Estonia has 33 higher education institutions (Ministry of Education and Research, Estonia, 2010). Research is state funded and implemented through the Ministry of Education and Research (MED). OpenDOAR registers 5 OA repositories at University of Tartu Library (using DSpace); Arhiivikeskus (DSpace); Estonian National Library Archive (Fedora); Academic Library of Tallinn University (EPrints) and Digital Collection of Tallinn University of Technology Library. Initiatives for OA have been taken through the Consortium of Estonian Libraries Network (ELNET).

As of July 2015, there are 23 Estonian journals indexed on DOAJ. 3 institutional OA policies are registered in ROARMAP.

Enabling Environment:

There is a vibrant research community in Estonia. Initiatives for OA have been taken through the Consortium of Estonian Libraries Network (ELNET).

EU Structural Funds for research and development activities is governed by MER and managed by the Archimedes Foundation’s Implementing Agency of Structural Support.

The Estonian Research Information System (ETIS) is a national register which aggregates information on R&D institutions, researchers, projects and research results. In addition, ETIS also serves as an intermediary for the submission of applications and reports as well as the revision and approval thereof.

The research project "Development of research and innovation policies 2011-2015 in Estonia" at University of Tartu in cooperation with Tallinn University of Technology is aimed at analysis of the current situation in the field of Estonian research, including intellectual property, financing research etc and give the recommendations. National policy concerning OA will have to be developed and systematic financing will have to set up by the government.

Potential Barriers:

No national OA policy; no financial support for OA publishing; lack of awareness on OA/digital preservation among researchers and academics.

National and Institutional Level Policies/Mandates:

Estonia has neither a uniform open access policy nor a national-level official position concerning the publication of scientific research. Interest in the issue and a positive attitude towards it have been expressed, but any substantive decisions have not been made so far.

Details of Key Organizations:

Consortium of Estonian Libraries Network (ELNET)
Overview: Consoritium of 12 members aimed at sharing experience, resources and cooperative projects. In partnership with EIFL.

Communication address: ELNET, Tõnismägi 2, Tallinn, 10122, Estonia; e-mail: elnet(at)

University of Tartu Library
Overview: Institutional library and depository for research and theses. Library website has links to all major academic databases. Communication address: University of Tartu Library,   W.Struve 1,  Tartu 50091,  Estonia Phone: +372 7375 702; fax +372 7375 701, Email: library(at)

National Library of Estonia
Overview: Open Access digital depository since 2002.
Communication address: Eesti Rahvusraamatukogu , Tõnismägi 2, 15189 Tallinn, Estonia; e-mail: nlib(at)

Tallinn University Academic Library
Overview: Institutional digital depository with links to electronic databases of institutional and external resources such as Open Science Directory. Communication address: Academic Library of Tallinn University, Rävala Ave 10, 15042 Tallinn, Estonia; e-mail: tlulib(at)

Tallinn University of Technology
Overview: Institutional library and depository for theses; links to electronic research databases and journals. Communication address: Ehitajate tee 5,19086 Tallinn,Estonia; e-mail ttu(at)

Thematic Open Access projects/Initiatives

Since 2009, the University of Tartu Library  (UTL) has been leading open access (OA) initiatives in Estonia. In 2011 and 2013 EIFL supported (UTL) in a number of advocacy and awareness raising activities that led to more scholarly content and research being made available to the world. It also launched a website that provided information about OA in Estonian.

At the time, several institutions in Estonia had OA institutional repositories, but OA publishing was less common. In 2011, UTL initiated a national level discussion about OA among different stakeholders and contributed to the development of a positive brand for the UT OA institutional repository.

In 2012 UTL began a successful collaboration between the library and the University of Tartu Press (UTP) to promote and implement OA publishing in the university. As a result, all monographs published by the UTP have been made available in OA.

Also that year, due to UTL’s advocacy, the Estonian Research Council required making the articles, produced from publicly funded research, available for everyone. This indicates that there has been a significant change in the principles for giving out research grants in Estonia. However, a clear national OA policy has not been developed yet.

July 2013-January 2014: "Open Access and Open Data in Estonia Project".

