Open access encyclopedia: an important component of knowledge infrastructure | PUBMET

Abstract:  Since the era of Enlightenment, the role of encyclopaedias has been to organise and structure knowledge, and communicate it to society. In the digital age, professionally edited encyclopaedias have not lost its enlightenment mission; on the contrary, its role in enabling systemic and reliable orientation within the ever-increasing amount of data and information is even more emphasised. By entering the digital age the functionality and usability of encyclopaedias are enhanced enormously. Digital technologies transformed the ways in which encyclopaedic knowledge is prepared, organised and presented, and more importantly facilitated its distribution, accessibility and usage (Jermen & Jeci?, 2018; Jermen & Jeci?, 2020).

Professionally edited open access national encyclopaedias contribute to raising the level of public knowledge by dissemination of reliable and verified information in users’ mother tongue. They provide a connection between experts and average citizens, acting as an important science communication tool, and as such should be at the core of the research and didactic infrastructure of any modern society (Jeci? & Jermen, 2020). Furthermore, in fierce competition with various, often unreliable online information sources, they could also play an important role in the struggle against the speedy growth of disinformation and misinformation (Bentzen, 2018).

As one of the prominent examples of the importance of encyclopedistics in the modern age is the very existence of the Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography in Croatia, a publishing house and a scientific institution, which is defined in the governmental act as a “public institution of relevance for the Republic of Croatia”. With the mission to systematise and disseminate scientifically verified knowledge in the broadest span of scientific disciplines, its publications (encyclopaedias, encyclopaedic monographs, lexicons, dictionaries, etc.), targeted for a broader audience, as well as specialists, have been produced in collaboration with numerous high-profile researchers from academia since its foundation in 1950. Since 2008, the Institute has been developing freely accessible collections of digital encyclopaedic editions, which currently comprise approximately 270,000 articles. A great number of Institute’s editions (along with the additional digital content) that are available in open access surely contributes to their increased visibility (more than 15 million page views in 2022) and hence the potential for creating societal impact.

This presentation aims to provide an overview of the development of lexicography and encyclopedistics in the digital environment, primarily from the perspective of the Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography. It places special emphasis on the Institute’s open access publishing efforts over the past 15 years. Considering the fact that there are still no dedicated open access publishing schemes for books in Croatia, and that open access still represents a relatively small part of the book publishing landscape in Europe (Gimenez-Toledo et al. 2022), the Institute’s endeavours in this area have been rather innovative. Along with the dissemination of scientifically verified information, open access encyclopaedias give the possibilities of linking to the digital data and collections of other research and cultural institutions, thus serving as the important component of digital knowledge infrastructure (Jermen & Jeci?, 2018). Thanks to this increased connectivity, the Institute has taken part in several projects, initiatives, and communities, both in Croatia and abroad, which will be described in this presentation.

Open Access Week Interview: Iva Melinš?ak Zlodi – DIAMAS

“To mark this year’s OA Week, we spoke with different members of our project team to discuss what the theme of community/commercial means for DIAMAS, why community values are essential for our project, and how we hope to impact the publishing ecosystem.

First up, we have librarian, Iva Melinš?ak Zlodi, from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHSS) Library….”

OPERAS Conference 2024. 24–26 April 2024, Zadar, Croatia

The European Council called in May 2023 for transparent, equitable, and open access to scholarly publications. For European public research and innovation actors, scholarly knowledge is a public good. Publicly funded research and its results should be immediately and openly available without barriers such as subscription fees or paywalls. This is essential in driving knowledge forward, promoting innovation and tackling social issues.

OPERAS welcomes this Council Conclusion that fits with our aim to make Open Science a reality for Social Sciences and Humanities, and we are convinced we can only achieve this with collaboration, opening collaboration for community-driven scholarly communication.

This conference is organised by the OPERAS-PLUS project to support the development of the OPERAS Research Infrastructure, supporting open scholarly communication for Social Sciences and Humanities in the European Research Area and to open up collaboration and facilitate exchange.

The OPERAS Conference aims to be a discussion hub in which different stakeholders such as researchers, decision-makers, publishers, librarians, and institutional service providers can share and compare their take on the current scholarly communication system and their vision for a sustainable future. The OPERAS conference will address issues relevant to the Social Sciences and Humanities field in the Open Science paradigm involving equitable publishing, multilingualism, bibliodiversity, and other related topics. 

