Croatia
Last updated on 
Mar 18, 2022

National Open Access Desk

Rudjer Boskovic Institute

Rudjer Boskovic Institute

  • Overview

    There is a strong development of the OA environment in Croatia, and open science is supported through different open access initiatives. The Croatian Ministry of Science and Education, as head of the national policy for scientific information, supports open science by mentioning openness in a few strategic documents. It is also supported by many stakeholders in the research community, and in 2012 a number of institutions and researchers signed the Croatian Open Access Declaration stating that any result of research financed by public funds should be made available in OA.

    The Open Access movement started in Croatia in 1997 with the Croatian scientific bibliography CROSBI, and more than a few OA national initiatives have been started since. Several academic and research institutions initiate different activities at the national level concerning open access to the scientific information:

    • HRČAK repository of Croatian OA journals - more than 450 OA journals
    • Croatian Scientific Bibliography CROSBI - more than 500.000 bibliographic record, 16.500 full-text documents deposited and 24.000 bibliographic records with links to the full-text
    • DABAR national infrastructure for the institutional repositories – more than 120 institutional repositories
    • Šestar repository of the scientific equipment – highly structured information on more than 1300 instruments.

    Research data sharing in Croatia is in its initial phase, but the Croatian Science Foundation has recently started requiring research data management plans as a mandatory part of application documentation for future projects.

    The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb was a partner in the CLARIN project – a pan-European effort to create a language resource infrastructure for researchers in humanities and social sciences.

    The Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research (IEF), as the national coordinating institution for DARIAH-ERIC in Croatia, is currently working on expanding the network of partners and providing a solid foundation for the development of digital infrastructure for the arts and humanities.

    Recently, Croatia has made another step forward in the development of national open science policies and organize Croatian open science activities. In September of 2021, Croatian Open Science Cloud Initiative (HR-OOZ) marked the beginning of its activities as their founding members received the signed Memorandum of Understanding.

  • Support and Landscape

    Support and Landscape

    Croatia is part of the European Research Area (ERA) and supports open science through different open access initiatives. Numerous bottom-up initiatives at the national level make Croatia a vibrant OA environment. The Open Access movement started in Croatia in 1997 with the Croatian scientific bibliography CROSBI introducing OA repository functions from the very beginning. Since then, several OA national initiatives have been started, such as Who’s Who in CROSBI, Hrčak repository of Croatian OA journals, Šestar repository of scientific equipment, Dabar infrastructure for OA institutional repositories, etc.

    Croatia has nine public universities (Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek, Zadar, Dubrovnik, Pula, Slavonski Brod and Koprivnica) and 46 public and private polytechnic institutes, with more than 160,000 students enrolled. Research in Croatia is also conducted by 23 public institutes and six technology centers. There are approximately 11,500 active researchers in Croatia. The largest university in Croatia is the University of Zagreb with more than 60,000 enrolled students, and the largest research institute is Ruđer Bošković Institute with more than 600 researchers. 

    National Initiatives

    There are three public bodies that play a major role in the consolidation of the research at the national level in terms of:

    Croatian Ministry of Science and Education (MSE) is the main national policy-maker, responsible for planning, funding and research assessment. The Advisory body of the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education responsible for the development of science is the National Council for Science, Higher Education and Technological Development (NCSHETD). Expert body of NCSHETD is the Agency for Science and Higher Education which proposes criteria for budgetary financing of scientific activity and higher education. The dialogue between national key-players concerning open science agenda should be continuous.

    Croatia has implemented several instruments, programs and policies with the aim of developing a substantial and strategic research policy, such as Strategy of education, science and technology (in Croatian), Croatian Research and Innovation Infrastructures Roadmap and Strategy for Fostering Innovation of the Republic of Croatia 2014-2020, aiming to provide recommendations for the establishment of a comprehensive R&I environment, strengthen the Croatian national innovation system (NIS) and provide an efficient framework to foster the competitiveness of Croatian R&D and economy in general, through innovation and technological development. There are some mentions and future plans, but in general, Croatian strategic documents are not considering Open Science agenda and Open Access to scientific publications and research data. 

