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Supporting Open Science in Croatia


OpenAIRE has an extensive network of OS experts who can be contacted and consulted anytime

OpenAIRE helps us significantly with its resources, guides, and training materials which help us in training and promotion activities on the national level.

by Bojan Macan & Jadranka Stojanovski

The OpenAIRE team has the pleasure of speaking to our NOADs in Croatia, Bojan Macan, Head of the Centre for Scientific Information at Rudjer Boskovic Institute and Jadranka Stojanovski, Research Librarian at Rudjer Boskovic Institute and Assistant Professor at the University of Zadar. Read their reflections on Open Science


How does Rudjer Boskovic Institute support Open Science in Croatia?

Ruđer Bošković Institute is one of the pioneers of Open Access (OA) and Open Science (OS) in Croatia and beyond. Through the infrastructure we have been developing on the institutional and national levels for the last three decades, we are implementing principles of openness and transparency in the Croatian scholarly community. We created the Croatian Scientific Bibliography CROSBI back in 1997, which has served as the national bibliography and a repository from the very beginning.

Furthermore, the Portal of Croatian scientific and professional journals, HRČAK, enabled all Croatian journals a free-of-charge platform for publishing their content in Open Access. Additionally, the national platform for institutional repositories, DABAR (Digital Academic Archives and Repositories), provides a reliable, flexible, and ready-to-use service that can be used to collect, store and disseminate publications, research data and other types of research output. Lately, we have been working on implementing the Croatian Research Information System CroRIS, which will integrate all information about research in Croatia, including publications from CROSBI and will be used as a tool to support Open Science in Croatia.

Lacking appropriate OA and OS policies, we raise awareness about OS principles by continuous training and education of all stakeholders, including policymakers. All relevant information on Open Science is widely distributed through the OpenScience portal. In 2014 we organised the first PUBMET conference on scholarly communication in the context of Open Science that strives to present and discuss the plurality of approaches to scholarly publishing and assessment, promoting new trends in the scholarly publishing landscape. Since then, the PUBMET conference has regularly gathered researchers, journal editors, publishers, librarians, students, and policymakers to exchange their knowledge and visions about open scholarly communication. The 9th PUBMET2022 will be held in Zadar from 14 to 16 September 2022.

In all our activities, we have achieved rich cooperation with numerous institutions and communities in the country and abroad. Croatia would not have been so successful in achieving Open Access to ¾ of its journal articles in 2017 without collaboration. However, to achieve the right turn towards Open Science in such a way that it permeates all segments of the scholarly community, the support of an appropriate national OS policy is necessary and the progress that has been made in this regard is modest.

When and why did you decide to join OpenAIRE and become a NOAD?

The OpenAIRE community recognized our work and invited us to join the OpenAIRE Plus project in 2013, and in the same year, we formed the Croatian OpenAIRE NOAD. The community within which more than 30 countries work together to achieve common goals was a strong incentive for a small team of experts from Croatia. As OpenAIRE NOAD, with the strong support of our colleagues, we continued to develop infrastructure and services and empower the community through education and training.

What do you think is missing in Croatia to fully embrace Open Science? 

Croatia has a well-developed Open Science infrastructure consisting of the national bibliography/repository CROSBI with 750,000 entries, the national repository platform DABAR hosting more than 150 institutional repositories, and the national open access journal platform HRČAK hosting more than 500 OA journals. The national CRIS system is still under development, with a few modules already in production. The leading Croatian research funder - the Croatian Science Foundation (CSF), has mandated Data Management Plans (DMP) for project reports. Some institutions have OA and OS policies, but this is more an exception than a rule.

Croatia continuously lacks a national OS policy, promoting responsible research, data sharing and the reform of the research assessment, on which the policies of institutions and funders would be based to enable a wide-scale implementation of OS in Croatia. Indeed, the biggest challenge is the research assessment system currently in use, based mainly on the traditional and unsuitable bibliometric indicators like the number of papers and the impact factor of the journals in which these papers were published. We see it as a major obstacle in the full implementation of the principles of OS. Appropriate incentives would undoubtedly advance the research processes, support methodological rigour, use and reuse research data and increase trust in scholarly work.

What are your top three priorities you will focus on in the next year? 

How do you think OpenAIRE will help you succeed? 

One of the greatest things about OpenAIRE is the people! OpenAIRE has an extensive network of European OS experts who can be contacted and consulted anytime. Besides that, over the years, OpenAIRE has developed numerous services which are widely used to publish (e.g. Zenodo, Amnesia, Argos) and discover scientific information (e.g. Explore, Connect), and monitor OS activities (Monitor, OpenAPC, Open Science Observatory). Last but not least, OpenAIRE helps us significantly with its resources, guides, and training materials which help us in training and promotion activities on the national level.

Croatia now has a national Research Data Management Policy mandating the creation of Data Management Plans. How do you support the Croatian Science Foundation and national researchers to comply with the policy and why is this important?

Recently, the Croatian Science Foundation (CFS), the largest funder of research projects in Croatia, started to mandate the Data Management Plans for project reports beginning on March 15, 2022, to gain more value from their investment and to improve the quality of research. This policy has significantly increased the interest in Research Data Management (RDM) so Ruđer Bošković Institute as Croatian NOAD and the Croatian RDA node, University Computing Centre SRCE, have intensified their activities in the promotion of RDM and training of Croatian researchers on this topic. Furthermore, to support CFS and researchers, RBI has started localization activities of the Argos service, translating the Argos interface into Croatian and implementing the CFS' DMP template into Argos. This way, Croatian researchers would use Argos to create machine-actionable DMPs. We are also planning to enable archiving of machine-actionable DMPs into digital repositories maintained on the DABAR infrastructure and link those DMPs with the projects in the national CroRIS system.

Get in touch with our NOADs in Croatia!


Bojan Macan

European Open Science Infrastructure, for open scholarly communication

Jadranka Stojanovski

European Open Science Infrastructure, for open scholarly communication
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26 Sep 2023

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