We want to discuss transparent, equitable publishing in a broad context and welcome presentations, workshops and posters focusing on the following issues: 

Open collaboration for scholar-led publishing 
Open Science policies and strategies
Sustaining the open scholarly communication infrastructure
Open Access usage data and metadata: exchange, aggregation, curation
Publication and data: citation, visualisation, licences
Scholarly communication support and services for citizen science
Multilingualism and collaboration
Equitable publishing models
Engagement and collaboration within  research communities
Research assessment and peer review
Innovative services, tools and technologies supporting Open Science and emerging trend in Open Science and publishing


ST-OPEN(ing) to students of SEA-EU universities – an opportunity for the Alliance

“ST-OPEN, the overlay+ journal of the University of Split [1], has been open to the work of international students and researchers since its first issue published in 2020. As the University of Split is part of the European University of the Seas (SEA-EU) Alliance, opening and promoting ST-OPEN to all students from SEA-EU is a logical step, fully in line with the commitment to share educational and research resources among the Alliance partners [2]. In this editorial, I will discuss the significant benefits this could bring to our students, researchers and society, from the perspective of the current state and plans of the SEA-EU Alliance.”

The Landscape of Scholarly Book Publishing in Croatia: Finding Pathways for Viable Open Access Models

(1) Background: Open access to scholarly works is globally recognized as a goal to be achieved as soon as possible; however, there is not yet a general understanding of how to achieve open access for books. In considering the most appropriate models of transition, an accurate and detailed insight into national and regional specifics can be of great importance. The aim of this research is to show the current state of scholarly book publishing in Croatia: recognising the key stakeholders, their characteristics, and the current level of open access to scholarly books. (2) Methods: The existing data from two different sources were used: the data about the public subsidies for book publishers by the Ministry of Science and Education and the data on published books from the Croatian Scientific Bibliography CROSBI, both for the period from 2018 to 2021. (3) Results: In the four-year period, 224 Croatian publishers were awarded subsidies to publish 2359 book titles. The majority of the publishers received support for only a small number of titles and relatively low amounts of subsidies. More than half of the titles are published by small private commercial publishers. However, the uptake of digital publishing among commercial publishers is very modest. Open access to scholarly books is almost entirely in the domain of non-commercial publishers. Most open access titles are available on the websites of their publishers. (4) Conclusions: The analysis of the data from these two sources have resulted in an overview of the current state of book publishing in Croatia. Such an overview provides a good basis for designing future measures and creating a national open science plan and can also be a useful contribution to international discussions.

Open Science – A Croatian Perspective | Open Science Talk

Abstract:  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 Ru?er Boškovi? 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 HR?AK (‘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 HR?AK 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 HR?AK, 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.

ZAG Flybrary: Open access library presented at Zagreb Airport | Croatia Week

” Passengers at Zagreb Airport now have the opportunity to fulfil their waiting time before boarding the plane, as well as during the trip, with a good book for which they will not need prior registration or membership fees. 

ZAG Flybrary is a free library based on the principles of open access and sharing and is now located in the??international departures area of Franjo Tu?man Airport. 

A tense thriller, historical or love novel, poetry collection or something similar can be taken off the shelf for free, and if passengers have a book they have already read, they can leave it and give others a chance to enjoy it. 


The basic rule is – Do you need one? Take one. Do you have one? Leave one….”

Decreasing Costs of Dissemination of Research Results by Publishing in Diamond Open Access Journals – PMC