    Croatian Science Foundation (CSF) has been the central institution for funding competitive research projects since 2009. It provides support to scientific, higher education and technological programs and projects, fosters international cooperation, and helps the realization of scientific programs of special interest in the field of fundamental, applied and developmental research. CSF also develops and implements various sets of financial instruments for a research career, including post-doc fellowships.

    Another funder is the Croatian Agency for SMEs, Innovations and Investments (HAMAG-BICRO) which 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 the strategic creation of a unified system that would provide support to entrepreneurs throughout all development stages of operation starting from research and development of an idea to commercialization and placement on the market.

    More details on the R&I system in Croatia for 2017, including relevant policies and funding, with particular focus on topics critical for EU policies can be found in the RIO Country Report 2017 Croatia. Data on Croatian research output related to researchers, organizations, and research grants are available via the Croatian Scientific Bibliography CROSBI and is used for research evaluation. Research libraries offer support to researchers regarding open access to publications and research data by building and managing open science infrastructures, enabling them the compliancy with Article 29,2 of the H2020 grant agreement.

    Recently, Croatia has made another step forward in the development of national open science policies. In September of 2021, Croatian Open Science Cloud Initiative (HR-OOZ) marked the beginning of its activities as their founding members received the signed Memorandum of Understanding. The ceremony was followed by the first session of the Council of the HR-OOZ Initiative marking the first step towards the development of a national open science plan. The Initiative brings together key stakeholders in creating the required preconditions for the implementation, realization and promotion of Open Science in the Republic of Croatia. HR-OOZ will become a national organizational and technological environment that encourages and enables Open Science by providing the resources and services needed for collecting, processing, storing, sharing and reusing research data, following the FAIR principles. It will ensure coordinated development of e-infrastructure in Croatia and it will enable the inclusion of Croatian services, resources and research data in the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

    country national initiatives

  • Open Science Policy

    National Policy

    National policies on access and preservation of scientific information are mainly the responsibility of the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education (MSE). In principle, MSE supports OA to scientific information but it still has not adopted a national OA or OS policy. However, openness is mentioned in a few strategic documents and supported by many stakeholders in the research community. 

    In 2012, a number of institutions and researchers signed the Croatian Open Access Declaration, which clearly states that the “results of the activities financed by public funds, especially in the field of education and science, should be made available in OA”. The Croatian Act on Scientific Activity and Higher Education mandates archiving digital versions of all higher education theses in a corresponding academic library repository. There is no similar mandate for other types of publications or research data on the national level, but a new Act is expected to more strongly promote open science principles.

    The Croatian Research and Innovation Infrastructures Roadmap 2014-2020 addresses the promotion of OA to scientific papers and research data, especially those funded by public sources. MSE’s Strategy of Education, Science, and Technology (in Croatian) recognizes that setting up an OA system for research data, publications, and teaching resources is key to improving the research environment. 

    The Croatian Rectors’ Conference has declared support to OA in its document Research assessment and promotion of OA to scientific information and research data. It believes that OA would promote transparent evaluation of individuals and organizations. It also supports the idea that OA to scientific publications should be mandated in Croatia. The recommendation of the Minister of Science and Education to Croatian research organizations is to share information on scientific equipment acquired by public funds through the national database of scientific equipment - Šestar.

    Croatian Science Foundation (CSF), the main national funder of scientific, higher education and technological programs and projects in Croatia, has announced that the Research Data Management Plan (RDMP) will be mandatory as part of the application documentation for all future projects financed by Croatian Science Foundation, but will not be evaluated in the lag phase, until the end of 2022.

    Current Croatian regulations and criteria for career advancement and hiring in RPOs and HEIs favour two quantitative measures: the number of papers published and the prestige of the journals in which they were published. Prestige stems from whether the journal is indexed by the Web of Science Core Collection, Scopus or a similar database, but more importantly from a high Journal Impact Factor. For now, OA or OS in no way up researcher's chances for advancement.

