Serbia has an active scientific publishing environment. Most of 400 active professional journals have accepted OA as the publishing model. Full texts are available from Digital Repository of National Library of Serbia, where digital forms of all issues are deposited. Access is provided through DoiSerbia developed and maintained by  National Library of Serbia - KoBSON and SCIndeks: The Serbian Citation Index, developed and maintained by the Centre for Evaluation in Education and Science.

As of June 2015, DOAJ indexes 102 OA Serbian journals.

Eight OA digital repositories are registered in OpenDOAR. The Serbian Library Consortium for Coordinated Acquisition (KOBSON) is a member of EIFL.

Currently, no OA policies are registered in ROARMAP.

On September, 10th, 2014 the National Assembly adopted the law – OA mandate for PhD theses defended in all public and private universities in Serbia. A new OA mandate requires that every University must establish its OA repository, and the National OA PhD repository will be maintained by the Ministry.

Three institutions signed Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities:

    • University of Belgrade (on November 11, 2011),
    • University of Niš (on February 12, 2012) and
    • Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (on September 20, 2013)

The Consortium of all Universities (KONUS) requested Computer Center at University of Belgrade to help to establish repositories for those universities that don't have them yet. There are 16 universities in Serbia with PhD programmes and only five of them (four state universities and a private university) already have repositories.

Enabling Environment:

Membership of EIFL offers access to facilities and resources to develop and promote OA awareness. Active OA promotion through scientific publishing and indexing (SCIndeks).

Major Projects/Initiatives:


In Serbia majority of scientific journals are published by associations or institutions. Due to that it was reasonable for National Library of Serbia to take the initiative for DOI number and metadata assignment. In past few years whole DOI system has been tested and applied, and cooperation with CrossRef has been established. Ministry of science funded assigning DOI numbers for 61 Serbian scientific journals (cca 21500 articles), for the period 2002 to 2012. Number of journals included in DOI system is growing from year to year and also all articles from this journals are available online. In 2015, 29151 articles from 66 Serbian journals were published with DOIs on the OA portal: Serbia has shared  its positive experience with colleagues from Macedonia, Slovenia, Bosina & Hercegovina and Georgia. DOISerbia is internationally recognized. Read more in: CROSSref quarterly and on OAstories.

Having such a positive output – DOI became a magic word in the Serbian researchers community – in 2013, an EIFL -funded project was launched to assign DOIs to PhD theses. The aim of the project was to increase the number of OA theses and their discoverability.

Before the project started, there were four universities in Serbia with institutional repositories for OA theses. In 2012 EIFL provided financial support to the University of Belgrade – one of the largest universities in South Eastern Europe – to encourage students and professors of the University of Belgrade to comply with university administration's guidelines that encourage usage and production of OA research outputs. In particular, the mandatory submission of electronic versions of all PhD theses completed in 2012 and onwards to the OA repository.

June 2013-February 2014: The National Library of Serbia implemented the EIFL-funded project “My thesis is in open access, what about yours? DOISerbiaThesis” which had the following goals:

  • to fill existing University OA repositories with Phd theses;          
  • to promote OA among young researchers;     
  • to include Serbian theses in European and worldwide harvesters; and    
  • to disseminate Serbian theses to much larger audience.

Main Activities:

  • A series of meetings for the deans and librarians have been hosted to discuss copyright issues and OA policies and establish the project workflows;
  • Model documents (deposit agreements) have been produced for PhD authors. All mandatory fields of the deposit agreement (e.g. thesis title, author name, date, university, etc.) are extracted from the union catalogue (COBISS) and librarians just need to print the agreements and ask PhD authors to sign them.
  • The marketing campaign has been implemented to promote OA theses among PhD students. As a part of the marketing campaign transparent-orange tea cups have been designed and produced with the text “My thesis is in open access, what about yours?”.


  • A national OA portal of PhD theses and dissertations was launched and includes 1,013 OA PhD theses easily citable and searchable (with DOIs).     
  • Serbian theses are searchable on international OA theses portals such as DART Europe, OpenDOAR and OATD.          
  • Social network thumbnails have been added to each thesis so the altmetrics can be tracked – that cover not just citation counts, but also other aspects of the impact of a work, such as views, downloads, or mentions in social media and news media.     
  • The Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development suggested amendments to the Law on Higher Education in order to establish a national OA repository of theses.
  • Over 100 research managers, PhD students and librarians attended five project events and as a result there is a raised awareness about OA and more theses are available in OA.     
  • The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development (the Ministry) acknowledged the significance of the project and pledged to support the development of the project.          

SCIndeks: The Serbian Citation Index

SCIndeks is the Serbian national citation index, developed to serve as an add-on to the international (Thompson-ISI) citation indexes. It is indexing locally published journals classified as periodicals of scientific character. All of the journals listed are indexed on cover-to-cover basis. In addition to basic article descriptions, SCIndeks contains abstracts and references/citations (metadata) for all articles. Articles from the journals of a certain level of quality which accepted Open Access as a publishing model, are available as full texts.

Legal deposit of publication

Deposition of the digital copy of the printed publication, publisher can choose to depose it with the possibility of Open Access

National Library of Serbia and Matica Srpska Library

Number of deposits: 10200

In Open Access: 2500

“Nasi u FP”

In 2012 KoBSON consortium launched pilot project called “Nasi u FP” which has goal to gather all research papers published within FP projects funded by the European Commission. According to the rules laid down by the European Commission each paper (from seven research areas) published within FP7 has to be in OA.

