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Open science in the newly adopted Law on Science and Research in Serbia


Open Science is an internationally and universally accepted term that includes open (free for the end-users) access to scientific and educational literature, open research, open innovation, open source software, etc. In all documents regulating science in the European Union (and beyond), open access is mandatory, as the wider community has the right of access to the results of scientific research funded from public sources, i.e. by the money of taxpayers.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development (MESTD) has unambiguously shown determination in the previous period to follow the principles of open science. This is, above all, reflected in the Open Science Platform (adopted in July 2018, English translation), and in several articles in the recently adopted new Law on Science and Research.

In one of the introductory articles (Article 4), "conducting research work in accordance with the principles of open science" is recognized as a fundamental principle of science and research.

Article 6 is entirely dedicated to open science:
• In order to increase the quality and visibility of scientific work, research is conducted in accordance with the principles of open science, with optimal use of scientific research infrastructure.
• The principle of open science and open access to scientific publications and research data is based on the recommendations of the European Commission and international good practice.

In the section dealing with the General Interest Programs for the Republic of Serbia (Article 12), all centrally funded programs contributing to the effective implementation of scientific activities are listed. Paragraph 12 also lists "programs related to scientific research infrastructure and open science".

Open data are also referred to in the Law, in Article 72, but the focus is on the transparency of data from the Register of Research Organizations and the Register of Researchers. This means that this information will be publicly available on the website of the Ministry in a machine readable format, ready for (re)use.

It is expected that other by-laws and regulations will be adopted following the adoption of this Law to clarify and facilitate the implementation of these principles. 

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