OA in the Czech Republic

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The National Research Environment

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is the central branch of the state administration for higher education institutions, for scientific policy, research and development, as well as international cooperation in this area.

Additional information available:

Major research funders

Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports mainly oversees:
a) the preparation of the National Research and Development Policy of the Czech Republic in accordance with international treaties and the monitoring of its implementation;
b) priority setting for the National Research Programme;
c) the implementation of research priorities in the areas that are not within the scope of the activities of the providers in order to support the National Research Programme;
d) the creation of the legal regulations on research and development and the evaluation of the consequences of other legal regulations on research and development;
e) international cooperation of the Czech Republic in research and development, including meetings with departments and institutions of the European communities and the individual member states active in research and development, with the exception of international cooperation in defence research and development, for which the Ministry of Defence is responsible.
(provisions of Section 33 of Act No. 130/2002 Coll., On Research and Development Support from Public Funds and on the Amendment of Some Related Acts (Act on Research and Development Support))
(from the web site of the Ministry)

Research and Development Council

R&D Council (Rada pro výzkum, vývoj a inovace) is an advisory body to the Government of the Czech Republic.

Czech Science Foundation

The Czech Science Foundation (Grantová agentura České republiky, GAČR) provides, on the basis of public tender, financial support for research projects submitted by individuals or organizations. Czech Science Foundation signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in 2008.

Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

The Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (AS CR; Akademie věd České republiky, AV ČR) was established by Act No. 283/1992 Coll. as the Czech successor of the former Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. It is set up as a complex of 54 research institutes. The Academy employs about 7,000 employees more than a half of whom are researchers with university degrees. The primary mission of AS CR and its institutes is to conduct basic research in a broad spectrum of the natural, technical and social sciences and the humanities.

The Academy of Sciences is financed primarily from the state budget. In addition to basic institutional financing of research objectives of Academy institutes, target-oriented financing is being more widely practised to carry out research projects and grants selected on the basis of public competition. AS CR was the first institution in the Czech Republic to establish its own Grant Agency which financially supports research projects selected through a peer-review process involving reviewers from abroad. Individual Academy institutes obtain additional financial resources by participating in national as well as international research programmes.

The Academy has also been assigned financial responsibility for 71 specialised Czech scientific societies associated with the Council of Scientific Societies.

The Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in 2008 and adopted its Open Access Policy in 2010.

Czech Technological Foundation

Recently founded (2009) Czech Technological Foundation (Technologická agentura České republiky, TAČR) is focused on support of Czech applied research and technological development.

EC research funding

The Government Commissioner for European Research coordinates the participation of the Czech Republic in the European Research Area and in the framework programmes of the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM). The commissioner is appointed and recalled by the Government at the request of the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS).

Open Access and Repositories

Although the Berlin Declaration has been signed by two important Czech institutions (GAČR, AV ČR; see more above), and also a growing number of OA journals published by several Czech institutions are available in the DOAJ, it is evident that the Czech Republic is only in the initial phase of adopting the ideas of OA. There is no official government policy or mandate to deposit research output arising from grants, no research funding agency requires depositing of publicly funded scholarly publications in the Czech Republic, nor exists any university which has made an institutional commitment to a mandatory policy for the deposit of published journal articles in its open repository in the Czech Republic. The awareness of OA movement ideas is still mostly limited to library staff only.

Masaryk University signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in 2010 as the first Czech university. More (Czech only): Otevřený přístup k vědeckým informacím na Masarykově univerzitě [Open Access to scientific information at Masaryk University].

Academic association MAGNANIMITAS signed the Berlin Declaration in 2011.

On October 22nd, 2012 the University of Economics, Prague signed the Berlin Declaration.

Charles University signed the Berlin Declaration in October 2013.

On December 13th, 2013 Brno University of Technology signed the Berlin Declaration.

Some OA scholarly articles (preprints or postprints) by Czech authors can be found in subject repositories, such as arXiv (see example), CiteSeerx (see example) or MPRA (see examples). Also a number of Czech authors, who have published their articles in OA journals, not only in those published in the Czech Republic, is constantly growing.

Open Access repositories

Research Data Repositories

Open Access publishing

There are currently 80 open access journals published within Czech Republic listed in DOAJ.

Open Access organisations and groups

The VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava Central Library and some other university libraries have started to build the technological infrastructure with an installation of DSpace-based repositories and have participated in some Czech universities activities conducted in this area in the past. These activities have been supported by the Association of Libraries of Czech Universities. The Association of Libraries of Czech Universities signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities on May 16, 2012.

Useful links and resources

Contact Details of the National Open Access Desk

Daniela Tkačíková, VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava, daniela.tkacikova[@]vsb.cz

Updated 2014-03-26.