OA in Iceland

The National Research Environment

There are seven higher education institutions in Iceland:
University of Iceland, University of Akureyri, Reykjavík University, Holar University College, Agricultural University of Iceland, Iceland Academy of the Arts and Bifröst University.
Among other large research institutions in Iceland are:
Landspitali University Hospital, Icelandic Heart Association, Marine Research Institution Reykjavik, DeCose Genetics and Matís ohf. Iceland.

Rannis - The Icelandic Centre for Research

The Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS) supports research, innovation, education and culture. RANNIS cooperates closely with the Icelandic Science and Technology Policy Council and provides professional assistance the preparation and implementation of science and technology policy in Iceland. RANNIS administers competitive funds and strategic research programmes, coordinates and promotes Icelandic participation in collaborative international projects in science and technology, monitors resources and performance in R&D and promotes public awareness of research and innovation in Iceland.

RANNIS reports to the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and operates according to the Act on Public Support for Scientific Research (No. 3/2003). Hallgrímur Jónasson is the General Director of RANNIS.

RANNIS has a permanent staff of 46 but also relies heavily on the involvement of external contacts, including scientists and technical experts who assist in the evaluation of grant proposals.

Rannis administers the main public competitive funds in the field of research and innovation in Iceland, including the Research Fund, the Technical Development Fund, the Graduate Students' Fund and the Innovation Fund for Students.

RAnnis coordinates and promotes Icelandic participation in European programmes such as Horizon 2020, Erasmus+ and Creative Europe. Rannis monitors resources and performanc in R&D and promotes public awareness of research and innovation, education and culture in Iceland. .

Open Access Journals

DOAJ indexes 7 journals from Iceland. Those are:

  • Netla : Online Journal on Pedagogy and Education .   Publisher:  University of Iceland

  • Íslenska Thjodfelagid .  Publisher: Icelandic Sociological Association.

  • Læknablaðið. The Icelandic Medical Journal .   Publisher: Icelandic Medical Association.

  • The Nordic Journal of Cultural Policy .  Publisher: University of Borås.

  • Nordicum-Mediterraneum .  Publisher:University of Akureyri.

  • Scripta Islandica.  Publisher: Isländska sällskapet.

  • Icelandic Review of Politics and Administration.  Publisher: University of Iceland

An Open Access mandate in Iceland

Open access is acknowledged and endorsed through government statements. There are four OA mandates in Iceland: the funder mandate from the Icelandic Center for Research, Rannís and mandates from Bifröst University, the University of Iceland and Reyjavik University.

In line with the Icelandic government’s Policy on the Information Society 2004-7, the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and The Science and Technology Policy Council have made statements that include support of Open Access.

The Science and Technology Council of Iceland signed the Berlin Declaration on the 27th of May 2010.
In March 2012  Bifröst University became the first higher educationinstitution in Iceland to adopt an Open Access mandate. The mandate, or policy depending on definitional preferences, was initiated by the faculty and is a declaration of the faculty member’s preference to publish in Open Access journals and their obligation to store research articles in the university’s open repository. The mandate is closely modelled on similar ones passed by for instance Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and by the Harvard Law School.

As of 2013 scientific publications based on projects, funded entirely or partially by the Icelandic Center for Research, Rannís, must be published in open access. This is to ensure that the public has access to results of publicly funded scientific projects in Iceland. This mandate extends to all peer-reviewed articles. Projects that have received grants from Rannís prior to January 2013 are not subject to the requirement of open access publishing, even though Rannís encourages all researchers to publish in open access. Rannís rules for OA are as follows: Rannís encourages scientists to publish their works in journals that are fully released for public access, that is provides immediate OA to all their articles. If a decision is made to publish research findings in journals that are not open access, the Rannís OA mandate may be met by publishing in an open searchable, digital repositories along with the publication in a traditional subscription journal. The final manuscript after peer review shall be returned to the repository immediately after the article has been accepted for publication. This applies even if the journal demands a waiting period prior to OA, then the article will be opened automatically when the waiting period expires. Rannís allows an embargo period for up to 12 months after publishing in the journal.