    Research data sharing in Croatia is in its initial phase, but researchers are encouraged to share their research data, especially when mandated by funders (e.g. EC through H2020 projects, and soon CSF projects). Recently, Croatian Science Foundation introduced Research Data Management Plan mandate as part of the application documentation for projects financed by CSF, making a significant step in the implementation of open science.

    The national contact point for open access to scientific information is Jadranka Stojanovski, appointed by the Croatian Ministry of science and education.

    Funder policy

    Croatian Science Foundation (CSF) has been the 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 acts according to the Act on the Croatian Science Foundation, and open science and open access are not included. However, CSF offers APCs payment as part of project grant they fund.

    funder policy

    Institutional Policy

    Research institutions in Croatia are autonomous, but they strongly rely on national policies and regulations.

    Croatian Rectors’ Conference adopted a document on scientific work evaluation and the promotion of open access to scientific information in 2015, which suggests academic and research institutes should have a policy that clearly promotes open access to scientific information as well as having scientific publications and research data in open access built into the evaluation system for individuals, project proposals, and scientific organizations. Therefore, more than a few institutional policies mandate open access. Primarily, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture of the University of Zagreb, the Physics Department of the Faculty of Science at the University of Zagreb, and the University of Rijeka adopt an Act on the obligation to store publications into their institutional repository. Others adopted their own policies, such as Open Access policies of University Computing Centre (SRCE), Declaration on the application of the principles of Open Science for University of Zadar, University of Split adopted The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity in 2020. Most of these policies mandate OA to publications, including research and other data management.

    Croatian research institutions can use a national repository infrastructure DABAR to maintain their FAIR compliant OA institutional digital repositories free of charge. Researchers from institutions without their own repository can use thematic or other large-scale repositories like Zenodo, FigShare, or others. Some institutions still maintain their own digital repositories based on EPrints software.

    Some institutions provide support for OA and ORDM activities for their researchers. The level of support varies and usually consists of infrastructure, training for using the infrastructure, and creation of DMPs.

    To the best of our knowledge, ORDM and/or FAIR are not systematically rewarded by institutions, but some reward OA to publications.

    institutional policy

  • Infrastructure & EOSC

    Key networks & Aggregators

    Majority of Croatian institutional repositories are hosted on the national repository infrastructure Dabar (Digital academic archives and repositories). Dabar is a centrally implemented technological solution based on open-source software Islandora. It provides Croatian researchers free, reliable, and interoperable digital repository infrastructure for archiving publications, AV materials as well as research data. It was developed through a collaboration of many Croatian institutions and provided as a technological service by SRCE. In December 2021 it hosted 150 active institutional repositories and 6 aggregated repositories. However, the majority of institutional repositories hosted on DABAR are still focused on archiving dissertations and theses, and more than half of all documents archived in all institutional repositories are available in OA.

    Besides institutional repositories hosted on DABAR, there are still a few, but very important institutional repositories using mostly EPrints solution and focusing more on archiving research publications and not only dissertations and theses. The two repositories with most archived research papers are the Full-text institutional repository of the Ruđer Bošković Institute – FULIR and the Faculty of Science of the University of Zagreb repository with the majority of archived papers available in OA. While the Faculty of Science repository is part of DABAR, migration of FULIR to the DABAR infrastructure is planned for the future.

    Portal of Croatian Scientific and Professional Journals - Hrčak is an OA publishing platform hosting over 500 Croatian OA journals and providing access to more than 248,000 full-text articles. 

    Croatian Scientific Bibliography – CROSBI is a Croatian national scientific bibliography which aims to gather information about all scientific and professional publications published by Croatian authors, to organize that information and put it into context by relating publications with their Croatian authors, institutions, projects and scientific fields. As such, CROSBI can be regarded as a repository, making it the oldest OA repository in Croatia. It launched in 1997, and by the end of 2021 has gathered metadata of more than 720.000 publications.

