OA in Croatia

The National Research Environment

There are seven public universities (Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek, Zadar, Dubrovnik and Pula), 30 public and private polytechnics, 25 public institutes and six technology centres in Croatia. The oldest university is University of Zagreb, founded in 1669, and there are about 180.000 student enrolled at all universities and polytechnics.

Major research funders

The sources and method of allocating state funds for the financing of current and capital expenditures at research institutions are defined in the Act on Scientific Activity and Higher Education (Official Gazette No. 123/03, 198/03, 105/04, 174/04, 02/07, 46/07,45/09, 63/11, 94/13, 139/13, 101/14, 60/15). The main body responsible for developing research policy in Croatia is the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports (MSES), whereas the National Council for Science (NCS) acts as an expert advisory body. Croatian Science Foundation (formerly the National Foundation for Science, Higher Education and Technological Development) (CSF) is an independent institution formed by the Parliament (in 2001) which operates autonomously and also develops financial and policy instruments.

Croatia implements several instruments, programmes and policies with the aim of developing a substantial and strategic research policy, such as ‘Science and Technology Policy Document’, 'Croatian Research and Innovation Infrastructures Roadmap' and  Action Plan “Science and Society”, aiming to boost scientific excellence, innovation culture and the application of scientific knowledge to benefit society and the lives of all citizens, and to provide a systematic approach to science as a social value, to communication, promotion and affirmation of science in that context, to state and institutional policies of the affirmation of science in the society

As far as the public funding of research projects is concerned, the MSES and the NFS are the two main responsible bodies. In 2016 investments in science continue to decrease and MSES will have the budget of approximately EUR 1.8 billion provided by the State Budget.

Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports (MSES) is central funding body for basic research, responsible for planning, funding and evaluating overall research system. Advisory body of the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports is National Council for Science, strategic body responsible for the development of science. Expert body of the National Council for Science is Council for Financing Scientific Activity and Higher Education which proposes the criteria for budgetary financing of scientific activity and higher education to the National Council for Science and National Council for Higher Education.

Croatian Science Foundation (CSF) is central institution for funding competitive research projects since 2009. It provides support to scientific, higher education and technological programmes and projects, fosters international cooperation, and helps the realization of scientific programmes of special interest in the field of fundamental, applied and developmental research. CSF also develops and implements various sets of financial instruments for research career, including post-doc fellowships. At the present CSF supports 450 research projects. In 2016 there will be 88,6 mil HRK (11.8 mil EUR) available for all CSF progammes.

Other research funding bodies 

Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovations and Investments (HAMAG-BICRO) was founded by the Croatian Government in 1998, with the aim of supporting the development of small and medium-sized enterprises, improving the innovation process and encouraging investments. It is a central institution in the national innovation system for supporting innovation and technology advancement. The Agency’s main objective is reflected in the strategic creation of a unique system that would provide support to entrepreneurs through all development stages of operation starting from research and development of an idea to commercialization and placement on the market.

Unity through Knowledge Fund (UKF) - this program is aimed at encouraging Croatian scientists and professionals working abroad (Diaspora) to return and work in Croatia and/or get connected with the local scientists; and fostering Croatian institutions and researchers to use potentials of Croatian scientific and professional Diaspora. These processes will get integrated into the task of national reconstruction and economic development.

EC research funding

As a 28th EU state from July 2013 Croatia is already well placed to address the targets of the European Research Area. Although the success rate of Croatian applications is below the EU average, the opportunities of EC funding are not underestimated, including closer ties with existing EU member states and R&D opportunities to benefit from European research and innovation funding, particularly H2020 programme. 

Open Access and Repositories

Open Access in Croatia has been supported with several strategic documents and projects, and has a long history, starting with a first central repository of scholarly publications established as a part of Croatian Scientific Bibliography CROSBI in 1997 (more then 500.000 bibliographic records, with 16.500 full-text documents deposited and 24.000 bibliographic records with links to the full-text).

There is a strong developing OA environment in Croatia and several academic and research institutions initiate different activities concerning open access to the scientific information (School of Medicine, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, Faculty of Organization and Informatics at University of Zagreb, University of Zadar, University of Osijek, Rudjer Boskovic Institute, National and University Library, etc.). Some institutions are taking part in EU projects like Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in SERSCIDA – Support for Establishment of National/Regional Social Sciences Data Archives and Rudjer Boskovic Institute - Library in OpenAIRE Plus. There is a vibrant OA journal publishing environment, and a number of platforms to increase awareness of Croatian publications, like Central portal of Croatian OA journals HRCAK.

A group of representatives consisting of university faculty and research staff, librarians and students recently finished a document Croatian Open Access Declaration which will be presented in October 2012, advocating green OA mandate.

Croatian librarians have high awareness of OA and Association of Croatian Libraries promotes OA issues by inviting recognized experts to introduce OA at its conferences, by organizing seminars and supporting other events and activities conducted by university libraries. The government-subsidized Croatian publishing environment lends itself to OA – publishers of Croatian scientific journals are mostly non-for-profit organizations (universities, scholarly associations, research institutes) and they offer their journals in OA and allow self-archiving.

Open Access projects and initiatives

Open Access publishing

Central repository of Croatian scientific journals HRCAK offers access to over 300 OA journals and 80.000 articles.

The Directory of Open Access Journals lists 88 Croatian journals as of September 2012.

Open Access repositories

There are 7 OA institutional repositories, 4 listed in Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR): FAMENA PhD Collection, FOI dlIb, School of Medicine Repository, Faculty of Philosophy Digital Archive, all at University of Zagreb, and 3 new ones at University of Zadar, University of Osijek and Rudjer Boskovic Institute. National and university library is maintaining two active repositories: Croatian Web Archive, a collection of selected material harvested from the Croatian Web space, and Digital Academic Repository, a collection of dissertations and thesis.

Croatian Scientific Bibliography CROSBI serves as a central repository and offers OA to more than 16.500 full-text papers.

Open Access organisations and groups

In September 2012 a working group for defining a public policy about open access to scientific information and educational materials was established by the Ministry of Science, Education, and Sports.

Non-official group of representatives consisting of university faculty and research staff, librarians and students, started to prepare some documents for the promotion of the open access in Croatia. The group recently finished a document Croatian Open Access Declaration which will probably be adopted by main institutions and bodies soon.

Research Data landscape

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences participate in the project SERSCIDA – Support for Establishment of National/Regional Social Sciences Data. SERSCIDA is designed as a strategic project for supporting the cooperation and exchange of knowledge between the EU countries associated within the Council of European Social Sciences Data Archives (CESSDA) and the Western Balkan Countries (WBC) in the field of social science data archiving. The project addresses the issues of potentials of usage of information-communication technologies for the benefits of scientific research and exchange of knowledge as laid down in the call for proposals topic. The project aims to produce tangible results and improve the capacities for exchange of knowledge and data collected through research in social sciences between the European countries and WBC involved.

Useful links and resources

Ministry of Science, Education and Sports (MSES)
88 Croatian journals in DOAR
Central portal of Croatian OA journals HRCAK
Croatian Scientific Bibliography CROSBI

Contact Details OpenAIRE Croatia

Jadranka Stojanovski (OpenAIRE)

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