Open Initiative Award


About the Award

The award(s) will be given to the best initiative(s) to have contributed to the advancement of open scholarship in Qatar each year. We are looking for applicants to come forward with shining examples of best practice in open scholarship. The prize will be awarded every year during International Open Access Week in October.

What is open scholarship?

Open scholarship is the practice of sharing knowledge openly and making research outcomes visible and accessible to all. The movement includes open access to research papers, open data, open education resources, open licenses and other applications of openness in scholarly and research environments. 

Examples of open scholarship 

  • Openness in sharing research outputs (articles, research data, etc.) 
  • Openness in sharing data
  • Use and application of open data
  • Open access publishing
  • Developing and implementing open standards and policies 
  • Use of Creative Commons licenses
  • Support for open infrastructures
  • Open scholarship advocacy 
  • Open access advocacy
  • Use or creation of open-source software for education or research 
  • The production and use of open educational resources in teaching practice
  • Involvement in open government initiatives 

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the awards, candidates must: 

  • Be an individual or an institution that has contributed to open scholarship in Qatar
  • Have produced or started the work or took activities under consideration recently
  • Provide documentation of work or activities under consideration
  • Submit the application through the Library’s website in English or Arabic before the submission deadline (to be announced).
  • (Non-mandatory) Have the support of at least one peer for their nomination.

Inclusion of support letters or peer references (in writing or as contact details) can improve the chances of winning an award.

Criteria for evaluation 

The criteria by which applications for the award will be evaluated are as follows: 

  • Strong evidence of commitment to open scholarship must be provided
  • Applications and supporting documents must be completed in full
  • Applications are supported by peers (non-mandatory requirement)
  • Committee evaluation of how the initiative affected the advancement of open scholarship in Qatar; criteria will be based on impact and innovation and will be refined based on the volume of applications

This award is part of our commitment to the sharing of knowledge and universal access to information without barriers. The Library announced the recipients of its inaugural Open Initiative Awards in October 2020 and the second Open Initiative Awards in November 2021.

The Best Individual Award 2020 went to Dr. Julie Decock, a scientist at Cancer Research Center, QBRI-HBKU, and Assistant Professor at College of Health and Life Sciences, HBKU, for promoting open scholarship in Qatar through student mentorship and open access research at QBRI.

The Best Institutional Award 2020 went to Bait Al-Mashura Journal. The journal is an open access, semi-annual refereed international scientific journal publishing research in the fields of Islamic economics. The journal is published by Bait Al-Mashura Finance Consultations, established in 2007 as the first Qatari firm to provide Shari’ah finance consultations. Read more about the 2020 awards announcement.

In 2021, 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 won the Best Individual Award 2021, while the Best Institutional Award 2021 went to Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) researchersRead more about the 2021 awards announcement.