OA in Serbia
The National Research Environment
The Parliamentary Committee for S&T Development proposes to the parliament the laws regulating the area of research. Two parallel bodies concerning R&D were established:
- Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development (MESTD) - manages and develops S&T in Serbia and is responsible for fulfilment of the national obligations in this area, and
- National Council for S&T Development - designs and proposes a strategy for S&T development to the Government and monitors its implementation.
R&D organisations within the public sector are: Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts with its 10 scientific institutes; 28 other scientific institutes; a center of scientific excellence; 30 research institutes and 65 innovative organizations. There are seven public universities comprising 89 faculties and 10 private universities numbering 60 private faculties in Serbia, granted accreditation by the Ministry for school year 2012/2013.
International scientific cooperation
In the last ten years, Serbian researchers achieved encouraging initial results in the domain of international scientific and technological cooperation. Among the programmes on which they have worked and in which they are currently engaged are 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 programs, Serbia has actively participated in European and international scientific organisations such as CERN.
Open Access and Repositories
Some of the groups within Serbian research community have 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 are supported by EIFL-OA programme, or TEMPUS/Erasmus+.
Open Access Policy
Some small, yet encouraging steps have been undertaken at the Policy level:
- Three 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) and
- Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (on September 20, 2013)
- Amendments to Serbian Higher Education Law, now binding for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), were adopted in September 2014. As of adoption of 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 required to submit a copy of dissertations to a central repository.
Open Access National Funding Policy
During 2015 we organized 3 meetings of Working group on National Level (high officials from the MESTD, National Council and Universities). With strong support from PASTEUR4OA we discussed the possible models of implementation. The policy proposal has been prepared by the National Documentation Centre and SPARC Europe, and helped us to recognize all challenges.
- Availability of infrastructure (repository) for deposit in open access is a problem. The policy will be much weaker if there is not infrastructure to support the funder requirements for open access. The best solution will be that each university/institute in Serbia will have its own repository, so that all researchers can be served, while a national harvester may collect the metadata of the work funded by the national funder. We started with work-in-progress called "Repositorisation of Serbian institutions", piloting with Institute of Biological Sciences.
- MESTD will discuss to include clauses for open access in the grant agreement grant recipients receive
- Will make effort to put 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"
Open Access Institutional PolicyThe vice-rectors of the two biggest Serbian universities (Belgrade and Novi Sad) and vice-director of IBISS attended regional work-shop for institutional policy makers, organized by PASTER4OA. As the results we received an Erasmus+ project BE-OPEN Boosting Engagement of Serbian Universities in Open Science (leading by the University of Novi Sad, started on October, 1st, 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.
Open Access Repositories
There are 8 OA institutional repositories (the first six are listed in OpenDOAR):
- Digital Repository of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade;
- Digital Repository of the Institute of Technical Sciences of SASA;
- CRIS UNS;
- Digital Repository of the University of Belgrade (PHAIDRA);
- doiSerbia PhD;
- Digital Repository of the University of Niš (PHAIDRA); and
- Digital Repository of the University of Kragujevac (PHAIDRA).
NaRDuS - National Repository of Dissertations in Serbia (launched in 2015) has been developed from Thempus project RODOS, and now it is supported by the MESTD. All 16 universities already deposited more than 4500 thesis. From December, 2016, NaRDUS is OpenAIRE 3.0 (OA, funding) compliant, and regular harvested by OpeAIRE portal.
Open Access Journals
The MESTD subsidised more than a half of Serbian scientific journals publishers, since most of these publishers are non-for-profit organisations (scholarly associations, research institutes etc) that offer OA journals and allow self-archiving. Additionally, Government supported two major projects:
- SCIndeks - Serbian National Citation Index, until 2014,
- doiSerbia - National Library of Serbia - Digital Object Identifier Repository (listed in OpenDOAR)
As a result of this effort 106 journals are included in DOAJ (March, 2015). After the changing of DOAJ policy, just 81 of title passed the reevaluation. There is two active projects working with journals editors in order to help them meet new DOAJ requests.
OA has been embraced by almost all Serbian journals, though just some of them have an explicitly defines 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 to realize problems, but also help them to implement good practices and identify possible models in their efforts towards improving OA journals.
The SCIndeks are selected as a part of 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 presented at mid-term progress assessment in December, 2016. From December, 2016, SCIndeks is OpenAIRE 3.0 (OA, funding) compliant, and regular harvested by OpeAIRE portal.
Open Access Data Sets
The importance of preserving and re-using primary data is recognised by three groups, which gained their experiences through participation in the following projects:
- Support for Establishment of National/Regional Social Sciences Data, SERCIDA
- Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network, Serbian Public Data in the LOD cloud
- Spatial data sets for Serbia
OpenAIRE National Event
"Open Science in Horizon 2020": the Serbia OpenAIRE National Workshop hosted by the University of Belgrade on Novembar 8, 2016. Over 350 researchers from whole Serbia attended this event. All presentations are available at the event’s website. The Ministry of Science has also created on overview page on their website (in Serbian). Three OpenAIRE factsheets have been translated into Serbian language (OpenAIRE general, FP7 Gold Open Access Publishing Funds Pilot and Open Research Data).
Contributors Contact Details
University of Belgrade - RCUB