Skip Navigation
Slovak Republic

To Introduce the Basic Principles of Open Access to Scientific Publications Under a Public License Under the Operational Program Research and Innovation. (SK0092)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Slovak Republic National Action Plan 2017-2019

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

Access to Information, E-Government, Open Data, Public Participation, Science & Technology

IRM Review

IRM Report: Slovakia Implementation Report 2017-2019, Slovak Republic Design Report 2017–2019

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

The way of dissemination of the results of scientific research has been rapidly changing. The current tech-nological possibilities opened the way to the emergence of Open Science. When talking about Open Sci-ence, we also talk about Open data and Open Access to the results of science and research. Open Science has the potential to transform the society and benefit all actors in the field of scientific research, the com-mercial sector, as well as the general public.
The policy of Open Access is one of the interests of the European Union, which adopted already in 2012 the European Commission Recommendation on Access to and Preservation of Scientific Information22. In ac-cordance with the recommendation, the European Parliament issued Regulation No 1291/2013, establish-ing the Framework Program for Research and Innovation for the years 2014 – 2020, Horizon 202023. Open access publication concerns primarily results of publicly financed or publicly co-financed non-secret re-search.
Each EU country should pay attention to the development of its own policies on Open Access to scientific information. The development such national strategies on Open Access publication should be in line with the objectives of the European Commission. According to the Feasibility analysis of establishing open access to selected publications24 and based on the document Identifying the barriers to the implementation of full access to the results of science and research25, which are outputs of Commitments No. 17 and 18 of Slo-vakia‘s 2015 OGP National Action Plan, the main obstacles to the introduction of Open Access are: absence of a national repository or a network of institutional repositories, standardization of formats, metadata schema, and interconnection of information systems. Insufficient staffing for all processes at the national level may be another problem. It is also necessary to provide methodological guidance and education across the academia. Based on the identification of the barriers, the national law can be amended to incor-porate the required measures and rules to establish the conditions for Open Access publication in a way that reflects the specifics of the outputs of the research process.
Despite the fact that universities and research institutes prefer the open publication of results of research and development in smaller institutional repositories, building a national repository is a more appropriate system solution. The application of standards, rules and recommendations at the international level and at European Union level will be much easier and more efficient.
Policies of Open Access to scientific publications have been addressed much more closely in most EU mem-ber countries than policies of Open Access to research data. However, data from research, its collection, processing, storage and re-use are an equally important component of Open Science. In addition to the publication of scientific publications, attention should also be given to research data. These are an equally important source of knowledge, which is often more efficient to use and more useful than the actual publi-cation itself. In this context, management of research data becomes an important part of the research process. Proper management of research data should ensure the improvement of competitiveness in re-search and should become an integral part of the process of open publishing and Open Science. Several European countries established having a development plan for the management of research data as one of the conditions for their projects, both at institutional and national levels, and its development is also one of the requirements in Horizon 202026. The National repository should handle the collection, preservation and providing public access to the publi-cations as well as research data resulting from non-secret research funded from public sources and make it available in standard formats, under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The intro-duction of the obligation of open publication should be supported by generally applicable legislation and must be in accordance with internationally applicable rules.
Public licenses are the legal instrument for the implementation of Open Access to the results of research and development. They are specifically addressed in the new Copyright Act (§ 76 Act No. 185/2015 Coll., Copyright Act27). Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licenses seem to be the most appropriate, particu-larly because of their global prevalence, versatility, clarity and international long-term sustainability. Crea-tive Commons Attribution licenses are already established in the Slovak environment and are already being used for Open Access publications as well as open educational resources.
The need for mutual cooperation in the exchange of scientific data is also underscored by the European Commissioner for Science, Research and Innovation Carlos Moedas who pointed out that "most of the sci-entific data is now locked in the literature, in academic articles. We have to unlock them. The effort of the European Commission is to allow millions of researchers to share and analyze research data in a trusted environment across technologies, disciplines and countries."
All these efforts are very welcome. It should be underlined, however, that providing access to scientific data is a fairly complex process. The most appropriate mechanisms for this are currently developed and tested in more advanced countries of the EU. It is therefore difficult in the short term to implement the ultimate solution in Slovakia. But we need to recognize this trend and take gradual steps in cooperation with the rest of Europe to seek and find optimal outcomes.
Commitment No. 35: To introduce the basic principles of Open Access to scientific publications under a public license under the Operational Program Research and Innovation.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

THEME - Open Access
Comm 35, 37, 38, 40, 41

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan[Note : The Office of the Plenipotentiary, “Open Government Partnership National Action Plan of the Slovak Republic 2017 – 2019”, http://bit.ly/2QYIlHV  ]:

Commitment 35: “To introduce the basic principles of Open Access to scientific publications under a public license under the Operational Program Research and Innovation.”

Commitment 37: “Establish Contact Office for Open Access.”

Commitment 38: “Establish conditions for passportization of open research data under a public license and monitor its implementation in practice.”

Commitment 40: “Design systematic benchmarking monitoring mechanisms for the measurement and comparison and propose further analyses related to acquiring, processing and re-use of research data and Open Access scientific publications.”

Commitment 41: “Actively create awareness of the possibilities and advantages of Open Access in the academic community, among educational institutions, but also in the commercial sector, NGOs and among the general public. Also spread awareness about the benefits of open publishing for the Advancement of Science.”

