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Serbia has adopted a national science policy!

Serbia has  adopted a national science policy on July 14th, 2018, called the 'Open Science Platform'.
The Serbian version of the policy is available on the official webpage of the Serbian Ministry (MESTD) and the version in English is available on OpenAIRE.
The discussion about OS in Serbia started in 2014. At the time, in Serbia, OA was mandated only for PhD theses. Therefore, a working group was established by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development (MESTD) with the task of preparing a funder Open Science policy. As the Ministry is the main funder of research in Serbia, such a policy would also serve as a national OA policy.

The initial draft for the policy was provided by the PASTEUR40A team. The draft was further developed after this project ended.

The main elements of the policy are:
  • Open Access is mandatory for all publications resulting from research funded by the MESTD, including journal articles, monographs, book chapters, conference objects, PhD theses (already mandated since 2014). 
  • The policy is a ‘Green’ OA mandate (repositories) – publishing in a journal of choice and depositing an author’s copy in an OA repository; 
  • The allowed embargo periods are 12 months after the date of publication in case of physical and medical sciences, and engineering, or no later than 18 months in case of social sciences and humanities
  • The MESTD will recognize Article Processing Charges (APCs) and Book Processing Charges (BPCs) foreseen in the project budget as eligible costs.
  • OA for data is not mandated; it is merely recommended; the Platform specifies situations where data should not be shared
The policy does not mention evaluation but it may be expected that institutional policies will seek to establish a link between the OA content available in institutional repositories and promotion procedures.

The funder policy is intended to serve as an umbrella document. It sets merely the basic requirements, including the technical requirements for repositories, and all other details (depositing procedures, responsibilities for training, administration, monitoring the efficiency of OA policies, etc.) will be addressed in Institutional policies. It was particularly important to specify the minimum technical requirements for infrastructure in this umbrella policy. Unlike most European countries, Serbia does not have a developed repository infrastructure, due to which most researchers are not familiar with the operation of repositories, the importance OAI-PMH and metadata quality, OA licenses, etc.  It is also important to ensure a certain level of quality control regarding metadata integrity by including relevant provisions in institutional policies.

Universities and research institutes shall define and adopt their open science platforms within six months, in accordance with this Platform.  Progress and compliance will be monitored by the Ministry.
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