Skip to main content
4 minutes reading time (801 words)

Slovenia: Governmental Decree on the Implementation of Scientific Research Work in Accordance with the Principles of Open Science

Slovenia

Last year Slovenia set up its directions in the field of scientific research. This includes the new Scientific Research and Innovation Activities Act (came into force at the beginning of 2022) and the Resolution on the Slovenian Scientific Research and Innovation Strategy 2030 (came into force at the end of March 2022). As we have already announced in the strategy and research act blogs (Open Science in the recently adopted Resolution on the Slovenian Scientific Research and Innovation Strategy 2030, Slovenia: open science in the new Scientific Research and Innovation Activities Act), the Act stipulates that more detailed requirements for the implementation of scientific research work according to the principles of open science shall be determined by the government, considering the Scientific Research and Innovation Strategy and the recommendations of European research policies.

Therefore, on 29 May 2023, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the Decree on the Implementation of Scientific Research Work in Accordance with the Principles of Open Science. The Decree was prepared by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, and Innovation in close cooperation with experts and the working group it has established in the field of open science. Before the creation of the final proposal, the draft Decree was presented at international meetings, held a public hearing, and went through interdepartmental consultation at the Government of the Republic of Slovenia.

The practical solutions of the Decree, with the aim of a full international harmonization and easy practical application, follow:

- The provisions of the Horizon Europe Framework Program for Research and Innovation in the field of open science, which are already known to Slovenian researchers, and

- The principles of cOAlition S/Plan S which supports effective scientific publishing in open access and to which the Public Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Research and Innovation (ARIS, the legal successor of the recently reformed ARRS agency) joined as a signatory in 2018.

The Decree stipulates that funders of scientific research activities within the conditions for co-financing by public sources, when this is equal to or greater than 50%, must request that researchers provide immediate open access to digital versions of scientific publications and related research data and/or other research results in digital format.

The Decree does not interfere with the autonomy of public research organizations, as it enables all the diversity of publications without restrictions. The transition period in relation to the so-called subscription/hybrid journals is based on cOAlition S transformative agreements with publishers. Researchers can publish an open access article using APC vouchers, which are available as part of transformative agreements. Besides, payments for open access publications no longer need to be provided from the funds of co-financed research but are taken over by funders from other sources.

Similarly, the Decree requires open access to research (meta)data and other research results, through the research data management plan (DMP), considering the principles of "FAIR" and the principle of "as open as possible, as closed as necessary". The Decree also specifies where (repositories), how and when research data and other research results must be stored and how they must be cited. In relation to copyright in scientific publications, research data and other research results, the Decree determines the way these rights are managed and determines the type of open licenses that may be used.

In addition, the Decree determines the obligations of funders when evaluating the research activities and deciding about co-financing. In this respect, they must evaluate essential substantive achievements of scientific research work, consider the diversity of research results and the practices of open science, and base their evaluation on openly accessible research results.

Besides, the Decree sets out the requirements to funders to promote consideration of the needs of end users or the wider community (such as civil society) and the promotion of the implementation of citizen science in publicly co-financed research.

The Decree introduces a transition period to allow time for the necessary adaptations and make transition to the full implementation of its provisions smoother.

To support the implementation of the Strategy, the Act, and the Decree, the Action Plan for Open Science and the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRF) with open science related activities are introduced. Within the framework of RRF, a project to support public research organizations in adapting their operation in accordance with the principles of open science is just starting to be implemented. Besides, two repositories for research data are planned to be set up using RRF funds as well.

Despite the planned initial investments in open science implementation, we expect the long-term operation of the Slovenian scientific research system in accordance with the principles of open science to be financially more effective than the current practices.

Post prepared by Ivan Skubic, Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, and Mojca Kotar, University of Ljubljana

×
Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.