Start Date: Not specified  

End Date: 31 December 2018

Context and Objectives

Open access (OA) is a free, unrestricted online access to research outputs such as journal articles and books[Note : Nature.com, “Open access at Nature research”, https://go.nature.com/2BAaHSX ]. Its main feature is the openness, which enables everyone to access research outputs with no access fees. OA has many advantages for both researchers and the public, as it can reach broader audiences and results in wider interdisciplinary and international collaboration[Note : Nature.com, “As an author, what does publishing open access mean for you?”, https://go.nature.com/2Er2rHI ]. The commitments in this cluster aim for awareness-raising in the topic of open access (OA) and introducing measures to advance OA in Slovak scientific community.

While the responsible institution for these commitments still is the Ministry of Education, Science, Research, and Sport, in day-to-day operation, it is its subordinate organization, the Center of Scientific and Technical Information (CVTI)[Note : The official website of the Center of Scientific and Technical information, http://www.cvtisr.sk/ ]. The interviewed experts agreed that CVTI has experience with the topic and understands what it entails. They all perceived their activities in OA more positively than those of the ministry in open education[Note : Interview with Zuzana Adamová (Creative Commons Slovensko and University of Trnava), 6 November 2018, See Section ‘VI. Methodology and sources for details.   ].  

The commitments in this cluster have built on previous efforts in the topic, which is positive as it maintains continuity, and thus increases chances for overall success. As a result of the last action plan[Note : The Office of the Plenipotentiary, “Open Government Partnership National Action Plan of the Slovak Republic 2015”, http://bit.ly/2RevqCc], two important analyses were conducted: Analysis of introducing open access to selected research publications[Note : The government’s meetings. “Analýza možnosti zavedenia otvoreného prístupu k vybraným publikačným výstupom” (Analysis of introducing open access to selected research publications), http://bit.ly/2Ewa5RS (in Slovak) ] and analysis on the barriers to the implementation of full access to the results of science and research[Note : The Ministry of Education, “Identifikovanie bariér implementácie úplného prístupu k výsledkom vedy a výskumu” (Identifying the barriers to the implementation of full access to the results of science and research), http://bit.ly/2aVgKlT (in Slovak)]. Their results suggested that there are no legal obstacles to OA and our copyright legislation does not pose any problem to OA. With very few exceptions of secret research areas, such as military research, OA policies can be implemented widely.

Since no substantial barriers to OA have been identified, commitment 35 to introduce the basic principles of OA to selected scientific publications that were created using public resources is a right step forward to encourage publishing research under open licenses and a signal of willingness to change status quo. While these analyses helped to map potential legal obstacles, it is also important to know the current data collection and publication practices in the academic and research sector.

Mapping practices is a vital precondition for commitment 38 to establish conditions for categorization of open research data under a public license. As to formulate right categorization conditions, it is essential to understand the practice first. This commitment also has a potential to change the status quo and increase publication of research data under open licenses, as it includes a monitoring element. Additionally, institutional compliance with these conditions will be monitored. Design systematic benchmarking monitoring mechanisms for the measurement and comparison (commitment 40) the understanding of how the institution produce, manage and store data is crucial. Therefore, the steps to fulfil the commitments are logical and sensible.

To ensure that the efforts in OA are coordinated, the Center of Scientific and Technical Information established Open Access Point of Contact[Note : Official website of the Open Access Point of Contact at the Center of scientific and technical information, http://bit.ly/2GgWIHf (in Slovak). ] which should serve as a guidance officer, providing practical information, expertise, and financial assistance in implementing OA in Slovakia. The previous IRM report recommended this measure as a critical step forward which could advance OA practices at universities, Slovak academy of sciences as well as private research institutions[Note : Mária Žuffová, Open Government Partnership, “Slovakia Special Accountability Report 2014 - 2015”, http://bit.ly/2EzH4Ws]. Establishing OA Point of Contact has probably the highest potential impact from commitments in this cluster as it contributes significantly to the implementation of other commitments.

The existence of the OA Point of Contact is also crucial for commitment 41 to raise awareness about OA in research communities. The OA Point of Contact realizes different outreach activities, for example, courses and webinars for librarians and academic who are interested in OA[Note : The Center for Scientific and Technical information, “Course: The basics of Open access 2018”, http://bit.ly/2EwCdEw (in Slovak). ], and conferences with international and local speakers[Note : The Center for Scientific and Technical information, “National workshop OpenAIRE – Program”, http://bit.ly/2PJZeVF (in Slovak). ]. The OA point of contact informs about its activities pro-actively on its website[Note : Official website of the Open Access Point of Contact at the Center of scientific and technical information, http://bit.ly/2GgWIHf (in Slovak). ]. It also provides international and domestic materials on OA. The interviewees also mentioned that the presence of the OA Point of Contact in the community is visible[Note : Interview with Zuzana Adamová (Creative Commons Slovensko and University of Trnava), 6 November 2018, See Section ‘VI. Methodology and sources for details.   ].

Next steps

All interviewed stakeholders agreed that OA could bring substantial benefits to Slovak academic community and the commitments in this cluster have a potential to advance OA. Therefore, IRM researcher recommends continuing their implementation and ensuring that the OA Point of Contact has sufficient support and resources to do so.

IRM End of Term Status Summary

For details on each commitment, see Slovakia Implementation Report 2017-2019.

Commitments

Open Government Partnership