National Open Access Desk

  • Biljana Kosanovic |
    • Serbian research community has been aware of Open Access and its benefits, for more than a decade, since the first conference “Open Access to the Archives of Scientific and Professional Papers: "From Idea to Realization” took place in Belgrade 2003. The largest number of initiatives came from the librarian community, and the majority of projects in OA have been supported by EIFL-OA programme, TEMPUS/Erasmus+, and EC through FP7 and H2020 programme.

      Serbian output 2016:




      OA - free to read

      PhD Theses   1300   1300
      Articles in Serbian journals   7189   5000
      Chapter in Serbian monographs/proceedings   1530   1530
      Serbian monographs   317   317
      International monographs   72    
      Chapter in international monographs/proceedings   1523    
      Patents and technical outputs   373    
      International articles WoS   2467    
      International articles WoS - OA   1401   1401







      Support and landscape

      • In 2013, the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia recorded that there was a total of 21,044 employees in the field of research and development, which is 2.8 employees per thousand inhabitants. In recent years, the Republic of Serbia has improved its scientific research potential, which is illustrated by the fact that Serbia’s output accounts for 0.3% of the total world production of scientific works and the country is ranked 46th on the list of over 140 countries (SCImago Journal&Country Ranк), whereas the University of Belgrade is ranked on the “Shanghai List” 2016, of the world’s best universities between positions 200 and 300.

        Two parallel bodies are responsible for R&D:

        R&D organisations within the public sector are: Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts with its 8 scientific institutes; 28 other scientific institutes; a center of scientific excellence; 30 research institutes and 65 innovation organizations. Eight public universities, comprising 89 faculties, and 8 private universities, including 60 private faculties in Serbia, were granted accreditation by the Ministry for school year 2012/2013.
        In the last ten years, Serbian researchers have achieved encouraging initial results in the domain of international scientific and technological cooperation. Te programmes in which they have been involved include the FP7 and H2020 projects, as well as COST, EUREKA, NATO Science for Peace and Security. Researches from Serbia also cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and take part in bilateral cooperation programmes. In addition to these cooperation programmes, Serbia has actively participated in European and international scientific organisations such as CERN.

      National initiatives

      • NaRDUS (

        The Law on Higher Education (Amendments as of 2014) stipulates the establishment of a central national digital repository of PhD theses defended at all universities in Serbia – both public and private, accompanied with thesis evaluation reports. The NARDUS database was launched late in 2015. It is managed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development.

    • Year 2016
      TypetotalOA - free to read
      PhD theses 1300 1300
      Articles in Serbian journals 7189 5000
      Chapter in Serbian monographs/proceedings 1530 1530
      Serbian monographs 317 317
      International monographs 72  
      Chapter in international monographs/proceedings 1523  
      Patents and technical outputs 373  
      International articles WoS 2467  
      International articles WoS - OA 1401 1401
      Total 16172 9548

      OpenAIRE statistics

      13,815 OA publications in 138 repositories
    • National policy

      Amendments to Serbian Higher Education Law, now binding for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), were adopted in September 2014. According to these amendments, doctoral dissertations have to be publicly available prior to the thesis defence. Universities are obliged to establish a digital repository where doctoral dissertations will be stored and they are also required to submit a copy of each dissertation to a central repository.

      A Work Group for the implementation of Open Science principles, including decision-makers, researchers, university professors, librarians, and information specialists was officially formed on July 14, 2017.

      Institutional policy

      Five institutions signed Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities:
      • University of Belgrade (on November 11, 2011),
      • University of Niš (on February 12, 2012)
      • Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (on September 20, 2013)
      • University of Novi Sad (on February 14, 2017)
      • University of Kragujevac (on October 05, 2017)
      No institutional OA policies are currently defined and implemented in Serbia. More results in establishing institutional policies are expected during the Erasmus+ project Be-OPEN Boosting Engagement of Serbian Universities in Open Science (leading by the University of Novi Sad, started on October 1, 2016). The Project objective is: (1) to advance national and institutional guidelines, policies, and incentives related to the open science, and (2) to build institutional and individual capacities in order to ensure the sustainable implementation of open science principles and enhance the social inclusiveness and accountability of publicly-funded research.

      Funder policy

      No national funder OA policies have been put in place in Serbia.

      Since 2015, 3 meetings of an unofficial Working group on the national level (high officials from the MESTD, National Council and Universities) were organized. With strong support from PASTEUR4OA, we discussed the possible models of implementation. The policy proposal has been prepared by the Hellenic National Documentation Centre and SPARC Europe, and it helped us recognize possible challenges. The Work Group became an official body in July 2017. 

      The main decisions include:

      • Under the current circumstance in Serbia,  it is expected that Green OA will be the prevailing route of achieving OA. Major obstacles to the development of Gold OA include the lack of public and private funding agencies, on the national level, that would support Gold OA publishing. In Serbia, Gold OA is primarily supported by public subsidies to local no-APC Gold OA journals.  

      • The availability of infrastructure (repository network) for depositing in open access is a major problem. The lack of  infrastructure to support the funder requirements for open access may undermine the OA policy. The best solution would be to establish a repository at each university/institute in Serbia, so that all researchers can be served, and a national harvester that would  collect metadata for the works funded by the national funder. An umbrella programme called "Repositorisation of Serbian institutions" has been undertaken, piloting with the Institute of Biological Research.

      • MESTD will consider the inclusion of an OA mandate and/or other OA-related clauses in grant agreements concluded with the funded research organizations.

