Latvia has 5 universities and 26 scientific institutes that are integrated into universities. The country is beginning to develop OA initiatives.
The University of Latvia hosts a science depository: SciRePrints is planning a university depository and promotes OA ideas. Latvia is in partnership with eIFL and has 2 journals indexed in DOAJ.
The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia on 26th April 2011 (Minute No. 27, 34 §) has approved the National Reform Programme of Latvia for the Implementation of the “Europe 2020” strategy. One of the directions of this macro-structural economy strategic document is initiative “Digital Agenda for Europe”, which aims for determination of cultural digital content and services high-availability standards.
“Law on Scientific Activity” Paragraph 9 says that information on scientific research financed by the state or municipality has to be made publicly available, and access to the research outcomes (if access to this information is not limited by the law) should be provided by the institution, which commissioned this research.
“Law on Higher Education Establishments” Paragraph 62 says that the academic staff of higher education institutions has to publish their research results and institutions of higher education have to publish informative research summaries on the institution’s website.
In “Guidelines of the Science and Technology Development for 2009-2013” is defined that the main objective of science and technology development policy is to develop science and technology as the civil society, economy and culture long-term development basis, ensuring the implementation of the knowledge economy and its sustainable growth. This objective could be achieved by implementing the following tasks:
- Promoting scientific activity intellectual potential and infrastructure renewal and development, making universities internationally competitive Science and Technology Development centres, that also develops their cooperation partners – higher education institutions in the regions, supporting other public and private research institutions;
- Ensuring essential government investments in science and technology development, to achieve that funding allocation mechanism enables increase of private sector involvement;
- Promoting scientific activity competitiveness at international level, enabling international cooperation in the field of science and technology development;
- Promoting knowledge and technology transfer, creating an innovation-friendly institutional environment and support measures, stimulating public-private partnership.
There are two indicators of the first guidelines task implementation:
- Peer-reviewed scientific publications increase by ¼ a year in the international databases: “Web of Knowledge”, “Scopus”, “ISI SCI” (Institute of Scientific Information Science Citation Index), “SSCI” (Social Sciences Citation Index), “A&HCI” (Arts & Humanities Citation Index) and other leading industry databases;
- wide range of research publications with higher than average citation index.
Possible action for achieving guidelines goals and objectives is to develop a draft of Regulations (for the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia) on intellectual property that was made as a result of the publicly funded research activities, and to make corresponding legislative delegation arrangements and procedures for using rights delegated to scientific institutions. These regulations have not been developed yet. Other actions that are related to the access to scientific information:
- Promoting the scientific and business awareness of intellectual property and its protection issues;
- Improving existing government support programmes and developing new support measures for the knowledge and technology transfer;
- Providing the awareness of Latvian researches and their competitiveness at international level;
- Rousing interest of enterprises to use national scientific potential.
National legislation does not specify how the research results should be provided. Legislation also does not require public access to the state or municipality funded research data. Access to scientific information is not mentioned in guidelines goals and objectives, nor in courses of action, nor in indicators of implementation of goals and objectives. Only indicators of the successful implementation of the guidelines and actions related to the scientific information are: international recognition of Latvian research, publishing of scientific publications at the leading industry’s databases and citation of these publications. Guidelines highlights the importance of the efficient copyright use, as well as the need to promote enterprises’ interest on the scientific potential that is in odds with the widespread availability of the scientific information and is based on commercial information dissemination model. So it can be concluded that the government has no clear policy on publication of the publicly funded research outcomes, research data dissemination and availability.
Few initiatives that focus on higher availability of the scientific information are initiated by the institutions and implemented as the part of the project. Library of the University of Latvia is a partner of the EC Seventh Framework Programme project “OpenAIRE”, which aims to promote Open Access best practices. During this project University Library organizes annual thematic conference, serves as the local Open Access contact point and helps researchers to deposit their publications. University Library has implemented EIFL-funded project: “Information about Open Access movement and resources in the University of Latvia”, which was implemented to inform University staff about the Open Access movement and resources. University Library has also initiated establishment of the institutional repository where University researchers could deposit their publications. Riga Technical University has established its own repository. The National Library of Latvia has established Academic repository that is open for all Latvian higher education and research institutions publications.
