Trends in Academic and Research Libraries in Estonia

In 2017, under the supervision of Estonian Research Council, two research groups from the University of Tartu and Tallinn University in cooperation with the Estonian Academy of Sciences conducted research (surveys) on Open Science approaches in Estonia. Work of these working groups was supported by RITA programm.

The survey led by the University of Tartu: Kelli, A., Mets, T., Vider, K., Kull, I. (2017) Open Science in Estonia and Europe: Legal and Socio-Economic Aspects. Tartu: University of Tartu (in Estonian, executive summary in English on pages 6-9).
The focus of the research was open science issues, open access publishing, open data and socio-economic impact of open science in general. The report found out following statistics about Estonian research: Estonia spends about 4 million euros every year on research databases licenses. Estonians publish 35 OA international journals. “The system of open science is still only being devised in Estonia, requiring approximately 0.7 million euros per year for 2018/2019.” The report came up with various conclusions and recommendations for previously mentioned topics.

The survey led by Tallinn University,: Toom, K., Olesk, A., Ruusalepp, R., Kaal, E., Mandre, S., Vaikmäe, R. (2017) Open Science in Estonia and Europe: Possibilities and Potential from the Viewpoint of Different Target Groups. Tallinn: Tallinn University and Estonian Academy of Sciences (in Estonian, executive summary in English on pages 12-16). This one focused on open science trends and placing it in the context of Estonian sciences and state needs. The report describes the roles what R&D institutions, the State and researchers play in shaping the Estonian Open Science principles and analysis show the “societal profit of Open Science from the viewpoint of different target groups.” In 2017, (21 March – 3 April), a web survey was conducted for the purpose of this research. Out of 4033 researchers, 671 respondents filled out the survey. Based on these results, it can be said that respondents viewed Open Science in a positive way. Open Access to publications was perceived as profitable for science. Respondents indicated two major problems when it came to publishing in Open Access journals: quality of OA journals and funding  publishing in these journals.  The report brought out lack of organized preservation of research data. Most researchers still keep their data in their personal devices; however, they showed interest in intuitional and national data repositories as well as raising awareness of options of data storage.

In October 2017, the Centre for Ethics, University of Tartu, in cooperation with a working group appointed by the Estonian Research Council published ´The Code of Conduct for Research Integrity.` The Code states that researchers should prefer publishing in Open Access journals if all other conditions are equal and they should publish research results in a way that the public would gain access to it. Most Estonian universities have a requirement to deposit university’s theses and dissertations in their institutional repositories and make it publicly available (Green Open Access).´Estonian Code of Conduct for Research Integrity` (cross-disciplinary) states that it is the duty of the researcher to provide as broad access to their research data as laws and regulations allow. In addition, the researcher has to ensure that the research data is findable and usable as easily as possible – referring to FAIR data.

Liisi Lembinen, Director of development, University of Tartu Library
Tiiu Tarkpea, Data Librarian, University of Tartu Library

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