with the open science goals of the European Commission. www.openaire.eu
- OpenMETU: It is an institutional repository that provides open access to the publications and research data of METU researchers.
- Creative Commons License:Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that allows the use and sharing of intellectual, cultural, or artistic creative work. It is the license that allows forming the basis for other studies if necessary, instead of blocking any use of the publication by other researchers.
- Copyright: It is all the tangible and incorporeal rights that a person has legally on the products that he produces through any intellectual effort.
- Metadata: It is a set of data that defines a source of information. In other words, it is structured, descriptive information related to the discovery, identification, use, and management of digital information and information sources.
- Data Management Plan: It is a tool that shows how researchers can meet their responsibilities for research data quality, data sharing, and data security.
- Publication: It is defined as a peer-reviewed published (or currently being published) study of researchers in the institution.
- Open Course Material (OCW): It is open, accessible course material for the benefit of the community.