How to boost open science in Spain: the new National Open Science Strategy (ENCA)

In 2023 the National Open Science Strategy (ENCA) was published in Spain. This strategy sets a series of measures and goals (promotion and strengthening of transparency, quality and reproducibility of research results) that have been promoted in the European Union for years, most recently through the European Research and Innovation Area. These issues are addressed by the ENCA with the aim of facilitating and promoting the creation of a national open science policy in Spain, also adapted to the international context. The ENCA has been developed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation through the General Secretary for Research, which created the Open Science Commission (OSC) at the end of 2018, coordinated by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT).

The importance of this strategy lies in the current way the scientific publication system functions. Currently, an important part of the gold open-access journals in which researchers have been encouraged to publish offer the possibility to do so in open access on the condition that researchers pay up to EUR 9,500. Money that has been generally covered by public funding. In addition to this, peer reviews are done by the researchers themselves for free. This way, researchers, and ultimately universities, have been moved to participate in a system where private entities are paid to allow access to knowledge that universities themselves produce, often, at least in Spain, with public funding. However, it is increasingly common for universities to have their own repositories where researchers upload their articles in open access.

The way in which scientific journals are being financed makes access to academic knowledge difficult. The ENCA seeks to alleviate these problems through a multidimensional approach to open science. Thus, six dimensions are distinguished around the concept of open science and its strategic implementation: open access to research results; open data, protocols and methodology; the creation of open source platforms; open peer review; the promotion of citizen science and the creation of new indicators for research assessment.

This way, the aim of ENCA is to address the question of researchers’ access to previous results and reflections so they can contrast and enrich their own studies. The actions promoted through this strategy can also derive into a transformation in the logics governing the assessment system within the research community: not only will it matter the journal’s impact factor when evaluating the worth of an article, but also how the reflections and results provided can contribute to generating knowledge with a positive impact on society.

The CATALISI project, in its implementation at Universitat Jaume I, seeks to develop interventions along the lines of ENCA. In addition to the funding of diamond journals[1] already being done at UJI, CATALISI aims to: promote the recognition of the use of public repositories as a good research practice and add peer reviewing in open access journals as a good practice in researcher assessment. Here it is worth highlighting the importance of mutual learning in the promotion of a sustainable open science, something promoted among CATALISI partners.


By: Carlota Carretero García, UJI



[1] Journals where all papers are open access and neither the readers or the authors need to pay for the publication.

Acceleration Services in support of the institutional transformation of Higher Education Institutions

On May 30th, 2023, APRE, a partner of the WIDERA NCP project ‘WIDERA.NET’ and the coordinator of the CATALISI project, conducted a training session for WIDERA National Contact Points.

NCP WIDERA.NET identifies and shares good practices within the NCP community and raises the standard of support provided by NCPs to applicants. It also enables the transnational network of NCPs to better address cross-cutting objectives such as gender equality and open science.

The training focused on “Acceleration Services in support of the institutional transformation of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)”. The APRE team, working on the CATALISI project, along with two other projects funded under the same topic, namely the aUPaEU project coordinated by Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya and the Accelerate_FutureHEI project coordinated by University Industry Innovation Network BV, presented their approaches to supporting HEIs in implementing strategies and individual pathways for institutional transformation.


We believe that training events organized with CATALISI sibling projects that deal with Institutional transformation of HEIs through acceleration services, are of foremost importance to create synergies and share points of view on how to achieve sustainable institutional transformation of research organizations towards R&I. As a follow-up of the training event, the three projects are in fact starting to collaborate on the development of policy recommendations for HEIs' institutional transformation.

During the training, the coordinators provided an overview of the aims and methodologies of their respective projects. They emphasized how acceleration services can assist HEIs in successfully implementing transformation strategies and roadmaps. These services include creating a shared knowledge base, offering coaching services, and providing a virtual meeting platform for HEIs to connect with peers, ecosystem actors, investors, and public funders.

The training concluded with an engaging Q&A session, where participants delved deeper into how these projects can be utilized to support the institutional transformation of HEIs in Research and Innovation (R&I) across Europe.



What’s next?

Follow CATALISI and stay tuned for our upcoming activities:

Be part of a lively group of people interested and experts in institutional transformation of HEIs. You will advise and guide our Implementers on the topic of Institutional transformation towards the future, and at the same time benefit from knowledge sharing, networking and capacity building opportunities during the project.

  • September 2023: First Webinar on HEIs institutional transformations in the domain of “Gender & Inclusiveness”: follow CATALISI learning hub to watch the recording and access the materials.
  • Upcoming Mutual learning activities and workshops for Implementers and CoP members: stay tuned!

More about our “sister” projects:

Accelerate Future HEI (Accelerating support for university transformation) will apply a robust, comprehensive methodology that builds on the status quo and develops a connected vision and set of activities that provide each institution with a tailored transformation action plan. Experts specialised in implementing acceleration services will guide the universities through coaching, training and international knowledge exchange to help them achieve their desired entrepreneurship, innovation and engagement goals.

aUPaEU (A University Partnership for Acceleration of European Universities) ultimate purpose is to develop methodologies, sustainability plans, coaching services, and tangible digital technologies to give an acceleration agora. HEIs, university networks, and alliances will achieve integrated, shared, and long-term R&I transformations through this accelerated agora. These transformations are intended to focus on six major areas of the HEI transformation agenda: capacity, infrastructure, and resource sharing; researcher career attractiveness; collaboration with R&I ecosystem actors; open science; societal outreach; and gender equality.