    Šestar (Pair of Compasses), launched in 2006,  is a database of scientific instruments. Šestar is part of the e-infrastructure for the Croatian academic and research community whose purpose is to record and describe equipment for research conducted at Croatian public science and higher education institutions. The main goals are to improve the usage of existing scientific equipment, to encourage cooperation between scientific institutions and scientists,and  between science and the economy, and to increase the transparency of the research in Croatia. Today, Šestar stores data on 3,100 scientific instruments.

    Database of project activities in science and higher education in the Republic of Croatia – POIROT was launched in 2016 as an information service collecting data on all scientific and professional projects involving employees and institutions of science and higher education of Croatia. The records on projects in POIROT are additionally connected with Croatian scientific and higher education institutions and persons cooperating on these projects, which enables projects participation reports in  projects on those levels.

    Who’s Who in CROSBI gathers data on Croatian researchers offering comprehensive information including a biography, bibliography, education, employment, career advancements, awards, working experience, memberships, research interests, expertise, intramural and extramural activities, and other skills and hobbies. The main goal is to increase the visibility of Croatian researchers and to enhance collaboration among researchers and communication between scientists and the public.

    In collaboration with RBI, SRCE is currently developing a national research information system - CroRIS, as part of the strategic project Scientific and Technological Foresight. Aiming to enable and promote OS in a way that enables visibility, transparency and public availability of research projects and achieved results, CroRIS will integrate information from existing databases (such as CROSBI, Who is who in CROSBI, Šestar and POIROT) and upgrade it into a unique and sustainable information system. CroRIS ensures openness and interoperability with other national and international systems (such as OpenAIRE, ORCID, etc.) through separate application programming interfaces.

    All repositories using Dabar infrastructure are compatible with the OpenAIRE Guidelines (v3). This means that researchers can comply with Article 29.2 of the H2020 grant agreement regarding open access to articles with depositing into Croatian repositories. In August 2020 OpenAIRE included 64 institutional repositories, 1 journal repositoryHrčak, 136 journals, RBI's repository FULIR and RBI’s database about scientific projects - POIROT which is used by the OpenAIRE as an authority file for projects funded by Croatian funders. In July 2021 CROSBI was upgraded and aligned with the latest OpenAIRE interoperability guidelines (OpenAIRE Guidelines v4) and the records from CROSBI became available through OpenAIRE Explore.  

    national infrastructure

    Data repositories

    There are no significant advancements related to the open research data. The only document supporting open access to the research data is the Open Access Declaration initiative (2012), pursuing the goal of broadest possible access to digital publication and research data. Although the Declaration was signed by 20 state ministries, there are no funders’ or institutions’ policies mandating open access to the research data.

    Three institutions are actively engaged in the open research data issues:

    • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Zagreb (FHSS) participates in the open research data projects like SERSCIDA, Seeds and CESSDA ERIC and organizes events on open research data. In 2019 the Croatian Social Science Data Archive (CROSSDA) was launched as a FHSS service provider, and Croatia has since become a CESSDA member with FHSS as the national coordinating body/service provider.
    • University Computing Centre - SRCE is developing DABAR infrastructure which enables the deposition of the research data and is promoting best practices in research data sharing as the Croatian National Research Data Alliance (RDA) node. 
    • Ruđer Bošković Institute (RBI) – as a NOAD in the OpenAIRE project RBI is providing researchers with necessary support and education related to the open research data enabled via FULIR Data, Zenodo or other disciplinary repositories. RBI provides a data repository (FULIR Data) hosted on Dabar infrastructure, that gathers, permanently stores and allows open access to primary data produced by RBIs researchers. 

    national data repositories

    National publishing initiatives

    The Croatian Ministry of Science and Education supports gold OA, and subsidize Croatian OA journals (OA is the mandatory condition to get subsidy). In 2019, instead of centralized funding of OA journals, the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education (MSE) decided to allocate part of the funds to universities and research institutes, which would then independently grant subsidies to journals they publish. Central funding has remained unchanged for journals published by learned societies, professional associations and other publications. For that reason, in 2019 there were 107 gold OA journals subsidized by MSE. Other Croatian scholarly, professional and popular journals are also available in OA through Hrčak repository.