On February 6th 2014 the Open Access policy of the University of Iceland was accepted by the University Council and took effect on July 1st 2014. The University encourages the members of its academic staff to publish their scientific articles in open access journals, open archives, preprint databases or otherwise. This policy on open access does not include books or book chapters. Members of the academic staff shall provide the Division of Science and Innovation electronic access free of charge to the final version of their scientific papers no later than the date of publication.

Reykjavik University’s (RU) Policy on Open Access was approved by the Reykjavik University Executive Committee on 13 November 2014. Reykjavik University’s (RU) Policy on Open Access: Academic employees at RU shall seek to publish the results of their research and teaching activities in open access. RU encourages that scholarly articles, educational resources, and other material written by the University’s academic employees, alone or with others, and published in the name of the University (RU affiliated), be published in open access on the internet and thus made accessible to everyone free of charge and free of licencing restrictions. RU encourages its academic employees to retain copyright of their works, provide journals with a non-exclusive publishing licence, and mark versions published in open access with the public copyright licence Creative Commons. The aim is for all scholarly articles written by academic employees and published in the name of the University to be accessible in journals in open access or in open electronic repository libraries free of charge. RU does not participate in costs for publishing in open access.

Open Access Repositories

The first repository in Iceland, Hirslan, the Landspitali University Hospital repository, was started in 2006. Hirslan became OpenAire compliant 2014. Hirslan is the digital repository for research and scholarly publications of the Landspitali University Hospital faculty and staff. Hirslan also indexes all research articles in Icelandic health sciences journals and provides open access to these articles.

The second one, Skemman, the joint repository of University of Iceland, University of Akureyri, Bifröst University, Hólum University, Reykjavík University, Agricultural University of Iceland, National and University Library of Iceland and Iceland Academy of the Arts , started in 2008. Skemman hosts theses from the aformentioned universities.

The third repository in Iceland, opinvísindi.is, was opened on September 15th 2016. Opin Vísindi is the digital repository for the Agricultural University of Iceland, the Iceland Academy of the Arts, the National and University Library of Iceland, Reykjavik University, the University of Akureyri, Bifröst University, Hólar University College and the University of Iceland. It contains scholarly research by the universities’ academic staff as well as doctoral dissertations. The scientific publications are openly available (Open Access) in accordance to article 10 from the Act on public support for research / 2003 No 3. The aim of Opin Vísindi is to increase the usage, publicity, and impact of scholarly research produced at Icelandic universities and to further promote scientific research in Iceland.

National and University Library of Iceland

Overview: The largest library in Iceland, combining national (including legal deposit) and university collections to form an extensive research facility accessible through an OPAC (Gegnir) and manages the publicly accessible website.
Communication address: The National and University Library of Iceland
Arngrimsgata 3 - 107 Reykjavik, Iceland; e-mail: lbs(at)bok.hi.is

Landspitali Health Science Library

Health Sciences Library established it‘s Research Archive, Hirslan, in 2006. This site is an institutional repository for material produced by the scholars working at the Landspitali University Hospital.  All researchers at Landspitali  are requiredto deposit the research article in Hirslan but there is no mandate for OA.    Most of the material published in Icelandic are open access.  The library has made an agreement with the health science publishers in Iceland to deposit articles in PDF format and those are accessible in OA immediately after publication.

Communication address: Heilbrigðisvísindabókasafn Landspítala, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland 543-1000; e-mail: bokasafn(at)landspitali.is

Open Access projects and initiatives

The Landspitali Health Science Library and the university libraries in Iceland have supported the development of repositories and promoted Open Access for a number of years. There is an informal group from these libraries and universities that has worked on OA for few years on issues such as addressing OA policy issues, development of infrastructure/user services and information to researchers. This group has published articles about OA both in Icelandic journals and SciCom info.  It has organized and hosted three conferences.  This group has maintained the web www.openaccess.is hosted at The University Library of Iceland.

Iceland became a member of OPENAire+ EU project in 2011 and OpenAire2020 in 2015.

Useful links

OpenAccess.is , www.openaccess.is


Contributors Contact Details

Solveig Thorsteinsdottir
Phone:  + 354 5431454
Mobile Phone:  +354 8245380
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