OA in Poland

The National Research Environment

Research institutions

Higher education institutions play a major role in the Polish national research landscape. There are currently ca. 470 higher education schools in Poland (universities and others, see Higher Education Institutions in Poland), of which about 40% are involved in research activities.

The Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS), established in 1951, is an independent research institution. PAS comprises currently 79 research establishments (scientific institutes, research centres, research stations, and other research units) and auxiliary scientific units (archives, libraries, museums, foreign scientific centres).

Research-development units are state institutions operating as separate entities in terms of legal basis, organisational arrangements and funding mechanisms, supervised by various sector ministries that conduct R&D work in line with the needs of the national economy and social life. Among 189 units there are research institutes, central laboratories and research and development centres.

Development units are business entities active in R&D. Apart from their primary activities, they are also involved in applied research. Currently about 700 development units are operating in Poland.

More information on the research landscape in Poland can be found on the EURAXESS website.

Major research funders

The Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MNiSW) is responsible for the development and implementation of research policy. The Ministry provides core funding for the statutory activities of various types of research and development units and for large infrastructure investments, and it also supervises the two major governmental granting agencies – the National Science Centre and the National Centre for Research and Development (see below).

The National Science Centre (NCN) was launched in March 2011 as the main governmental agency for funding basic scientific research. This is achieved through the funding of research grants and fellowships as well as through special research programmes.

The National Centre for Research and Development (NCBiR) was established in July 2007. It is a governmental agency responsible for the funding of applied scientific research programmes and activities. Its main task is the managing and implemention of strategic scientific research that should lead directly to the development of innovations. NCBiR also supports the commercialization of scientific research results.

More information on research funding in Poland can be found on the MNiSW, NCN and NCBiR websites. 

Open Access and Repositories

Open Access declarations and awareness

In the most recent years awareness of Open Access issues has been rising steadily in the Polish scientific community. Several Polish institutions have signed Open Access declarations. In 2004, Poland signed the OECD Declaration on Access to Research Data from Public Funding. In 2008, members of the European University Association – among them 43 Polish higher education institutions and the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland – issued their Recommendations from the EUA Working Group on Open Access, postulating the establishment of institutional repositories networked on the national and European level. In February 2012, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling at the University of Warsaw (ICM UW) has issued a Call for a national Open Access Mandate for research in Poland; more than 13,500 people have signed it, both private persons and representatives of scientific and educational institutions and organizations. The authors of this call appeal to all funding institutions in Poland – in particular, both governmental grant agencies – to adopt an Open Access Mandate for all public-funded research. In July 2013 the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland have jointly published a statement in support of the Green Road to Open Access, calling for institutional repositories to be established in all scientific units in the country. Finally, in October 2015, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (MNiSW) issued a document entitled Kierunki rozwoju otwartego dostępu do treści naukowych w Polsce (in Polish only), which sets specific OA recommendations for all major stakeholders in Poland.

Open Access repositories and mandates

OpenDOAR provides a list of 85 registered Open Access Repositories in Poland, but the majority of these are digital libraries, providing access to the digitized content of library collections, not functioning as repositories open to authors for the deposition of their own work. The content of these libraries can be searched and accessed through the Polish Digital Library Federation (FBC) website. However, there is a growing trend for scientific institutions to launch institutional repositories for the presentation of their scientific research output. The number of institutional repositories in Poland has increased significantly in the last few years. Currently, about 30 institutions have their own repositories (see Otwarta Nauka w Polsce 2014. Diagnoza - 'Open Science in Poland 2014. A Diagnosis', in Polish only). Many of them can be accessed via the CeON Aggregator.

No research funding agencies in Poland have introduced Open Access mandates yet, and only 2 scientific institutions: the Silesian University of Technology and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling of the University of Warsaw, have introduced full open mandates (data from Otwarta Nauka w Polsce 2014. Diagnoza).

Open Access publishing

In Poland, nearly 2,000 scientific journals are published. These include journals published both by commercial publishers and by scientific institutions (universities, institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences, scientific societies). According to the report Otwarta Nauka w Polsce 2014. Diagnoza, almost 950 of these journals provide free access to their current issue. Although the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) lists ca. 350 open access journals published in Poland, many more of them function in a fully open model. The Library of Science (run by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling at the University of Warsaw, ICM UW) provides open access to over 500 Polish scientific journals.

Open Access organizations and groups

There are many organizations in Poland involved in initiatives concerning Open Access in the areas of science, education and culture. The Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling at the University of Warsaw (ICM UW) has been engaged in opening science resources in Poland since 2000. It was the Polish partner of the European projects COMMUNIA, DRIVER, DRIVER II and FOSTER, and it is engaged in OpenAIRE. ICM UW also runs the Open Science Platform. Other important organizations working actively for openness in science include the Coalition for Open Education (KOED), Centrum Cyfrowe Projekt: Polska, Electronic Library Association (EBIB), and others.

Useful links and resources

In Polish:
Platforma Otwartej Nauki
Otwarta Nauka
Uwolnij Naukę

Contact details of the National Open Access Desk

Marta Hoffman-Sommer, Lidia Stępińska-Ustasiak, Jakub Szprot, Interdisciplinary Centre for Computational and Mathematical Modelling at the University of Warsaw, openaire[@]icm.edu.pl

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