Qatar National Library supports open access for Qatari research

This week experts at Qatar National Library have guided researchers through the Library's Open Access Author Fund, as part of a commitment to sharing knowledge and information across the world.

The online sessions saw practical advice given to researchers wishing to publish open access articles, as well as detailed instructions of gaining access to funding for publishing in open access journals.

The Open Access Author Fund aims to support Qatar-based research through the provision of a national fund that covers costs related to open access publishing. It is available for students, faculty, researchers and staff from any institute of higher education or non-profit research institute within Qatar.

Qatar National Library is a leading center in open access in the Gulf and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and is working towards making a global impact, particularly in areas where access to information is limited due to factors such as funding.

The Library has funded 782 articles since 2017. The Qatar National Library Consortium recently announced a partnership with a major publisher Elsevier for an open access publishing pilot in Qatar. This linkup represents the company’s first combined reading and publishing agreement in the Gulf region.

The Library also has open access agreements with other traditionally subscription-based publishers, including Springer Nature, Taylor and Francis, Emerald, Sage, Ovid, Wolters, Karger, De Gruyter and Wiley.

Dr Alwaleed Alkhaja, Senior Intellectual Property Librarian and OA fund manager at Qatar National Library said: “We are committed to supporting the researchers of Qatar to disseminate their findings as far and wide as possible. Wherever we can, we will support innovative scholars, creative thinkers and scientific pioneers to maximise the impact of their findings across the world.”

“We were delighted to be able to assist researchers in Qatar this week to understand how they can finance their research publications. Open access is one of our core values, which can also be seen in our commitment to offering free, unrestricted access to our collections and services such as the Qatar Digital Library and our repository.

“We have created opportunities for scholars across Qatar to publish in open access journals by covering article processing charges (APCs) for local and international journals, as well as negotiating agreements with major publishers to make sure that research findings create as many waves as possible across the research community and beyond.”

“Many researchers in Qatar may not have sufficient support available through grants or institutional funds, so it’s vital that we are helping to bridge that gap to make open access an easier choice.”

Qatar National Library also takes part in various international open access initiatives, such as INTACT’s OpenAPC project, OA2020 and is contributing to the development of international open access principles through the International Federation of Information & Library Associations (IFLA).