      • MESTD will make an effort to include OA into the Action Plan for the implementation of the Strategy of Scientific and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia for the period from 2016 to 2020 "Research for Innovation"

    • Key networks and aggregators

      • NaRDuS - National Repository of Dissertations in Serbia (launched in 2015) has been developed within the Tempus project RODOS, and is now supported by the MESTD. All 16 universities have already deposited more than 6000 theses. Since December, 2016, NaRDUS is OpenAIRE 3.0 (OA, funding) compliant, and is regularly harvested by the OpeAIRE portal.

        RaDAR (, a DSpace-powered institutional repository of the Siniša Stanković Institute of Biological Research, University of Belgrade, containing research outputs of the Institute. It was established in 2016. RaDARt also contains items that are not OA, due to copyright restrictions. Creative Commons licenses are implemented. It is is OpenAIRE 3.0 (OA, funding) compliant.

        DAIS (, a joint repository of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and institutes under its auspices, established in 2017. DAIS is powered by DSpace and is maintained by the Computer Centre of Belgrade University. Creative Commons licenses are implemented. DAIS is OpenAIRE 3.0 (OA, funding) compliant.

        Institutional Repository of the Institute of Technical Sciences of SASA (, an Opus4-powered  institutional repository containing research outputs of the Institute. It also contains items that are not OA, due to copyright restrictions. Creative Commons licenses are implemented. It supports OAI 2.0 and is harvested by DAIS, Google Scholar, BASE and WorldCat.

        IRIES, institutional repository of scientific publications of Institute of Economic Sciences, Belgrade (, an ePrints-powered institutional repository. It also contains items that are not OA, due to copyright restrictions. Creative Commons licenses are implemented. It supports OAI 2.0.

        CrisNS (, a repository of PhD theses powered by an in-house developed software tool and maintained by the University of Novi Sad. It incorporates the openDLT-based system called PHD UNS digital library (

        CaSA NaRA (, the National Repository of Agricultural Education, is a DSpace-powered subject-based repository established within the Tempus project CaSA.

        Phaidra, maintained by the university libraries in Belgrade (, Niš ( and Kragujevac (, was originally intended to serve as a platform for institutional repositories of these universities. However, university staff have not shown great interest in depositing their research there and the platforms is now principally used as a thesis repository – E-THESES ( Creative Commons licenses are implemented. Since the platform does not have an OAI-PMH module, harvesting is enabled through NaRDuS.

        eLibrary  (, a  DSpace-powered OA repository of digitized materials that also contains some current research outputs. It is maintained by the Faculty of Mathematics, University of Belgrade, and the Mathematical Institute of SASA and supported by MESTD through national projects 13017 and III 044006. The deposited materials are free to read but it remains unclear whether the owners of the repository have been granted the right (by copyright holders) to make them OA.

      Data repositories

      Serbia does not have a research data management infrastructure. Major efforts are still focused on awareness raising, primarily achieved through international projects – e.g. the Institute of Economic Sciences in Belgrade has been involved in a number of projects focusing on Open access to research data in social sciences (SERSCIDASEEDS).

      National publishing initiatives

      MESTD subsidizes publishing costs for selected academic journal publishers (mostly scientific associations and research institutions) and research institutions. Subsidies are mostly focused on print editions. Publishers are not required to make their content OA. Nevertheless, the greatest part of publications eventually get freely available for readers through various channels. Apart from individual subsidies, there are two major national projects that are specifically OA-oriented.

      SCIndeks: The Serbian Citation Index (

      SCIndeks indexes locally published scholarly journals. In addition to basic article descriptions, SCIndeks contains abstracts and references/citations (metadata) for all articles. Articles from the journals of a certain level of quality which accepted Open Access as a publishing model are available as full text. SCIndeks was initially a national project funded by the ministry responsible for science. However, in 2014, regular funding ceased and the project moved to a different business model in 2015, due to which the coverage of some journals was discontinued.SCIndeks is selected as a grantee under the Alternative Funding Mechanism for APC-free Open Access journals and platforms (FP7 Post grant Pilot). The technical improvement plans included in the funded proposals make emphasis on specific areas, such as OpenAIRE compliance, providing article-level information to the DOAJ, systematically collecting and exposing the funding information whenever it’s made available by authors and implementing ORCID. The results are presented at the mid-term progress assessment in December, 2016, and in the final report delivered on April, 2017.  Since December, 2016, SCIndeks is OpenAIRE 3.0 (OA, funding) compliant, and regularly harvested by the OpeAIRE portal.

      doiSerbia (

      The National Library of Serbia undertook to establish cooperation with CrossRef on behalf of selected journals, as well as to create article‐level metadata for them in the appropriate format and assign DOIs to their articles. Although doiSerbia is not intended as a publishing platform, both PDFs and metadata are stored within the doiSerbia platform, on the server of the National Library. Due to this, journals which do not have a website can make their content available electronically. The ministry responsible for science has been funding the DOI assignment for 61 Serbian scholarly journals (about 30000 articles) since 2002 until present.OA has been embraced by almost all Serbian journals,  though only some of them have an explicitly defined OA policy. The project “Revisiting Open Access Journal Policies and Practices in Serbia”  (funded through EIFL-OA programme in 2016)  helped OA publishers in Serbia realize problems, implement good practices and identify possible models in their efforts towards improving OA journals. A comprehensive study “Open Access Journals in Serbia: Policies and Practices” by Milica Ševkušić at al. has been recently published; it includes good practice advice and policy and licensing templates that could be of great help to journal editors.

      National agreements with publishers

      No information available

      OA books

      Although OA is not mandated, a significant part of books resulting from national research projects and subsidized by MESTD are freely available to readers. However, they are often difficult to find, as they are scattered across institutional websites, social networks for researchers and Google Books, and their OA status is not always clearly stated.

    • Funding Agencies

      Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development


      See also Monitor Statistics of Serbia - MESTD

    European Commission


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