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Open access policy conference in Slovakia

Open access policy conference in Slovakia
[caption id="attachment_208" align="alignright" width="140"] Photo credit: SCSTI


Over 150 participants from Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany and Slovakia attended a conference “Open access policy of Slovakia in the European context 2015 – current state and perspectives” hosted on 25 March 2015 in Bratislava by the Slovak Centre of Scientific and Technical Information (SCSTI), a National Point of Reference for open access (OA), OpenAIRE National OA Desk, and a Key Node organization in PASTEUR4OA project. Conference presentations are available here.

OA policy in Slovakia
On February 11, 2015, the government of Slovak Republic approved the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Action Plan 2015. It includes OA, open data and open education policies in addition to traditional OGP open government and open justice initiatives. This approach is quite unique and worth being replicated in other countries.

“Open publication should include the results of unclassified research financed or co-financed from public sources (either directly or indirectly, eg. through employment)... It is recommended to use standard formats and the latest version of a "Creative Commons Attribution" license. Texts should be deposited in a designated OA online repository immediately upon acceptance for publication and made publicly accessible immediately, but no later than 6 months in Science and Technology and 12 months in the Humanities and Social Science.” (2.2. OA to the results of scientific research, Slovak's OGP Action Plan 2015)

The Action Plan commits the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport to create an OA strategy and propose a mechanism for voluntary publication of data related to scientific publications as open data.

Ján Gondoľ, Ministry of Interior of the Slovak republic, Office of the Plenipotentiary for the development of civil society and project COMSODE (Components Supporting the Open Data Exploitation), has been a driving force behind this Action Plan and his presentation “OA and Open Educational Resources in Slovakia's Open Government Partnership Action Plan for year 2015” that provides an introduction to this action plan, its goals and individual commitments is available here (in Slovak language).

OA theses and dissertations in Slovakia
[caption id="attachment_212" align="alignright" width="140"]IMG_2327 Photo credit: SCSTI


SCSTI maintains a Central Registry of theses and dissertations initiated by the Ministry of Education. All theses and dissertations submitted after September 1, 2011 are publicly available (full texts) according to the requirements of the Act on Higher Education. Anti-plagiarism system is also used – all theses and dissertations are compared with other works in registry and with selected internet resources (originality check).

OA as an enabler of innovation
Pete Binfield, co-funder and publisher of PeerJ, gave a great talk (via skype) about OA as an enabler of innovation and provided a case study from PeerJ (slides). He started his talk with an overview of the most important innovations in scholarly publishing in the last 20 years – journals go online; in the last ~10 years – the OA movement; and in the last ~5 years – the MegaJournal.

I like the quotes he used when talking about evolving academic publishing:
  • “should publishers continue to do business-as-usual, then they will (and frankly should) become dinosaurs, while younger, more innovative and more robust communication venues take the lead. The publishing industry as it is constituted today is doomed to extinction. That isn’t an ‘if’. It’s a ‘when’.” (Khan, Goodman and Mittelman, Genome Biology 2014, 15:556, Dec 2014)
  • “..the key ingredients for fixing the mess we have include:
    • Open Access
    • open peer review
    • post-publication reviews/discussion/annotation
    • improved discovery of research knowledge
    • UX upgrade for reading, writing and submitting research
    • Article-level metrics
    • Instant publishing and sharing.” (Lenny Teytelman, in The Spectroscope: “Subscription Publishing is the Hotel Industry. Science needs Airbnb.” 2/4/2015)
Pete has also mentioned one of my favourite articles: The Inevitability of Open Access by David W. Lewis (published in September 2012 College & Research Libraries, vol. 73 no. 5 493-506). And provided three case studies on Article Level Metrics, Open Peer Review and PeerJ.

OA publishing in Slovakia
Currently 27 journals, published by Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS), are OA (out of 53 SAS journals) – said Karol Nemoga, Director of the Mathematical Institute of SAS and Vice-chairman of editorial board SAS, in his very inspiring talk about OA journals in Slovak Academy of Sciences.

De Gruyter Open is a publishing partner of SAS and Slovak University of Technology; and Martin Velický, Content Acquisition Manager at DeGruyter, CEE Region, talked about their OA publishing programs for scholarly English language journals and books.

I like the business model of the Journal of Central European Agriculture (JCEA) – an OA journal collaboratively published by 11 universities from nine countries:
  • Agricultural University Plovdiv (Bulgaria);
  • University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Osijek, Faculty of Agriculture and Institute of Agriculture and Tourism, Porec (Croatia);
  • University of South Bohemia, Faculty of Agriculture (Czech Republic);
  • University of Pannonia Georgikon Faculty (Hungary);
  • University of Technology and Life Sciences in Bydgoszcz, Faculty of Animal Breeding and Biology (Poland), University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (Romania);
  • University in Kragujevac, Faculty of Agronomy Čačak (Serbia);
  • Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra, Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources (Slovakia) and
  • Agricultural Institute of Slovenia.
The journal’s management office moves from one university to another and each university is responsible to support an editorial office for the period of one year.

Tackling the infrastructure requirements: the potential role of SK-CRIS and national CRIS systems in supporting OA implementation
[caption id="attachment_210" align="alignright" width="300"]CA8QsmaVAAITihx.jpg large Photo credit: Daniela Tkačíková


Pablo de Castro, Board Member of euroCRIS and OA Officer at LIBER, spoke about the level of infrastructure maturity required to effectively enable open access policies implementation. This infrastructure has traditionally been based on an OA repository network, where scholars deposit their research outputs as required by the OA policy. Pablo suggested that in the countries, where the repository network is weak or simply not available (like in Slovakia’s case), National Current Research Information Systems (CRIS) may also play a key role in supporting OA policies if appropriately enhanced to do so. He discussed the case of SK-CRIS in the Slovak Republic together with pioneering CRIS/repository interoperability initiatives currently taking place in other countries (slides).

Pablo has also presented the OpenAIRE pilot: Funding OA for Post-Grant FP7 Publications.

OA on legislative level in Slovakia – Creative Commons 4.0 and their applicability
[caption id="attachment_214" align="alignright" width="140"]IMG_2408 Photo credit: SCSTI


Creative Commons (CC) offers appropriate and applicable legal instruments to support individuals, universities and research institutions in managing copyright in OA project. The full advantage of CC licenses was hindered in the past because of Slovak legal regulation, today the situation is different. CC licences are compatible with Slovak copyright law and Zuzana Adamová, Director of Intellectual Property Law Institute, Trnava University, and Head of INGENIUM Slovakia, and Richard Bednárik, Lawyer at Copyright centre and a member of CC Slovakia, spoke about OA on legislative level in Slovakia – Creative Commons 4.0 and their applicability.
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