“As always, you can read these articles for free, with neither you nor your institution having to pay for their access. The authors did not have to pay for publishing their manuscripts either. Food Technology and Biotechnology is a so-called diamond open access journal. It means that its budget is provided by financial supports of public institutions like the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education, Croatian Academy of Science and Arts, Croatian Society for Biotechnology, as well as the publisher – Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology of the University of Zagreb. Diamond open access journals constitute a rather small share of scientific journals in science communication spectrum in which the financiers are neither readers (through institutional library subscriptions), nor authors through article processing charges. Although the number of papers published in diamond OA journals is not high, they are often referred to as the publishing model of the future. The financial pattern in which journals are financed by public institutions, ministries or other state bodies like universities or professional associations avoids high charges imposed by private publishers, liberating more funds for direct research costs, or scientific infrastructure. The model is in line with the ultimate intentions announced by the cOAlition S and formulated in Plan S (1), although other business models for scientific publishing are discussed within this plan, as well. At first sight, diamond OA journals seem like the best solution both for the researchers aiming to publish their results without devoting much of their project funds for this purpose, and to those aiming to access them freely and easily. However, public financing may have pitfalls of their own. Stable long-term financing may be a problem for smaller professional associations whose income may vary significantly from year to year and may depend on the current leadership. Such societies may lose motivation to maintain a journal, particularly if it does not gain any income but whose publishing creates a significant expense. Universities and larger societies with higher annual income may prove as more stable financiers as scientific communication is a part of their ’core business’. Indeed, considering technical possibilities and informatics infrastructure in place at most universities, scientific publishing should not present a significant financial burden. Actually, most diamond access journals are indeed funded by universities (2). On the other hand, journals financed by state public institutions like ministries, public foundations or other bodies distributing public funds may depend on the current political option and their changes may lead to different political decisions reflecting on science budgets and, consequently, scientific journal financing. Besides, it should be noted that some of the high budget professional associations create most of their incomes through publishing activities, sometimes engaging large publishers for their journals. For these societies a turn towards diamond open access would require a significant change in the structure of their annual income. Thus, in a system in which a larger segment of scientific results would be published in diamond open access journals, finding stable sources of income would be a difficult but indispensable task for scientific journal publishers. This conclusion has been strongly corroborated by a large study funded by Science Europe in order to gain a better insight in the OA diamond landscape (2). The study estimated the number of diamond open access journals at around 29 000. Most of these journals are not included in DOAJ, they are smaller in size and publish less than 25 papers per year, many of them are issued annually, and most of them belong to social sciences and humanities. The majority of them are published in Europe and South America by small publishers who publish between 1 and 5 journals. More than 70% of diamond OA journals are published by universities, around 15% by publishing companies, while 10% belong to professional associations. Concerning their operation and financing, most diamond open access journals face operational challenges and rely heavily on the efforts of volunteers. As such, they declare a need to develop infrastructure and to increase funding to support their operations. Securing sufficient and stable funding from sources who would not gain profit from publishing may at least partly be facilitated by decreasing the costs and the overall budget of the journal. More than 70% of diamond OA journals have an annual budget lower than 10 000 euro. This, however, contradicts the increasing demands of the scientific community for fast, simple, and high-quality publishing process. A variety of informatics tools designed for handling manuscripts, correspondence among authors, editors and reviewers, as well as on-line publishing with concomitant abandoning printed versions may lead to less expensive dissemination of scientific results. Development of such tools and their distribution among journals, as w

The 9th Conference on Scholarly Communication in the Context of Open Science

“After two virtual conferences, PUBMET2022 is once again ready to safely convene in the beautiful city of Zadar. All COVID measures mandated by the Croatian authorities or strongly recommended by the WHO will be followed.

14-16 September 2022 | University of Zadar, Croatia…”

Equity and diversity in Open Access. National and regional OA publishing platforms Webinar

This SPARC Europe’s webinar brought together voices from Croatia, France, Finland, the Netherlands, and Spain. Experts from these countries talked us through their initial influences and motivations for establishing national and regional platforms. They shared their perspectives on building and running national and regional OA publishing platforms and spoke about how they had evolved over time through presentations. A panel discussion touched upon challenges they had encountered and shared the lessons they had learned when joining forces and collaborating. They also talked about their future plans to increase collaboration be this locally or internationally. This webinar focused on the following topics: 1. What community-governed, publicly-funded not-for-profit national and regional OA publishing platforms are already set up in Europe 2. Which opportunities and challenges come with setting up a national or regional OA platform and collaborating with smaller publishers 3. What the best practices for national and regional OA platforms are, as seen by experienced experts in the field

See the slide deck here:

Agreements on Croatian Open Science Cloud Initiative Awarded to Institutions

“The agreements regulate resources and services necessary for the collection, processing, storage, dissemination and availability of research data.

This initiative is the result of years-long joint efforts of many stakeholders from the science and tertiary education in the open science movement, and the initiative was launched with the support of the Ministry of Science and the Croatian Science Foundation.

It creates preconditions for developing the Croatian open science cloud that will enable coordinated development of the country’s e-infrastructure.


The initiative will bring together relevant stakeholders in creating required preconditions for the implementation, realisation, and promotion of open science….”

Attitudes and practices of open data, preprinting, and peer-review—A cross sectional study on Croatian scientists

Baždari? K, Vrki? I, Arh E, Mavrinac M, Gligora Markovi? M, Bili?-Zulle L, et al. (2021) Attitudes and practices of open data, preprinting, and peer-review—A cross sectional study on Croatian scientists. PLoS ONE 16(6): e0244529.

