New Open Access Mandates in France, Serbia and Turkey!

Good news from the Open Access policy front! 

On July 4, Frédérique Vidal, the French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, launched the French national open science plan at LIBER 2018 in Lille, France. And on July 14th, Serbia has  adopted a national science policy called the 'Open Science Platform'. And last but not least, in Turkey, Parliament has mandated that all theses and dissertations are from now on to be made open access via the YÖK National Theses Center.



The National Open Science Plan is pushing forward: It is now compulsory for French researchers to disseminate their articles, books and research data via open access.

The Minister proposed three fields of action: 

  • Opening up publications: The Minister declared the introduction of an obligation for open access dissemination of articles and works resulting from publicly funded research projects. A fund for Open Science will also be created.
  • Structuring and, as far as possible, opening up the research data: This decision will be accompanied by an obligation to make publicly funded research data available in open access. The association of structured and open data with articles published by researchers will also be encouraged by the Minister.
  • France in a sustainable European and international dynamic: Open science as a reflexive, everyday solution for researchers is a priority for the Minister. Training and communication plans on open publications are also listed as priorities in this national plan.
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The discussion about Open Science in Serbia started in 2014. At the time, Open Access 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 an Open Science policy for funders. As the Ministry is the main funder of research in Serbia, such a policy would also serve as a national Open Access policy.

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 initial draft of 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’ open access mandate (repositories) – publishing in a journal of choice and depositing an author’s copy in an open access repository; 
  • The allowed embargo periods are 12 months after the date of publication in case of physical, 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;
  • Open access 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 open access content available in institutional repositories and promotion procedures.

In addition to mandating Open Access to MESTD-funded research, the policy states that universities and research institutes should define and adapt their Open Science institutional policies and infrastructure within six months to comply with the national policy.

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The Council of Higher Education (YÖK) National Theses Center and the Turkey OpenAIRE NOAD worked hard to make compulsory open access to theses and dissertations. As a result of these efforts, the Art. 10 of the Law numbered 7100 has been entered into force upon publication of the Official Gazette numbered 30352 and dated March 06, 2018. According to this article, which constitutes Additional Art 40 of the Higher Education Code numbered 2547: “Unless a decision of secrecy is taken by the authorized institutions and organizations, the graduate theses shall be opened to access in electronic environment by the National Theses Center of the Council of Higher Education in order to contribute to science.”
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Congratulations to the OpenAIRE NOADs in France, Serbia and Turkey for these great accomplishments!!




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