Estonia - Open science country note

Open science and the national context

The Estonian research, development and innovation strategy, 2014-20, titled Knowledge-based Estonia, encourages open access to the output of publicly funded research and the further development of information systems. The goal is to enable all stakeholders (including government agencies and the business sector) to find information on the output of research activity and funded research projects.

The regulations on institutional research funding (established by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research) and on personal research funding (the Estonian Research Agency) stipulate that any publications arising from a supported research project or research grant must be deposited into the national Current Research Information Systems (CRIS) the Estonian Research Information System, ETIS. Researchers are responsible for providing the publication metadata (i.e. journal name, title, author list, volume, issue, page numbers, etc.) and a copy of the publication immediately. Self-archiving of the full texts of publications is mandatory, but access can be restricted to internal use until the end of the publisher’s embargo. The length of the embargo depends on publishers and publication channels; at present it is not set by the funder.

Researchers are free to choose their publication channels; there is no pressure to publish in so-called “gold open access” journals. Impact factors of journals are not taken into account when evaluating the output of research institutions or individual researchers. Open access policy has no direct impact on researchers’ careers.

A draft version of a green paper on open data in the public sector has been sent for public consultation in April 2014 by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

Open science research and innovation actors

The Estonian Research Council – Open access publishing costs are eligible to be part of project funding (the budget is not determined).

The Ministry of Education and Research – Open access publishing costs are eligible to be part of project funding (budget is not determined); the ministry allocated EUR 250 000 for the creation of the DataCite Estonia platform.

The Core Facilities financing instrument – provides national funding for the running and maintenance costs of the research infrastructures (RIs) listed in National RI Roadmap and funded by EU Structural Funds. Funding is in principle allocated on a five-year basis, with a yearly call for submitting new (need-based) budgets. The Core Facilities instrument has a budget of around EUR 500 000 million per year.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications – has sent for public consultation a draft version of a green paper on open data in the public sector).

Public universities and public research organisations – participate co-ordinating their activities with several national and European RI networks.

Policy design - Open data

To date, no general policy on open access to research data has been elaborated. As mentioned above, a draft version of a green paper on open data in the public sector was sent (in April 2014) for public consultation by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

In 2010 Estonia adopted its first National Research Infrastructure (RI) Roadmap, which lists RIs of national importance. The Roadmap includes also RIs that intend to develop e-infrastructures for the dissemination of research data. The Natural History Archives and Information Network (NATARC) develops the structure of repositories and provides services and value tools for digital natural history collections. The Estonian e-Repository and Conservation of Collections (E-varamu) aims to improve the capabilities of University libraries in preserving and digitising research information, and to develop a search portal for accessing scientific information. The Estonian Centre for Genomics is in charge of developing IT infrastructure for the Estonian National Gene Bank. The National RI Roadmap objects are financed by EU Structural Funds (European Regional Development Fund, ERDF) to the end of 2015.

Policy design- Open/increasing access to scientific publications

Uptake of the policies can be tracked in the Estonian Research Information System. Self-archiving of the full text of publications is the prerequisite to submitting the final reports of grants and research projects.

There are no specific funding allocations for open access publications. The article processing charges can be reimbursed through research grants. Investments will be made to develop the new version of ETIS (CRIS), to make it compatible with the Open Archives Initiative-Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH).

The Estonian open access journals are subsidised by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research.

Access to the e-journal collections of major publishers is licensed on the national level and funded by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research.

Implementation of open access policy has not changed the system for evaluating careers and grants.

As yet no general policy on the curation or long-term preservation of research results has been elaborated.

Open science and international co-operation

Estonian National Research Infrastructures (RIs) are actively integrating their activities with several European RI networks, such as the Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI), European Infrastructure for Translational Medicine (EATRIS), the European Social Survey, European Life-sciences Infrastructure for Biological Information (ELIXIR), and language technology infrastructure (CLARIN, Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure).

In December 2013, the Estonian Ministry for Education and Research allocated EUR 250 000 for the creation of the DataCite Estonia platform. The University of Tartu has submitted an application for membership to the DataCite international consortium, and the platform is expected to be operational by mid-2014.

Estonia participates in several multi-stakeholder dialogues, such as the following.

The Digital ERA (European Research Area) Forum – which will provide a platform for regular exchange on and reporting of national developments on the provision, take-up and use of digital research services and sharing of best practices. The Forum aims to support collaboration on and access to scientific information in a digital era.

The OECD Working Party on Innovation and Technology Policy (TIP) project on open science – which aims to assess research on and the economic impacts of open science and open data, and to identify the policy implications. The project is conducted in close connection with other ongoing DSTI projects and brings together experts and stakeholders from different communities to present evidence on emerging open access and open data schemes, sustainable open science models, and indicators to assess impacts.

Open Access to Research Publications – one of the priority action areas of the Science Europe roadmap. The role of its working group is to support implementation of the Science Europe position statement, Principles on the Transition to Open Access to Research Publications. The overall objective remains to move from a subscription-based “reader pays” system to different business models for research publications.

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