Abstract: Attitudes towards open peer review, open data and use of preprints influence scientists’ engagement with those practices. Yet there is a lack of validated questionnaires that measure these attitudes. The goal of our study was to construct and validate such a questionnaire and use it to assess attitudes of Croatian scientists. We first developed a 21-item questionnaire called Attitudes towards Open data sharing, preprinting, and peer-review (ATOPP), which had a reliable four-factor structure, and measured attitudes towards open data, preprint servers, open peer-review and open peer-review in small scientific communities. We then used the ATOPP to explore attitudes of Croatian scientists (n = 541) towards these topics, and to assess the association of their attitudes with their open science practices and demographic information. Overall, Croatian scientists’ attitudes towards these topics were generally neutral, with a median (Md) score of 3.3 out of max 5 on the scale score. We also found no gender (P = 0.995) or field differences (P = 0.523) in their attitudes. However, attitudes of scientist who previously engaged in open peer-review or preprinting were higher than of scientists that did not (Md 3.5 vs. 3.3, P<0.001, and Md 3.6 vs 3.3, P<0.001, respectively). Further research is needed to determine optimal ways of increasing scientists’ attitudes and their open science practices.

Library Support for OA Books Workshop: the Southern European perspective. · COPIM

“As part of the projects conducted for the COPIM Work Package 2 (Revenue Infrastructures and Management Platform) and OPERAS-P Work Package 6 (Innovation), we are continuing a series of European-based workshops, aiming at gaining  a better understanding of the national-specific issues surrounding collective funding for OA books from a library perspective. The fourth online workshop took place on October 8th. This time we invited representatives of three Southern European countries. OA specialists and librarians from Croatia, Greece and Slovenia joined us to discuss how their libraries deal with OA books. From Ljubljana via Zagreb  to Athens: we had colleagues sitting down with us, sharing screens, links and their views from different national perspectives….”

Independent, Publicly Funded Journals Adhering to Platinum Open Access Are the Future of Responsible Scholarly Publishing

“Addressing the gap between advanced and emerging research communities cannot be achieved only by implementation in emerging communities of the practices generated in an advanced environment. Due to the time delay of acceptance and adaptation of these practices, even if they would be systematically applied, the gap would still grow. Subsequently, the only way to close the gap would be to apply a disruptive approach using advantages already present in emerging communities which would propel them by fast tracking even beyond the level of the current world leaders. These disruptive advantages grow in the cradle of emerging communities asking to be recognized and utilized. One of the advantages aimed at knowledge production is indeed the publishing model of independent journals supported by public money based on platinum open access. Being free of dependence on financial contribution from the authors, they can indeed concentrate on increasing ethical standards and scrutinizing submitted manuscripts at a higher standard. The latter would depend on the quality of reviewers. However seeing a higher purpose, reviewers would eventually move away from providing their free services to pro-profit businesses, and rather, move towards non-profit, community based, and ethically justified efforts, which we refer to here as responsible scholarly publishing. Without the intention to replace the current massive operations of major commercial publishers, the small, independent and publicly funded journals outside of mainstream business, could represent a “craft-beer revolution” in academic publishing, becoming carefully curated arts and crafts for presenting new knowledge.”

Open Access to Scientific Information in Croatia : Increasing Research Impact of a Scientifically Peripheral Country – Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Institutional Repository

Abstract:  Open Access (OA) to scientific information has become, during the last decade, an important means of communicating in science. The most important fact, proved by numerous studies, is that OA can increase visibility and impact of research results. The first chapter of the book gives an overview of the beginnings of formal scientific communication as an introduction to the further discussion on OA, especially OA in developing and transition countries. In the second chapter, basic definitions of OA and basic OA initiatives are explained as well as the two ways of achieving OA. The third chapter analyses access barriers for scientifically peripheral countries and the ways of removing them. Chapters four and five are completely dedicated to the Open Access in Croatia. Using an example of Croatia, the possibilities of increasing research results of a scientifically peripheral country are explained. Results of the complete study of OA in Croatia are analysed and explained. The study consists of two parts – study of Croatian OA journals and study of Croatian OA repositories. In the first part, the data on editorial policy regarding electronic publishing are gathered by the method of web content analysis. In the sample are all the Croatian scientific journals that had, by the end of June 2010, at least one 2009 issue freely available on the internet. The second part of the study discusses the problem of OA repositories in Croatia and gives an example of such a repository. Recommendations for further development of OA in Croatia are given as a part of the conclusion.