Open Science Practice in Western Balkan Countries

In this document entry please find the WBC-RRI.NET project´s “Final report on the existing Open Science practice in the Western Balkan countries” and a Research Article with similar content, both written by the same authors.


Snežana Smederevac: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
Goran Stojanović: Department of Electronics, Faculty of Technical Science, University of Novi Sad, Serbia


One of the key principles of Open Access and Open Science (OA/OS) is that publicly funded research should be accessible to the public, enabling the scientific community, industry, citizens, etc., to benefit from research results. This principle is emphasized in all OA and OS policies, highlighting the social responsibility of scientific research (Law on Science and Research, 2019; UNESCO, 2021). Therefore, OA/OS plays a crucial role in enhancing trust in science, addressing the so-called crisis of reproducibility in science, and improving the reliability and integrity of research. The attitude of decision-makers and the research community towards Open Science is reflected in their readiness to make rules and procedures related to scientific research transparent. This transparency is achieved through policies, infrastructure, and raising awareness of the importance of this topic for science and research results. OA/OS policies regulate research-related rules and regulations, introducing new academic practices into the scientific community.

The main purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview of the existing strategies, recommendations, policies, and technical infrastructure aimed at fostering OA/OS in Western Balkan countries (WBC). This comprehensive analysis is necessary to understand past efforts and future developments of OS involving a variety of stakeholders, such as decision-makers, research funds, research institutions, and researchers, among others. This report includes data and analysis up to December 1, 2023. The report is divided into five parts: the first one refers to the data collection methodology, the second to national and institutional legislation, while the third covers infrastructure capacities. The fourth part is dedicated to Open Access publishing practices, while a comprehensive review of WBC OA/OS resources is considered in the fifth part.

The review is structured into four sections, each shedding light on crucial aspects of open science. The initial section investigates Open Science /Open Access (OS/OA) policies in WBCs, providing a foundation for understanding the regulatory landscape. The second section delves into OS/OA repositories within the region, emphasizing the significance of digital platforms for research dissemination. The third section focuses on OA practices, elucidating the prevalence of national OA scientific journal in Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Additionally, a bibliometric analysis of OA publishing in the WBCs, based on Scopus-indexed articles since 2012, offers valuable insights into disciplinary representation in OA practices. The final section examines the intersection of OS/OA and public engagement, particularly within the realm of psychology. Highlighting examples from the STAR Center, this section showcases initiatives that contribute to the development of OS/OA policies, infrastructure, and practices in Serbia, underscoring the Center’s dedication to citizen science.

Key words: open science, open access, citizen science, keyword coincidence analysis, DOAJ

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