Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals’ (BQFJ) online publishing platform QScience.com participated in the International Open Access Week in partnership with Qatar National Library (QNL), to enable the academic and research community to learn about the benefits of Open Access (OA).

BQFJ is a collaboration between Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) and Bloomsbury Publishing, and supports QF’s mission to build the nation’s innovation and technology capacity. Officials from QScience.com addressed recent open access initiatives and the possibility of providing more open access repositories as well as free, unrestricted online access to peer-reviewed research for regional authors and researchers.

During the event, QScience.com also announced the launch of the Arabic translation of the key book on Open Access, written by Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication. The Arabic version of the book, titled ‘Open Access’ – and originally published by MIT Press – is now available on QScience.com

The event took place at Hamad bin Khalifa University Student Center and saw representatives from QNL, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, Library and Information Association Qatar (LIA-Q), and Qatar University Library outline the benefits of OA publishing and its potential expansion in the Middle East with a new repository and Open Access fund.

Participants were also given the opportunity to learn more about QNL’s commitment to supporting open access publishing, as well as opportunities for scholars and disciplines across Qatar to publish in open access journals. During the event, Allan Groen, Qatar National Library’s Associate Director for Public Services, announced the launch of the Open Access Author Fund, which pays article processing fees for publication in OA journals. This fund will be available as a pilot project for the fiscal year ending 30 June 2016.

Commenting on the event, Director of Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Arend Küster said:

We believe that the Open Access model helps to unlock research potential in the region and beyond, and are working closely with international collaborators to promote Open Access further. QScience.com is in its fifth year, and we are convinced that the decision to make our journals Open Access helped to deliver our mission and make this initiative a success for Qatar Foundation. Open Access has since found the support of governments and research funders from all corners of the world.’

Dr Claudia Lux, Qatar National Library’s Project Director, said:

QNL’s partnerships with leading institutions, including the World Digital Library and the British Library, are some examples of the library’s firm commitment to open access in Qatar. Last year the library launched the Qatar Digital Library through which people from anywhere in the world can access thousands of manuscripts and rich archive material about the history of Qatar and the wider region. Furthermore, QNL educates the public about the benefits of open access by organising regular workshops focusing on the effective use of the library’s website and array of online databases.’