CROATIAN OPEN ACCESS DECLARATION
We have chosen Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002)1, Berlin Declaration on Open Access (2003)2, Budapest Declaration on the Right of Access to Information (2008)3 and IFLA Statement on Open Access (2011)4 as our starting point. We are following OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding (2007)5, and Recommendation to the Member States on access and preservation of scientific information (2012)6. We understand the importance of the EU Council Conclusion7, important also for Croatia, a future EU Member State, by which the EU Council has invited the Member States to:
- reinforce national strategies and structures for access to and preservation and dissemination of scientific information, tackling organisational, legal, technical and financial issues; and
- ensure the long term preservation of scientific information, including publications and data.
To express our concern caused by lack of strategic points of reference on access, dissemination, storage and preservation of scientific information in Croatia, we are making the
Croatian Open Access Declaration
the purpose of which is to sensitise everyone who participates in creation, publishing, use, and preservation of scientific information in Croatia. In our declaration we are stressing the fundamental importance of scientific information, necessity of it being available to everyone, and obligation of its permanent preservation.
Open Access means unrestricted, free, and undisturbed online access to digital scientific information that allows scientific information to be read, stored, distributed, searched, reached, indexed and/or used in any other legal way. Unrestricted in this context means free of any restrictions and terms imposed upon its access and use. For the purpose of having unrestricted access to the information, it is necessary to guarantee anonymity to the information users.
Under the term scientific information we consider all the results of the research, developmental, expert and educational work. Scientific researches bring knowledge necessary for the progress of society, individuals, human race. Science and society are inseparably joined to mutual benefit - science is responsible for public good, and the public is responsible for science. The existing models of access to scientific information should change in order to exploit the new possibilities that the digital network technologies brought in providing access to scientific information without economic, technological, status or other barriers. Securing the open access will encourage the use of the results of the scientific researches for the purpose of progress.
We are inviting the state administration, headed by the ministry responsible for science, as well as scientific and educational institutions, organisations, professional associations, and all the others involved in gathering and publishing scientific information to act decisively and in coordination in order to store all the Croatian scientific information in open access form.
1. Open Access is public interest
The scientific information is used for the needs of individuals and society in all the aspects of social and private life. In the world of economic barriers and closed access to scientific information, there is an increasing gap between the developed and less developed societies. Through open access to scientific information, Croatian knowledge, capabilities and innovative capacities will find users, partners and buyers, and that will increase visibility, influence and respect of Croatian science and culture, as well as allow full integration of Croatian science into global developments.
2. Scientific information is national treasure
No matter what size and originality, what purpose, whether it is publishable or published, scientific information is part of the national treasure. One part of scientific information is published in various publications and documents, while the other part, due to specific requests, needs or limitations of certain publications and opportunities, is not formally published, but it can be freely accessible. Both represent the fundamental and national treasure that allows further creativity and progress.
3. Results of publicly funded scientific researches should be provided in open access
The results of all publicly funded scientific researches should be available without restrictions. The public money should fund systems and their maintenance, and that will allow for the information created in the privately funded projects to be stored in open access form, provided the investor wants it.
4. Particular significance of the information relating to Croatia
It is important to attempt to gather, store and provide under the open access model all the information created by Croatian citizens and other citizens active in Croatia, which includes all the information, regardless of the origin, that concern Croatia.
5. Science evaluation procedures should not be obstacle to open access
When evaluating individuals, institutions and research projects, the scientific contributions under considerations should be available in open access form: published in available open access magazines or stored in open access digital vaults. There is need to encourage creation of the judging criteria which are based on scientific quality of the research, and which will not even implicitly provide advantage to traditional and closed publishing models.
6. New licensing models to access information are necessary
It is necessary to encourage work on development and application of different licensing models to provide access to scientific information that will guarantee integrity, protect authorship and allow open access.
7. Information is stored and permanently preserved
All the information available in open access form should be permanently preserved in a secure way, resistant to errors, damages, and bad intent. All the information should be guaranteed durability required by its digital format, taking into consideration fast technological changes.
8. National infrastructure for open access should be sustainable
The national infrastructure for open access to scientific information is composed of people, organisations, equipment (hardware and software), and content. The sustainability of the national infrastructure is based on the continuity of financing that allows adoption and application of international norms in creating, publishing, disseminating, using, processing, storing, and preserving scientific information, on education of all participants, and on informing national and international public regarding the availability and ways to use services and information of the national infrastructure.
Leo Budin, Fellow of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Vlatko Silobrčić, Fellow of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Prof. Gvozden Flego, Ph.D.
Prof. Mislav Grgić, Ph.D.
Prof. Diana Šimić, Ph.D.
Jadranka Stojanovski, Ph.D.
Ivana Hebrang Grgić, Ph.D.
Prof. Iva Melinščak-Zlodi
Dobrica Pavlinušić, Master in Information Science
Predrag Pale, M.Sc., Dipl.Ing.
Jadranka Lisek, M. Sc., Master in Library Science
Marija Furdek, Dipl.Ing.
2 Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003). Available here.
5 OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding (2007). Available here.
6 Communication from the European Commission: "Towards Better Access to Scientific Information: Boosting the Benefits of Public Investments in Research" (2012). Available here.