The Serbian government has passed a new law on science and research that recognizes open science as a fundamental principle of science and research.
The new Law on Science and Research, passed on 8 July 2019, confirms Serbia’s commitment to open science. It comes just a year after the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development (MESTD), the main national funder of research in Serbia, adopted a national open science policy, the Platform for Open Science, mandating open science to all publicly funded research.
EIFL welcomes the passing of the new law, which makes a major contribution to improving visibility and discoverability of Serbian research outputs.
Open science is a research approach that opens up all aspects of research. It includes open access to research literature, and open data practices, which make research results openly available while research is in process. Major international funders, including the European Union, have introduced policies mandating integration of open science principles and practices into research proposals and plans.
Serbia is the first country in the Balkans region to recognize open science in a national law.
OpenAIRE National Open Access Desk (NOAD) in Serbia, Biljana Kosanovic, who contributed to the drafting of the law said: “I provided the MESTD with several articles on open science which they integrated into the new law. After the law was presented at a public hearing, we submitted several amendments, and almost all were accepted. This is good news for open science in Serbia!".
Open science in the new law
- Article 4 of the law states that conducting research work in accordance with the principles of open science is recognized as a fundamental principle of science and research.
- Article 6 is entirely dedicated to open science, and stresses the importance or alignment with the requirements of the European Commission (EC), which mandates open science to all EC-funded research:
- In order to increase the quality and visibility of scientific work, research is conducted in accordance with the principles of open science, with optimal use of scientific research infrastructure.
- The principle of open science and open access to scientific publications and research data is based on the recommendations of the European Commission and international good practice
- Article 72 refers to open data, focusing on the transparency of data from the Register of Research Organizations and the Register of Researchers in Serbia. This means that research data will be publicly available on the website of the MESTD in a machine readable format, ready for use and re-use. [See the new law here, in Serbian.]
It is expected that other by-laws and regulations will be adopted to clarify and facilitate the implementation of open science principles included in the new law.