Open Access in the Czech Republic

National Open Access Policy

The national Open Access policy is handled by the Governmental Office for Science, Research and Innovations (The Office). On February 28, 2014, Recommendations for Open Access issued by the Working Committee for Open Access chaired by professor Haňka were approved by the Office. The Committee recommends to adopt a Czech National Open Access Strategy in correspondence to the European Commission Recommendation on access to and preservation of scientific information.

According to these policies:
1. Research organizations should:

  • cooperate on formulating and adopting national OA policy,
  • support an implementation of institutional repositories to archive research outputs and open data,
  • define responsibilities for researchers in terms of Open Access publishing.

2. Funding agencies should require open access to research output supported by public budget.

On June 14, 2017, the Czech National Strategy for Open Access to Research Information for 2017-2020 has been approved by the Government of the Czech Republic. The resolution commits the Deputy Prime Minister for the Science, Research and Innovation to work out an Action Plan for the Czech National Strategy for Open Access to Research Information by December 31, 2017.

On 29 April 2019, the Czech Government approved an Action Plan for the Implementation of the National Strategy of the Czech Republic’s Open Access to Scientific Information for 2017–2020.

Institutional Open Access Policy

Individual institutions express their support to open access to research results by signing the Berlin declaration. Czech signatories are displayed in the Signatories from Czech Republic box.
On behalf of all member universities, the Declaration was signed by the Association of Libraries of Czech Universities (ALCU) in 2012.

Green Open Access

Where institutional OA policies are in effect, self-archiving in institutional repositories, i.e. the Green Open Access, is primarily supported.
Institutional OA policies have been adopted by the Czech Academy of Sciences and by the Brno University of Technology.

Further universities, e.g. Masaryk University (Czech only), or Tomas Bata University in Zlín have their support to self-archiving declared through rectors’ directives as well as at the University of Pardubice and at the VŠB – Technical University of Ostrava, however their rectors’ directives are not publicly available. Tomas Bata University in Zlín has accepted a mandatory policy, i.e. authors are obliged to archive full texts of their publications in the institutional repository. Masaryk University has initially also accepted a mandatory policy, however upon complains by individual faculties, the policy has been modified to optional with the fact that faculties themselves choose which type of policy they prefer. These examples reveal that most institutional policies are issued as rectors’ directives. Other examples reveal that OA policies might be adopted as a part of a more general document, e.g. the university publisher’s policy, e.g. the Editorial policy at the Charles University (Czech only). It is mostly libraries that are appointed to implement open access policies. Libraries also lead initiatives to run institutional repositories, to administer local CRIS systems, and promote Open Access to scientific literature.

As of the end of 2015, institutional repositories have been implemented and run at 11 institutions. The most commonly used software platform is DSpace.

Gold Open Access

The majority of universities and institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences as well as further institutions publish their own content in Open Access. DOAJ currently lists 84 Czech journals. There are also Gold OA funds at several institutions, e.g. Brno University of Technology, and at the University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague. These funds are intended to cover Article Processing Charges (APCs) in fully OA journals.
The Czech Academy of Sciences terminated providing Gold OA fund in 2014.

Funders’ Open Access Policy

It is funders who significantly contribute to the implementation of OA principles worldwide, e.g. Welcome Trust in Great Britain, or National Institutes of Health in the USA. Such a support is missing in the Czech Republic. One of the Czech the major funders, the Czech Science Foundation (GA CR), has signed the Berlin Declaration in 2008, however it does not explicitly require recipients to provide open access to their publications. It seems that European Union has become the key motivator in terms of providing open access to scientific outputs. The EU policy of open access to publications and research data in the current Horizon2020 program highly influences publishing practices and open access to scientific publications in all member states.

Significant Events

To support Open Access, and to increase the awareness of open access and its principles among the academic community, university management and other policy makers, these events have taken place:

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