OA in Lithuania

The National Research Environment

How are Research Institutions (universities, research centers) organised nationally?

Lithuania has 27 State higher education establishments (14 university higher education establishments and 13 colleges) as well as 20 non-State higher education establishments (9 university higher education establishments and 11 colleges), 14 State research institutes, 5 non-State research institutes.

Major research funders

Who are the major funders of research nationally and do any have OA policies or mandates?

Administration & co-ordination: Ministry of Education and Science, Research Council of Lithuania, Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education, Lithuanian University Rectors' Conference, Lithuanian College Directors' Conference.

The Research Council of Lithuania functions and cooperates with the organizations responsible for the research policy, funding resources (public, private), evaluation procedures of projects, monitoring, etc. On Nov. 19, 2010 Research Council of Lithuania became a member of European Science Foundation in order to guarantee Lithuania’s representation of the highest level and to ensure the participation of Lithuanian scientists in the development of the European Research Area.

Article 45 of the new Law on Higher Education and Research of the Republic of Lithuania (adopted on April 30, 2009 and took effect on May 12, 2009) requires the results of scientific activity to be made publicly available:

  1. In order to ensure the quality of research conducted with funds of the state budget, the transparency of the use of funds of the state budget, to enhance scientific progress, the results of all research works carried out in state higher education and research institutions must be announced publicly (in the Internet or any other way), to the extent this is in compliance with the legal acts regulating the protection of intellectual property, commercial or state and official secrets.
  2. The results of research conducted in non-state higher education and research institutions with funds of the state budget shall be announced publicly (in the Internet or any other way), to the extent this is in compliance with the legal acts regulating the protection of intellectual property, commercial or state secrets.

This new law is a big step forward towards national open access policies. The text of the law in Lithuanian is here 

The Research Council of Lithuania (RCL), which is the main institution dealing with publicly funded research via competitive calls, has set the main policy principles in the Descriptions of the procedure for the funding of projects. Contract agreements with the RCL promote OA. E.g., in 2012 the articles dealing with publicly funded research results of the research projects carried out by researchers’ teams were adopted:

81. Acting in accordance with Article 45 of the Law on Higher Eduction and Research  of the Republic of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 2009, No. 54-2140) the implementing institution shall publish the results of the research projects to the extent not contradicting the requirements of legal acts governing the protection of intellectual property, and commercial or State secrets.

82. The principal investigator and the implementing institution shall undertake, in the manner and under the terms set forth by the institution, to ensure a proper storage and the use of the data received in the course of the project implementation, and following three years from the end of the project implementation shall ensure an access to such data.

83. Three years after the end of each of the project the Council undertakes to ensure access to the final reports of each project funded thereby.

84. All copyrights and related rights set forth in Lithuanian legislation and international agreements belong to project researchers.

85. The Council does not claim any property rights in respect of the results of the intellectual activity carried our within the framework of the projects financed thereby.“

All the documents are in Lithuanian and can be found in the website of RCL: http://www.lmt.lt/lt/atviroji_prieiga.html

On 29 th of February, 2016 The Research Council of Lithuania adopted Guidelines for Open Access to Research Results (text in Lithuanian). The Guidelines include open access (OA) and open research data policy that are fully aligned with the Horizon 2020 (H2020) OA mandate and Open Research Data Pilot, and the July 2012 European Commission recommendations on access to and preservation of scientific information. The newly-adopted Guidelines are based on a strong OA tradition in Lithuania and on current good practice in Europe.

More information:http://www.pasteur4oa.eu/news/200#.VzGNxYSLSUk


Open Access projects and initiatives

Is there an awareness of Open Access within the research community nationally?

The movement for open access to scientific information in Lithuania was started in 2003 when Lithuanian universities began a pilot project (financed by UNESCO) to create an information system for electronic theses and dissertations (ETD), which later developed into several larger projects at the Lithuanian Academic Libraries Network (LABT).

In 2003, the libraries of the Vilnius University Institute of Oncology and KaunasUniversity of Medicine became members of BioMedCentral and started to publish articles in BioMedCentral.

In 2006, the Minister of Education and Science issued a decree to establish a Lithuanian information system for electronic documents (eLABa).