Concept of Latvian academic core network intends development of the system for publishing newly created national content and ensuring its dissemination, coordinated by the Riga Technical University. It is planned to create a tool that would provide options for simple and affordable digital content repository development, editing and maintenance, as well as for providing global access to scientific research, promoting institutions scientific achievements and helping to evaluate and manage institutions scientific activities. This tool would also store in one place all institutions digital documents and preserve other digital materials, including non-published documents and “grey literature”. The concept proposes establishment of a national-scale scientific information portal that would aggregate information from the national Open Access repositories. Precondition for fulfilment of this task is an institutional Open Access repository establishment, as aforementioned, has been done only by the University of Latvia, the National Library of Latvia and the Riga Technical University.
The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia has established a workgroup that is developing guidelines for digital cultural heritage. One of the main objectives described in these guidelines is development of infrastructure for any kind of digital content, including scientific publications and research data, their long-term preservation and online availability. It is expected that implementation of these guidelines will facilitate scientific information preservation and availability planning and implementation at the national level; depositing, identification and fair use of materials, as well as use of this information in the European projects, including “Europeana” and “OpenAIRE”. In order to avoid duplication of work, this task should be completed in the context with aforementioned Latvian academic core network concept.
At the moment all Latvian initiatives are focused only on the implementation of so-called “green open access” model, creating institutional repositories and practising national-scale collaboration. For the implementation of the “gold open access” model we should start the discussion and evaluation of possibilities of Latvian scientific institutions to undertake (despite the current economic situation) additional economic burden that will be initiated by the “gold open access” model.
Culture Information Systems, a consortium of 43 members representing academic, special, government and public libraries aims at sharing information on library development and training, promotion of services, digitalisation projects and electronic licensing issues. It is in partnership with EIFL and has an OA representative.
Details of Key Organizations:
Culture Information Systems
Overview: Library consortium of 43 members aimed at library and information service development and is in partnership with EIFL. Communication address: e-mail: agrita.sagalajeva(at)kis.gov.lv
National Library of Latvia (NLL)
Overview: The NLL is the main centre for libraries and library development in the country, providing services to Parliament and the public. It is aims to provide a national bibliography and contains all material relating to Latvia and its culture. NLL has a digital library Latvian Digital Library "Letonica", currently holding newspapers, maps, books, sheet music and audio recordings.
Communication address: The National Library of Latvia, 14 K. Barona Street, Riga, LV 1423 Latvia; e-mail: lnb(at)lnb.lv
University of Latvia
Overview: The country’s largest university and research institution and has made the Scientific Papers of the University freely available using the University available Theses of the University of Latvia are also deposited and available in a database. The University advocates OA, is planning an institutional depository and has co-hosted an OA seminar (with EIFL and Culture Information Systems).
Communication address: University of Latvia, 4 Kalpaka Blvd., Riga, LV-1820.; e-mail: info-bibl(at)lu.lv; Skype: LU Bibliotēkas konsultants
Thematic Open Access projects/Initiatives
SciRePrints is a self-archiving OA repository on issues aimed at furthering the dialogue between religion and science. It is hosted by the University of Latvia.
Past and Future OA Related Activities:
The Open Access: Maximising Research Quality and Impact seminar which took place at the University of Latvia on 22 October 2009, organised by the University of Latvia (LU), the State agency "Culture information systems" (KIS), and eIFL.net that opened up the debate on OA in Latvia.
List of Publications
Kretaviciene, M (2008) Open Access in the Baltic countries ScieCom Info Vol 4, 1.
Kuchma, I (2009) Open Access: Maximising Research Quality and Impact seminar ScieCom Info Vol 5, 4.