    Altogether, Hrčak obtains more than 500 OA journals which makes it the biggest national repository of OA journals in EU.

    National agreements with publishers

    “Big deals” are still a predominant part of the negotiations done by the Croatian National and University Library, without visible progress towards RAP or PAR agreements. The Electronic Resources Portal for the Croatian Academic and Scientific Community enables access to databases with a nationally funded European Social Fund (ESF) grant through the project Increasing access to electronic sources of scientific and expert information - e-Sources. APC was included in the negotiation process with some publishers, but only with partial success. As part of the subscription to Cambridge University Press journals in 2020, a Read & Publish contract was signed which enables the Croatian academic and scientific community to publish an unlimited number of papers in open access without additional publication costs (APC - Article Processing Charge). The same agreement was made with the Institute of Physics for 2021 as part of the national subscription to IOPscience extra journals.

    OA books

    Morepress is the OA publishing platform of the University of Zadar focused on the innovative creation and dissemination of digital scientific, teaching and professional publications. The purpose of Morepress is to improve the publishing activity of the University by using advanced digital technologies aimed at the process of collecting, creating, editing and transmitting open content, and to actively contribute to the presentation of Croatian science and culture in the online environment. In this sense, besides journals, Morepress platform supports editing and distribution of scientific and professional monographs (books, textbooks, manuals, scripts) and conference proceedings.

    In 2019 Zagreb University Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHSS) started to publish monographs, proceedings, and textbooks from the field of social sciences and humanities in OA via its FF Open Press platform. Through FF Open Press older editions, previously exclusively available in print, will also gradually be published as e-books. By the end of 2021, more than 90 titles have been made available in OA through FF Open Press.

    There is also an initiative of the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education to promote Open Educational Resources (OER) and OA books important for the national curriculum. Open educational materials are also supported by the Strategy of Education, Science, and Technology.

  • Training & Support

    There are many institutions which are actively engaged in the promotion of OA, OS and ORDM, especially through the participation in the development and maintenance of the DABAR infrastructure, but a few need to be highlighted, especially because of their involvement in EU projects.

    The RBI participated and still participate in many OA and OS related EU projects (OpenAIRE plus, FOSTER, EGI-Engage, OpenAIRE 2020, OpenAIRE Advance, EOSC-hub, NI4OS) as well as in the development of the national infrastructure for hosting digital repositories - Digital academic archives and repositories - DABAR. Additionally, the RBI has implemented and/or participated in the implementation of the important Croatian OA and OS infrastructures such as CROSBI, HRČAK, Who is who in science in Croatia, Šestar, FULIR and DABAR. Through all these activities the RBI provides support to researchers as well as play an important role in the infrastructure development for OA and OS on the national level. It also organizes workshops and webinars on OA, OS and ORDM and provides support for researchers at the national level through the OpenAIRE NOAD activities and its participation in the development of the DABAR infrastructure. The RBI also organizes workshops and lectures on OS and related topics as a part of the Open Access Week, KEKS workshops, Colloquia of the Centre for Scientific Information, RBI’s Open Day(s) (intended for the general public) and in its other activities. Papers and presentations on OS and OA are stored in the FULIR. Information on OS and all aspects of OA will be soon available at the national Open Science Croatia portal.

    SRCE supports OA and OS through the development of the DABAR infrastructure, HRČAK journal repository, PUH service, training on OA, and ORDM, and through the promotion of best practices in research data sharing as a Croatian National Research Data Alliance (RDA) node. It also participates in EU OA and OS related projects like EOSC-hub and NI4OS.

    FHSS participated in several open research data projects - SERSCIDA, Seeds and CESSDA ERIC. It also organizes events on OA and ORDM and participates in the development of the DABAR infrastructure. Since December 2019, when the Croatian Social Science Data Archive was launched, Croatia has become a CESSDA member and FHSS service provider.

