The Ruđer Bošković Institute (RBI) Library is a strong promotor of the Open Access (OA) initiatives among Croatian academic and research community. First Library’s activities were related to the provision of the national infrastructure for OA deposition of the scientific output. In 1997 the first Croatian Open Access (OA) repository – Croatian Scientific Bibliography (CROSBI) – was created for the Croatian academic and research community. CROSBI collects the information on scientific output through author’s self-archiving of full-text documents and/or bibliographic records of different types of publications. Today CROSBI has more than half a million bibliographic records whereof many of them with attached full-text documents and/or links to the full-texts.
From the very beginning in 2005 RBI Library is actively involved in the creation and development of the Croatian Portal of Scientific Journals HRČAK (hrčak means hamster in English). HRČAK enables Croatian publishers to publish digital versions of their scientific and professional journals on the common platform in OA. At the present 370 Croatian OA journals are using HRČAK repository offering more than 134.000 OA full-text articles.
First fully OA and OpenAIRE compliant institutional repository FULIR (Full-text Institutional Repository of the Ruđer Bošković Institute) enables the RBI researchers archival of digital versions of their journal articles, conference papers and other conference materials, books, book chapters etc. Moreover, the deposition into FULIR is regulated by the RBI self-archiving mandate, the first institutional OA mandate in Croatia.
Considering its expertise and rich experience in the design, development, implementation and maintenance of OA infrastructure the RBI Library joined the partnership with University of Zagreb Computing Centre – Srce, National and University Library Zagreb, University of Zagreb Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, School of Medicine and some other institutions with the goal to develop a national digital repository platform DABAR (Digital Academic Archives and Repositories). DABAR allows creation and hosting of numerous institutional repositories on a common infrastructure. In its first phase (second half of 2015) it stores bachelor and master thesis, and archival of other types of publications in different formats and on different media will be possible in the near future. DABAR collaboration is a good example how joined efforts and knowledge can produce excellent results for the benefit of all.
Publications are the most visible part of the scholarly communication, but there are other scientific information which should be organized and make accessible in OA. Along the lines that RBI Library has launched other information services: Who’s Who in Science in Croatia which provides highly structured information about more then 7000 Croatian scientists, and interactive database of scientific equipment ŠESTAR (šestar means pair of compasses in English). Such kind of open services can significantly improve data exchange and collaboration among researchers. Also, open information on Croatian science could can improve communication and raise the quality of the research.
During the past years, the RBI Library has also organized and participated in various OA activities. RBI Library staff took active role in writing Croatian Open Access Declaration in 2012, in educating wider Croatian research community on OA, regularly marking International Open Access Week in October, promoting OA to broad public during RBI Open Days, etc.
RBI library is also active in many European projects related to Open Access. Its first collaboration at European level was the project OpenAIREplus project (2nd Generation of Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe) under the Seventh Framework Programme (November 2011 – December 2014). The goal of the OpenAIREplus project was to ensure the pan-European infrastructure and supporting mechanisms for the identification, deposition, access, and monitoring of scientific publications resulting from the FP7 and ERC project activities. As National Open Access Desk (NOAD) for Croatia RBI has been provided helpdesk services to Croatian researchers and digital repository managers. The collaboration continues through the Horizon 2020 program Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe 2020 – OpenAIRE2020 (January 2015 – June 2019). Beside OA activities the new project aims to empower research data sharing, data stewardship and data reuse in Europe. In the Horizon 2020 framework the Open Research Data Pilot project was launched in order to make the research data generated by projects from nine selected H2020 areas accessible with as few restrictions as possible, while at the same time protecting sensitive data from inappropriate access. Under the OpenAIRE2020 project the FP7 Post-Grant Open Access Pilot is being developed as an additional instrument to make FP7 project research results available through gold OA journals. The budget of this Pilot is 4 mil EUR and it will last until the end of April 2017.
RBI Library has been involved in education on Open Science in Croatia through FP7 project Facilitate open science training for European research – FOSTER (February 2014 – February 2016). FOSTER project aims to set in place sustainable mechanisms for EU researchers to foster open science in their daily workflow, thus supporting researchers optimizing their research visibility and impact, the adoption of EU open access policies in line with the EU objectives on Responsible Research & Innovation. During the 2014 the RBI Library created materials and held 20 lectures and workshops across Croatia (Universities of Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Rijeka and Osijek, Ruđer Bošković Institute, and the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports), and disseminate information on OA, open data and open science in general to students, researchers, librarians and policy makers. Through these activities more than 600 participants all over the Croatia were reached and have been participated in lectures and discussions on OA.
Library staff member has also participated in FP7 project Support for Establishment of National/Regional Social Sciences Data Archives – SERSCIDA (January 2012 – June 2014), during which the preparations and setting up of Croatian national social science research data archive was established.
Following this numerous OA activities, one of the RBI staff member has been designated by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports as the National Point of Reference (NPR) for Scientific Information Network. The main function of a NRP is to coordinate national efforts in implementing the EU Commission’s recommendations on open access, as well as to serve as the Commission’s national contact person. Besides activities with European Commission, NPR has been involved in the 7th Framework project The Policy RECommendations for Open Access to Research Data in Europe (RECODE), intended to leverage existing networks, communities and projects to address challenges within the open access and data dissemination and preservation sector and produce policy recommendations for open access to research data based on existing good practice, and PASTEUR4OA project (Open Access Policy Alignment Strategies for European Union Research) which supports the development and alignment of Open Access strategies and policies at the national level to promote the implementation of the European Commission’s 2012 Recommendation on Access to Scientific Information and the Open Access Mandate for Horizon 2020. During RECODE and PASTEUR4OA meetings different strategies were discussed to promote the development, implementation and alignment of OA policies across Europe. Through this collaboration Croatia will adopt OA policies at the national, institutional and funders levels.
RBI Library is also a member of SPARC Europe – Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. SPARC mission is to create change and build a better scholarly communication system for the future. RBI Library and SPARC Europe share common activities like “working with policy makers to influence OA policy development at national level, collaborating with other organisations to build effective networks of strong voices that can make change happen, building a network of OA advocates who want to promote access to [Croatian] research outputs for all, providing support for policy development through lobbying, policy advice, and policy development, developing advocacy tools to help raise awareness about openness and to help train your researchers and students to increase access to research, and providing the OA community with up-to-date information on the latest developments in scholarly communication and Open Access”.