Qatar National Library Announces Open Initiative Awards

10 November 2021

Doha, Qatar – 7 November 2021 – Qatar National Library announced the winners of its second Open Initiative Awards during a ceremony in which the winners were rewarded for their contributions to the advancement of open scholarship in Qatar over the past year.  

Tan Huism, Executive Director of the Library, honored Dr. Essam M. Abdelalim, a scientist at the Diabetes Research Center at Qatar Biomedical Research Institute and Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and Assistant Professor, College of Health and Life Sciences, HBKU as the winner of the Individual Award. Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) researchers won the Institutional Award.  

Dr. Abdelalim received the award for promoting student mentorship, biomedical science education and open access research. Professor Michael Frenneaux, Chief of Scientific, Faculty and Academic Affairs at HMC received the award on behalf of HMC and its researchers for significant growth in the adoption of open access for their research publications over the past two years. 

On the occasion, Tan Huism, Executive Director of Qatar National Library said, “Open access is the free and unrestricted online access to research publications and our Open Initiative Awards are a testament to our commitment to share knowledge openly and make research visible and accessible to all. The submissions received this year reflect the contributions made to the advancement of open scholarships in Qatar. We would like to congratulate Dr. Essam and Hamad Medical Corporation for sharing their exemplary research, which will inspire fellow researchers to be part of our open access initiative. We are also thankful to all participants who submitted their work and encourage them to strive for success moving forward.”  

A panel of judges from the Library carefully studied the applications received after the registrations opened in August. The winning entries were chosen based on the impact and innovation of the research.  

Individual award winner Dr. Essam M. Abdelalim said, “I would like to thank Qatar National Library for their efforts to promote the Open Access initiative in Qatar and for rewarding my research and mentorship work at Hamad Bin Khalifa University. My team is currently focusing on using stem cells for diabetes and have been directing our efforts towards raising awareness through blended learning. We are also working towards correcting the misinformation related to stem cell treatment in the region. I take immense pride in mentoring my students who have done exceptionally well in the field and have received international and prestigious awards such as the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Merit Award and HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani Education Excellence Award.” 

“I am honored to receive this Open Access Initiative Award, on behalf of HMC investigators. The number of research studies being undertaken at HMC has rapidly increased, despite the pressures on the health system caused by COVID, and there has been considerable enthusiasm to conduct COVID- related research. I am delighted that Qatar National Library is committed to open access and is able to support researchers to publish in open access journals”, Prof. Frenneaux added. 

The Open Initiative Awards is part of the Open Access Week, which is organized each year by the Library as part of International Open Access Week, a global event and an opportunity for the academic and research communities to continue to learn about the potential benefits of open access, share their experiences with colleagues and help inspire wider participation to make open access a new norm in scholarship and research. The Library will continue to provide advisory services and financial and publishing support to Qatari researchers, while also developing the Library’s digital repository to support a permanent archive of Qatar-based research material. 

To learn more about our Open Access program, please visit the Researchers page on the Library’s website (