    The University of Zadar, in the collaboration with the University of Zagreb and Ruđer Bošković Institute, organize an annual international conference on the scholarly communication in the context of open science PUBMET. All materials of the previous conferences are available at http://pubmet.unizd.hr.

     

    Listed here are relevant resources on open science practice and policies in Croatia:

    Hrvatska deklaracija o otvorenoj znanosti, 2012. URL: https://www.srce.unizg.hr/files/srce/docs/otvoreni-pristup/hrvatska_deklaracija_o_otvorenom_pristupu.pdf

    Otvorenost u znanosti i visokom obrazovanju / Hebrang Grgić, Ivana (ur.). Zagreb: Školska knjiga, 2018

    Macan, Bojan; Škorić, Lea; Petrak, Jelka. David among Goliaths: Open access publishing in scientific (semi-)periphery // Learned Publishing, 33 (2020), 4; 410-417 doi:10.1002/leap.1320

    Baždarić, Ksenija; Vrkić, Iva; Arh, Evgenia; Mavrinac, Martina; Gligora Marković, Maja; Bilić-Zulle, Lidija; Stojanovski, Jadranka; Malički, Mario. Attitudes and practices of open data, preprinting, and peer-review—A cross sectional study on Croatian scientists // PLoS One, 16 (2021), 6; e0244529, 18 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0244529

    Stojanovski, Jadranka; Petrak, Jelka; Macan, Bojan. The Croatian national open access journal platform // Learned Publishing, 22 (2009), 4; 263-273 doi:10.1087/20090402

    OA i OER u Hrvatskoj // Sveučilišni računski centar. URL: https://www.srce.unizg.hr/otvoreni-pristup/oa-i-oer-u-hrvatskoj

    Petrak, Jelka. Otvoreni pristup: put k znanju kao javnom dobru // Slobodan pristup informacijama: 13. i 14. okrugli stol / Grašić Kvesić, Tea ; Hebrang Grgić, Ivana (ur.). Zagreb: Hrvatsko knjižničarsko društvo, 2014. Str. 43-55.

    Macan,  Bojan. Repozitoriji u otvorenom pristupu: interoperabilnost kao jedini put // Slobodan pristup informacijama : 13. i 14. okrugli stol : zbornik radova / Grašić-Kvesić, Tea ; Hebrang Grgić, Ivana (ur.). Zagreb: Hrvatsko knjižničarsko društvo, 2014. str. 56-71. http://fulir.irb.hr/1687/ 

    Hebrang Grgić, Ivana. Citatna prednost znanstvenih radova objavljenih u otvorenom pristupu // Informacijska tehnologija u obrazovanju : znanstvena monografija / Lasić-Lazić, Jadranka (ur.). Zagreb: Zavod za informacijske studije Odsjeka za informacijske i komunikacijske znanosti Filozofskog fakulteta Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, 2014. Str. 155-169. http://darhiv.ffzg.unizg.hr/id/eprint/4140/1/citatnaprednost_preprint_IHG.pdf 

    Konjević, Sofija; Stojanovski, Jadranka; Macan, Bojan. Otvoreni pristup i otvorena znanost : Međunarodni projekti na kojima sudjeluje Centar za znanstvene informacije Instituta Ruđer Bošković // Novosti / Hrvatsko knjižničarsko društvo, 84 (2021), 1724, 1. URL: https://www.hkdrustvo.hr/hkdnovosti/clanak/1724 

    Stojanovski, Jadranka. Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Croatia // Digital Presentation and Preservation of Cultural  and Scientific Heritage / Pavlov, Radoslav ; Stanchev, Peter (ur.). Sofija, Bugarska: Institute of Mathematics and Informatics - Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2015. str. 79-88. URL: https://www.ceeol.com/search/article-detail?id=283540 

    Krelja Kurelović, Elena; Rako, Sabina; Tomljanović, Jasminka. Prihvaćanje otvorenog pristupa u znanosti i obrazovanju // Zbornik Veleučilišta u Rijeci, 1 (2013), 1; 1-16. URL: https://hrcak.srce.hr/103442 

     

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