Interview with Viorica Lupu, Director of the Scientific Library, Technical University of Moldova.

Viorica was one of the invited speakers at the ‘Libraries as enablers of scientific research’ two-day workshop, organised under the auspices of the EaPConnect Project, that gathered speakers and participants from 11 countries in Tbilisi at the National Science Library of Georgia earlier on this year.

Viorica, what was the topic and the main message of your talk?

My presentation ‘The Role of Academic Libraries in the Open Science Landscape in the Republic of Moldova’ (co-authored with Ina Nicuță of the Scientific Library of the Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova) gave an overview of how the Moldovan university libraries contribute to the implementation of the Open Science paradigm. In order to remain competitive in the diverse and complex research landscape, academic libraries first started to develop demand-oriented services and try to support researchers throughout the whole research cycle. Serving as central nodes for scientific collaboration and research, the Moldovan academic libraries are involved as key players in the Open Science movement through awareness activities, advocacy, development of institutional repositories, open educational resources, research data management, assistance and training.

How do you see the role of libraries in the context and support of scientific research and Open Science?

Libraries are integral to the support and advancement of scientific research and Open Science. They serve as hubs of knowledge, information sharing, and collaboration, helping researchers to navigate the complexities of the modern research landscape while promoting the principles of openness, accessibility, and transparency which are central to Open Science.
Libraries can assist researchers in managing their scientific data effectively. They can provide guidance on data management plans, storage solutions, metadata standards, and data sharing practices. This is crucial because sharing research data is a fundamental necessity in Open Science.

In your view, what are the benefits and challenges of international collaborations?

International collaboration in Open Science offers a great deal of opportunities for the advancement of science and for society as a whole. However, it comes with communication, data security, regulations, and resource management challenges. With proper planning and efforts in the management of these challenges, international collaboration can bring significant benefits to the scientific community, such as access to diverse expertise and resources, research facilities and funding, increased research impact, etc.

Does your university collaborate with RENAM, the National Research and Education Network of Moldova? How does this collaboration benefit your work?

I participated in different training and dissemination events organised by RENAM in the framework of the NI4OS-Europe project that aimed to support the Moldovan academic and research community in the adoption and use of the services and tools offered by the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) infrastructure. These activities expanded my knowledge of EOSC benefits, EOSC resources and tools, as well as of Research Data Management. These events provide valuable opportunities for training, collaboration and professional development for members of the scientific community.

Can you tell us about your current and future projects and your main areas of interest?

As Open Science gains momentum, libraries are expected to play an increasingly important role in supporting open, transparent and collaborative research practices.
Being a beneficiary of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) Open Call for RDA Communities of Practice, funded through EOSC Future project brought new opportunities for me. Since January 2023 when I joined RDA as an individual member, I have been able to gain access to exclusive resources, such as research data, best practices, guidelines, and publications, which can support me in my research and/or data management activities. RDA has numerous working groups focused on various aspects of research data management and sharing.
I joined two groups: the Improving Global Agricultural Data Community of Practice and the Libraries for Research Data Interest Group, which give me opportunities to contribute to specific areas of interest and to work with experts in these domains. The working groups focus on effective collaboration and organisation of joint activities which bring together experts, knowledge generation and research data skills training. This is a better alignment with global best practices and an opportunity to form partnerships on specific projects, discuss issues with experts from other countries, and link national efforts and activities with international initiatives. My aim for my library is to strengthen its capacities and provide support to all members of the Moldovan scientific community in the Open Science domain.

What are your best memories of the Tbilisi event? Why?

In my view, there were several important aspects of the Tbilisi event. The first was the meeting itself and the occasion to connect with like-minded individuals and experts in the field of Open Science, which I am sure will lead to valuable collaborations and opportunities in the future. Another aspect was the chance to listen to success stories and innovative ideas in Open Science, which really inspire, motivate, and drive one’s own research and projects forward. At this event, I valued the knowledge exchange, the collaborative spirit, and commitment of all participants to advance Open Science and to be part of this movement. I was also impressed with the wonderful city of Tbilisi, the Georgian culture, and food. It’s a place where ancient traditions and contemporary life coexist, creating a vibrant and unforgettable experience for visitors.