The new Open access and open data at Tartu University (UT) project aimed to build on previous open access work in the country and to continue to formulate national OA policies and broaden OA discussions to include opening access to research data. The project also focused on educating researchers about the benefits of publishing in open access and making more research output available in the UTL repository.Main Activities were to:


  • Discuss a national OA policy
  • Raise awareness on open research data and opportunities it offers for creating an effective semantic web by linking publications and research data that are openly available       
  •  Raise awareness on publishing OA journals (via UTL OJS platform) and OA monographs (capitalizing on a strong partnerships with the UT press and OAPEN)       
  • Make research output available in the UTL repository


  • Policy change. OA principles have been added as underlying basis of the national Research Development and Innovation (RD&I) strategy "Knowledge Based Estonia 2014-2020 
  • An infrastructure set for researchers to share their open research data. UT joined DataCite and received funding from the Estonian government to improve the quality of research by enabling people to find, share, use, and cite research data (e.g. assign unique DOI numbers to data sets). And UTL has started developing a new web based workflow through which researchers can publish their data sets and make them openly available.
  • UTL has built support systems to assist researchers with depositing their publications in OA repository. A 28% increase in self-archiving after the trainings UTL provided. UT alumni have been reached out and over a hundred of them provided OA to their theses and dissertations
  • UTL consolidated publishing of OA journals and OA monographs. UTL has integrated five OA journals from other platforms and published two OA journals on OJS platform (a total number of OA journals now is 12). The UT Press has published 16 OA monographs, all of them are available at OAPEN platform and in DOAB.
  • A network of OA advocates. The project offered a platform for experts from different fields (researchers, universities, publishers, funders and policy makers) to exchange expertise, discuss implementation and practice OA.

OpenAIRE,  a three-year project, will establish the infrastructure for researchers to support them in complying with the EC OA pilot and the ERC Guidelines on Open Access.

Past and Future OA Related Activities:

October 2015: University of Tartu Library: “A three-step approach to practical trainings on open access policy development and Research Data Management (RDM)”. This was a FOSTER-supported training programme organized in partnership with EIFL with the aim of setting in place sustainable mechanisms for EU researchers to Foster Open Science. This was one of the 24 training programmes organized in 2015 for the the research communities of 17 other EU countries.

International Open Access Week celebrations:

  • 23 October, 2014: "Towards Linked Science- Open Data and DataCite Estonia"- Seminar and panel discussion. Topics discussed:
    • How and where are research data made accessible?
    • What are the benefits of the publication, linking and dissemination of research data?
    • Why did the University of Tartu join DataCite and what new possibilities will the new service of indexing research data offer to Estonian scientists?

The aim of the seminar was to give an overview of new trends in open research data publication and to introduce the DataCite Estonia project. Researchers, experts and science policy makers, as well as renowned specialists in the field from the UK, Germany and Canada, gave presentations and participated in the panel discussion.


Open Access Week 2010 saw a two-day conference at University of Tartu Library and the simultaneous launch of an informational open access website. This was a strong mark for open access and put the University of Tartu Library on the map of academic publishing in Estonia.  University of Tartu Library is now taking part in the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research programme for monitoring Estonian research policies. Furthermore, the University of Tartu Library has become the central institution for OA information and advice.

The Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) 3rd Conference on Open Access Scholarly Publishing (COASP 2011) was held in Tallinn, September 2011.

Open Access Week 2011 in Estonia will be celebrated with an international conference hosted by the University of Tartu Library, October 28, 2011: “Institutional repository as the basis of the promotion and implementation of open access principles”. The main topics of the conference are will be: the experience of different organizations and countries in implementing Open Access principles; Open Access regulations; Open Access in Estonia.
The conference will be preceded by a meeting for the representatives of Estonian libraries and museums. The events are organized within EIFL funded national open access advocacy campaign.

By the end of the year of 2011, the UTL will be able to offer means for OA publishing via the golden and the green road to OA and will have completed developments of its institutional repository in DSpace, as well as have the OJS platform established and functioning.

List of Publications

Open Access in Estonia by Elena Sipria-Mironov published in Sciecominfo Vol 10, No 2 (2014)

Epner, H Open Access and a University Library Sciecomm Info, Vol.5, 1 (2009)

Kretaviciene, M Open Access in the Baltic countries Sciecomm Info, Vol 4, No 1 (2008)

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