Open Science – A Croatian Perspective
Keywords:Open Science, Research Infrastructure, Croatia, Open Access, Repository
Jadranka Stojanovski discusses the evolution of library support for open science from a Croatian perspective. From her vantage point as (former) library director of the Ruđer Bošković Institute and associate professor at the department of information science of the University of Zadar, Stojanovski has been a pioneer in establishing services exploiting the possibilities offered by new information technologies since the 1990s. Many of her activities have been connected to broad European collaborative projects such as OpenAIRE, OASPA, and EOSC.
The Croatian approach has been a very proactive one. Already in 1997, the CROSBI was launched, a combined national scientific bibliography and repository for Green Open Access documents. Although deposition of articles and other research documents is entirely voluntary, CROSBI now carries metadata on more than 725,000 documents, a large proportion of which are available in fulltext. Alongisde CROSBI, there are also several institutions running their own institutional repositories. There is now extensive collaboration between these services in the form of DABAR (‘beaver’ in English), aiming to enhance the interoperability and findability of documents stored in the various repositories. Stojanovski has also been involved in setting up an inventory on Who’s Who in Science in Croatia as well as a database on scientific equipment, Šestar (‘pair of compasses’).
Set up in 2005, the HRČAK (‘hamster’) platform for Croatian scientific and professional journals has been a massive success. Less than twenty years after its inception, it now carries more than 500 scholarly journals and series of conference proceedings, nearly all of which are Diamond Open Access (i.e., free to the reader and with no author-facing publishing charges). Roughly 150 of these journals receive annual subsidies from the government, the rest are fully based on voluntary work from individual editors and the institutions or learned societies they represent. Only around 25 HRČAK journals charge Article Processing Charges. The Social Sciences and Humanities are particularly well represented on the platform, with many journals publishing in Croatian despite the lack of an official language policy in favor of Croatian as a scholarly language. The University Computing Centre in Zagreb (SRCE, ‘heart’) is responsible for the technical development of HRČAK, which is based on seamless interconnection between in-house developed software and open-source software for editorial processes, primarily Open Journal Systems.
A national Research Data Policy or, better still, a general Open Science Policy is highly desirable, Stojanovski argues. Infrastructure is in place, but usage will undoubtedly rise significantly as soon as open science practices become mandatory.
Alongside Dominic Tate (episode 43) and Pierre Mounier (episode 44), Jadranka was a keynote speaker at the 17th Munin Conference on Scholarly Publishing. This interview was first published online on December 13, 2022.
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