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HBKU Press Reflects on Publishing Experience During Global Pandemic at 2020 Open Access Week

Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) celebrates Open Access Week 2020 by reaffirming its commitment as a leader in information dissemination despite the economic challenges that publishers worldwide are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

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“HBKU Press has and continues to adapt successfully to the changing publishing landscape to keep our authors and researchers at the heart of the publication process,” explains Bachar Chebaro, Executive Director of HBKU Press. “Now more than ever we are successfully providing a supportive and collaborative research environment for academics and scholars in Qatar, MENA and the rest of the world.”

Open Access (OA) Week is an annual global event that takes place during the last full week of October. As a part of the 2020 Open Access Week, HBKU Press participated in the virtual event celebrating OA Week as organized by Qatar National Library (QNL). Dr. Rima Isaifan, Head of Academic Publishing at HBKU Press, was a panelist in a discussion centered around this year’s theme that explored how the COVID-19 pandemic has caused ripple effects into all aspects of life, including the academic world of research and publishing. Panelists discussed how the dependency on electronic resources as a result of global lockdown underlines the necessity of quality online content and the importance of open access to information.

Dr. Isaifan highlighted specifically how HBKU Press has adapted to maintain its status as a world class publisher and  hub of information exchange for the region, despite the impact that COVID-19 has had on the landscape of open access, open science, and scholarly publishing.  

“Our online Open Access website, QScience.com, is an instrumental platform that supports researchers’ publishing endeavors by providing necessary services such as research writing guidance, editing, typesetting, translation, article hosting, archiving and indexing in internationally recognized indexing databases,” said Dr. Isaifan. “We’ve also expanded our services to include virtual training support on the use of our submission systems and institutional support by expediting publishing services to meet the changes that the constantly evolving research landscape have demanded of us during the pandemic.”

The panel discussion further explored the pandemic's impact on various stakeholders from libraries, scholarly publishers, and research institutions, as well the expectations and predictions for 2021 and beyond.  

HBKU Press has been a pioneer of Open Access publishing in Qatar since its inception. It adopted an Open Access model on QScience.com, its academic, online publishing platform, hosting thousands of scholarly, peer-reviewed articles that are freely available to readers around the world.

The Open Access publishing model on QScience.com allows for authors to share their work freely, with higher access, download and sharing rates, while ensuring proper citation. The Open Access model is in line with international standards that ensures that information from the region is being shared freely in the wider knowledge economy. 

HBKU Press also meets the increasing demand of Arabic researchers by facilitating the unique Arabic language publication process. HBKU Press has developed a portfolio of  Open Access journals and conferences which are bilingual and publish Arabic academic research at the same high standard and quality as their English counterparts.

QScience.com currently hosts scholarly journals, conference proceedings and eBooks, all available for free online in an effort to disseminate knowledge and understanding of scientific, social, political and health-related subjects while adhering to international publishing standards.