International Projects

Promotion of Open Access at the University of Belgrade had a goal to promote Open Access and encourage populating newly established Digital Archive of the University of Belgrade, PHAIDRA University of Belgrade

Supporting Serbian journals publishers to switch to article processing charges OA model - a case study from Serbia - economic position of journal publishers struck by the budget crisis, so they can keep practicing OA publishing (CEON)

New Library Services at Western Balkan Universities - had a goal to implement new library ILS service – COBISS 3 and to establish the system for archiving and use of digital objects (Tempus - 3 Serbian Universities)

Open Access Data Sets

The importance of preserving and re-using primary data is recognised by three groups, which gained their experiences through participation in the following projects:

  1. Support for Establishment of National/Regional Social Sciences Data, SERCIDA
  2. Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network, Serbian Public Data in the LOD cloud 
  3. Spatial data sets for Serbia 

Details of Key Organizations:

Serbian Library Consortium for Coordinated Acquisition (KOBSON)

Overview: Collective access to e-resources, education and training to librarians and end-users, marketing of and advocacy for libraries, advocacy for open access, general and technical support, management of other information technology infrastructure. KoBSON office is part of National Library of Serbia.

Communication: KoBSON - National Library of Serbia, Skerliceva 1, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia; e-mail: kobson(at)

National Library of Serbia

Overview: Collects and disseminates information; houses materials from (14th to present day; participates in the Virtual Library of Serbia Project (VLS). Promotion of local content.

Communication: National Library of Serbia, Skerliceva 1, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia; e-mail: nbs(at)

Centre for Evaluation in Education and Science (CEON/CEES)

Overview: CEES is developing informetric methods for evaluation of various academic entities. Along with National Library of Serbia is publishing SCIndeks: the national citation index and full text database. Strongly advocates for Open Access within both admission policy and selection of journals for international promotion. Two main CEES's products, SCIndeks and Journal Bibliometric Report, are also accessible under OA. Within a project supported by Information programme, Open Society Foundations, CEES provides know-how and technology to journals willing to switch to an OA model enabling them to collect processing charges from authors, their institutions, and funders.

Communication: Jurija Gagarina 111, 11070 Belgrade, Serbia ; e-mail : ceon(at)


Past and Future OA Related Activities:

28 October 2014: FOSTER organized an Open Access Training Session for Psychology Students. The FOSTER project rann three training sessions on open access at the Joint Executive Board and Member Representatives’ Meeting of the European Federation of Psychology Students’ Associations (EFPSA). The training helped students to foster open science in their daily workflows, supporting EU objectives on responsible research and innovation and optimising research visibility. The training was held in Dobra Voda, Serbia.

Open Access workshops have been organised through cooperation of KOBSON and CEES since 2003. From 2012 on CEES will continue to hold meetings in the form of an international conference.

25 October 2013:: OA Week at University of Belgrade-

2012 In October Serbian Librarian Association Conference with OA as a topic (librarian oriented)

2012 BOAC :  Fifth Belgrade International Open Access Conference

2011 CEES's project on journals switching to the authors charging model

2009 SSTBI'09: System of Scientific, Technologic and Business Information

2006 SSTBI'06: System of Scientific, Technologic and Business Information: Status and Perspective

2005 Open Access Citation Indexes

2003 Open Access to the Archives of Scientific and Professional Papers: From Idea to Realization

Potential Barriers:

Lack of knowledge in the researcher community about all the benefits (for them and for the country).

Librarians are familiar with the OA phrase but they don’t know the full meaning (curriculum).

Unclear mandate for OA.

University Library “Svetozar Markovic” organized a series of lectures and activities during this week with the goal of promoting principles of open access to information. Topics covered included:

  • OA Data Sets: World and Serbian Scientific Communication by Biljana Kosanovic, KoBSON
  • Copyright legal innovations and Creative Commons by Nevenka Antic, CC Serbia Legal Project Lead
  • Predator journals as a Trojan horse of OA by PhD Stela Filipi Matutinovic, University Library of Belgrade
  • E-thesis at the University of Belgrade, PhD Dragana Stolic, University Library of Belgrade

Honorary titles were also awarded “Аrchоnt of Open Access at the University of Belgrade” to researchers and librarians of the University of Belgrade. Honorary title “Archont of Open Access at the University of Belgrade” is an award given by the University Library in Belgrade to individuals working within the University of Belgrade for their remarkable potential and professional capacity in promotion of Open Access to scientific information today and in future.

List of Publications

January 2015: EIFL Open Access Case Study- "My thesis is in open access, what about yours? DOISerbiaThesis"; Biljana Kosanovic, National Library of Serbia – Department of Scientific Information / KoBSON / University of Belgrade (Computer center); Results of the EIFL-funded project.

September 19, 2013: Open Access in Serbia: Interview with Biljana Kosanović; posted on

Kosanović Biljana (2008) Open Access in Serbia: KoBSON, DOI, SCIndeks, Fourth International Conference e-Society.Mk: ICT in Education, December 10, Skopje, Macedonia.

Hageman M. (2006) OSI and eIFL’s work to promote open access to scholarly communications. Infoteka, 7(1-2): 27-31

Šipka Pero (2005) The Serbian Citation Index: Context and content Proceedings of ISSI 2005 - the 10th International Conference of the Information Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics, Stockholm, Sweden, July 24-28, Vol. 2: 710-11

Mazić B. (2005) Open Archive Initiative (OAI), Infoteka, 6(3): 197-204

Comba, V (2004) Trends in digital libraries and scholarly communication
among European Academic Research Libraries.
California Digital Libraries Discussion Group.

Jaćimović Jelena (2011) Publikovanje u otvorenom pristupu: Istraživanje stavova akademske zajednice Stomatološkog fakulteta Univerziteta u Beogradu, Bibliotekarsko društvo Srbije – X Međunarodna konferencija

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