Armenia

Armenia has 22 state higher education institutions; 4 universities and 40 private higher education institutions.

As of July 2015, there are 2 OA digital repositories indexed in OpenDOAR, the Armenian Research and Academic Repository and the Digital Repository of the Institute of Radiophysics and Electronics, Armenian National Academy of Sciences.  It includes 20 academic journals (more than 2000 issues, 32 thousand articles and 250 thousand pages). Time period from 1940 till now. 3 of these journals are registered in DOAJ and ROAD. All materials are copyrighted under “Creative Commons Attribution” licensing agreement. Since 2011 first institutional repository  started. Main purpose is publishing preprints, PhD and Doctoral level theses and periodic Conference Proceedings.

Enabling Environment:

OA promotion and awareness is taking place through the Electronic Library Consortium of Armenia (ELCA), a representative group of 49 university, public, research, special and NGO libraries that has membership of EIFL.  

A significant achievement during the last decade was the conversion of 20 major scholarly journals into open access in 2010.

 

Potential Barriers:

There is no legal obstacle; all academic periodicals are already licensed under “CreativeCommons Attribution” agreement. Main requirement is the quality of publications. OA concept and the publication quality are closely interconnected. One indirect outcome of OA is “socialization” of researches and researchers, which inherently increases the quality and technically allows evaluating the significance of the research by means of calculating statistical cross-reference rate. Vice versa is also true. One of academic journals “Historical-Philological Journal” contains high-rate best armenology articles starting from 1940. For example, many archaeological pioneer articles have been published there and are devoted to excavations in the ancient historical period in territory of Armenia. Visiting rate of this journal is the highest among other periodicals. OA contributes to the quality and vice versa.

Desired Developments

There are several types of desired activity

  • Managerial. Ministry of Education and Science should oblige the research and higher education institutions to deposit articles in OA repositories
  • Technological. Current technological developments are mainly connected with bibliographic harvesting and aggregation from different repositories which will allow to develop unified engine for search and cross-referencing evaluation. Now such feature is somehow enabled thanks to Google engine, but sometimes it doesn’t allow to make more complicated evaluations. VuFind opens such promising perspective.
  • Maintenance. Huge growing volume of articles in OA repositories (120Gb in mid 2012) requires adequate maintenance as national treasure object. In 2012 the migration process to modern server platform is started. Periodic monthly full backups are implemented.

Critical Success Factors

  • Collecting enough number repositories. This requires much human resources for successful implementation.
  • Decision of the Higher Certifying Commission of the Government to allow publication of articles for PhD and Doctoral levels in OA fully electronic journals. The Commission has included two Armenian OA journals in official “white” list.
  • Presence of high-end national academic periodicals, and “enforcement” of legal copyright migration to “Creative Commons Attribution”

Major Projects/Initiatives:

An Open Access Portal has been developed that covers Open Access activities in Armenia and consists of the sections: Events; Journals, Open Access Institutional Repositories and a portal-wide search. 

“Develompent of an Open Access based Scholarly Communication System for the National Academic Community” (Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation, 2007)

“Building Networked Content Creation Centre for Distance Learning Programs” (NATO Science for Peace and Security, 2010)

“Obtaining of Automatic Scanning Device” (NATO Science for Peace and Security, 2011)

 

“Establishing a Content Creation Center in the Fundamental Scientific Library of the National Academy of Sciences” (Internet Society, ISOC, 2012)

 

June 2013- March 2014: The Electronic Library Consortium of Armenia (ELCA) implemented an EIFL-funded project: 'Promoting open access in the Armenian research and education communities'. The project included researchers and students in universities and research organizations, as well as journal editors and publishers. Main activities included:

 

  • Hosting workshops on open access in research centres and major universities across Armenia.
  • Developing information materials about open access and launching a web-portal about open access.
  • Encouraging more students and researchers to become involved in the open access movement, for example, by publishing more articles in open access journals.
  • Encouraging Armenian journal editors and publishers to use Creative Commons licences.

Achievements:

  • Developed an open access portal that includes information about open access events; open access journals, and open access institutional repositories (of the Institute of Radiophysics and the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography).  
  • Built open access capacity and raised awareness: over 170 researchers, research managers, students and librarians attended a series of workshops in five major regions of Armenia: Yerevan, Lori, Shirak, Tavush and Syuniq. Most students had never heard of open access before; many are now committed to practising open access.     
  • Raised awareness on Creative Commons licences: all Armenian open access journals are published under Creative Commons Attribution licence. The National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia also plans to publish open access books under this licence.

In July 2015 EIFL announced a new six-month project, ‘Enabling Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations as High Priority Scholarly Resources for Armenian Research and Education Communities’. The project will result in development of Armenia’s first national open access (OA) Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD) repository. The repository will be created in a format that is accessible on computers and mobile digital devices.

 

National and Institutional Level Policies/Mandates:

There is currently no national OA policy and no funders' OA mandates/ institutional OA policies registered in ROARMAP/ MELIBEA and SHERPA/JULIET.

Details of Key Organizations:

Electronic Library Consortium of Armenia (ELCA)
Overview: ECLA represents Armenian libraries and aims to promote and facilitate OA in Armenia.

OA mandate: Promotion and development of OA.

Major players

·         Fundamental library of Armenian Academy of Sciences

·         National Library of Armenia

·         Library of Yerevan State University

·         Library of American University of Armenia

Thematic Open Access projects/Initiatives

None identified.

Past and Future OA Related Activities:

21- 25 October 2013: Electronic Library Consortium of Armenia (ELCA) celebrated International Open Access Week with a series of Open Access workshops in Yerevan and Ashtarak.

In 2007 National Academy of Sciences of Armenia supported by the Open Society Assistance Foundation created a platform for high quality newly launched Open Access journals.

In 2008, eIFL.net, Fundamental Scientific Library of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia and Electronic Library Consortium of Armenia (ELCA) organized Open Access Awareness Raising workshop in Yerevan. Following the workshop there are future plans to publish more OA journals and develop an OA strategy.

In 2012 General Assembly of eIFL took place in Yerevan jointly with National Library of Armenia. OA development  is one of strategic directions of eIFL.

 

List of Publications

Zargaryan, T (2007) Armenian libraries on the threshold of a digital era: Fifteen years of library automation in Armenia International cataloguing and bibliographic control  Vol. 36, 1: 8-11.
Zargaryan, T and Hopkinson, A (2009) Scientific publishing in Armenia. European Science Editing, 35 (2) 43-44. Open Access.

A.Donabedian, J.Carey and A.Balayan – “Twenty Years After: Armenian Research Libraries Today”, Liber Quarterly, vol.22, no.1 (2012) pp.3–41.

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