Open Access repositories

What is the current status and distribution of OA repositories nationally?

The Electronic Academic Library of Lithuania (eLABa) is operating as the national OA repository of the Ministry of Education and Science and all academic institutions of Lithuania. The fundamentals of the eLABa were laid in the course of the project Lithuanian Academic Libraries Network (LABT). The eLABa stores about 29 thousand of objects, consists of 6 collections: books, journal articles, conference proceedings, doctoral thesis and dissertations, working papers, empirical data. The eLABa is a national repository based on Fedora and OAI-PMH. Some institutions created repositories on the base of eLABa: 

Three institutions have established institutional repositories on their own:

Open Access publishing

What is the current status of OA journals published nationally?

There are 32 open access journals listed in the DOAJ.

Preservation of research data

Few repositories are under development:

  • National Open Access Research Data Archive MIDAS (project funded by EU Structural Funds, January 2012– June 2014). The purpose of the project is to establish the infrastructure of national research data archive that enables collection and storage of research and empirical data and ensures free, easy and convenient access to the data. Lead institution – Vilnius University, project partner – Vilnius University Hospital Santariškių Klinikos. Project participants: 13 institutions of research and higher education and medical institutions. Budget of the project is almost 15 M Lt (4.34 M€). MIDAS is an information system according to the legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania. Regulations of MIDAS information system are approved. The National Open Access Research Data Archive for Lithuania (MIDAS) provides up to 3 petabytes of capacity for research data.The primary responsibility for the administration of MIDAS lies with Vilnius University. According to the Guidelines, Principal Investigators are in charge of ensuring that their generated data will be openly accessible and linked to their respective publications. Moreover, they are required to submit data management plans with their applications for funding.
  •  Lithuanian Data ArchiveforHSSLIDA (http://www.lidata.eu). LiDA was established in 2006 by Policy and Public Administration Institute at Kaunas University of Technology in partnership with Vilnius University, Institute for Social Research, the Ministry of Education and Science. LiDA is a social science data service allowing searching, browsing, analysing, and downloading social science survey data. LiDA catalogues contain social survey data, historical statistics and data about Lithuanian political system. LiDA services also are available through catalogue of Lithuanian Virtual Library (LVB). All metadata are bilingually documented in English and Lithuanian. LiDA is a national member of ICPSR and conducts European Social Survey and International Social Survey Programme in Lithuania. 

Open Access organisations and groups

The most active player in the dissemination of the OA initiatives in Lithuania is Lithuanian Research Libraries Consortium (http://www.lmba.lt), which is a member of EIFL. The OA ideas are supported by Lithuanian Research Council, Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science, Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, Association of Lithuanian Serials and other organizations. Various events (seminars, round-table discussions and presentations delivered by the OA supporters at the national and international levels since 2005) have played an important role in advocating for the OA ideas in Lithuania.
An important role in the stakeholder dialogues is played by the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO which invited stakeholders to focus on this area of expertise. First meeting of various institutions linked to the OA to scientific information representatives was held in January 2013. The participants expressed a need to form a working group from various authorities and stakeholders that would summarize the situation in Lithuania and would provide suggestion for further development. This kind of group was formed by the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO in February 2013. The group is composed of the representatives of Lithuanian Research Libraries Association, the RCL, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, the Vilnius University library, the Lithuanian Society of Young Researchers, the Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (MOSTA), the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA). The aim of the group is to mobilise the interested parties, to analyse the situation of OA in the country and to provide possible solutions for the authorities. The group had two meetings in 2013 and shared information throughout the year. Based on the situation summarised by this group, the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO approached the Ministry of Education and Science suggesting to appoint a coordination institution for the OA issues. The RCL responded positively to the suggestion of the Ministry and took over this mission at the end of 2013.

eIFL-OA country coordinator is Dr. Gintare Tautkeviciene, Kaunas University of Technology,Lithuanian Research Library Consortium (LMBA),  

Contact details of the National Open Access Desk

Gintarė Tautkevičienė, Library Director
Kaunas University of Technology,

Ieva Cesevičiūtė, Head of Scholarly Communication Deparment 

Library of Kaunas University of Technology,

Rasa Dovidonytė, Senior Information Manager
Library of Kaunas University of Technology,  

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