Research Data Management in the Croatian Academic Community: A Research Study

Author : Radovan Vrana

This paper presents the results of an empirical research study of Croatian scientists’ use and management of research data. This research study was carried out from 28 June 2023 until 31 August 2023 using an online questionnaire consisting of 28 questions. The answers of 584 respondents working in science were filtered out for further analysis. About three-quarters of the respondents used the research data of other scientists successfully. Research data were mostly acquired from colleagues from the same department or institution.

Roughly half of the respondents did not ask other scientists directly for their research data. Research data are important to the respondents mostly for raising the quality of research. Repeating someone else’s research by using their research data is still a problem. Less than one-third of the respondents provided full access to their research data mostly due to their fear of misuse.

The benefits of research data sharing were recognized but few of the respondents received any reward for it. Archiving research data is a significant problem for the respondents as they dominantly use their own computers prone to failure for that activity and do not think about long-term preservation. Finally, the respondents lacked deeper knowledge of research data management.

URL : Research Data Management in the Croatian Academic Community: A Research Study


The Role of Academic Libraries in Scientific Production Evaluation – the Experience of University of Zagreb, Croatia

Authors : Branka Marijanović, Tatijana Petrić, Zrinka Udiljak Bugarinovski, Višnja Novosel

Since internationally visible scientific productivity is a criterion for state evaluation of Croatian academic and scientific institutions and their scientists, Croatian academic libraries have a key role in quantitative evaluation of scientific productivity using methods such as bibliometrics, scientometrics and the like.

The aim of this case study is to identify and illustrate the current situation of library services for evaluating scientific production at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and to make recommendations for the further development of such services, which could serve as a framework for the systematic implementation of this type of service in all libraries at the University of Zagreb and beyond.

More specifically, the purpose of this paper was to identify the existence of the bibliometric services in the libraries of the University of Zagreb (UNIZG), examine the status and involvement of university librarians in the academic advancement procedures and to identify the required competences for bibliometric experts in Croatia.

The research was conducted using the content analysis method, the survey method, and the focus group method. The research results show that although UNIZG libraries are integrated into the system of academic promotion and the role of UNIZG libraries is enshrined in Croatian regulations, the bibliometric service is not standardised at the University level.

The results also indicate that the service needs to be strengthened in terms of training of professional staff and greater investment in staff capacity and infrastructure.

The fact that the study was conducted at a single Croatian university is a possible limitation that could relate to the application of guidelines for further actions and the development of bibliometric services at national level. It would therefore be desirable to conduct future research to identify the situation at other Croatian universities as well.

It would also be necessary to determine the open science and open access policies at UNIZG through further research and, in this context, to establish guidelines for possible improvements in the processes of evaluating scientific productivity.

The results of this study make an important contribution to the possible future positioning of university libraries and UNIZG librarians in the process of evaluating scientific productivity. In addition, some practical advice is given so that this case study may be a good introductory overview for the wider academic community in relation to this topic.

URL : The Role of Academic Libraries in Scientific Production Evaluation – the Experience of University of Zagreb, Croatia


The Landscape of Scholarly Book Publishing in Croatia: Finding Pathways for Viable Open Access Models

Author : Iva Melinščak Zlodi

1) Background: Open access to scholarly works is globally recognized as a goal to be achieved as soon as possible; however, there is not yet a general understanding of how to achieve open access for books. In considering the most appropriate models of transition, an accurate and detailed insight into national and regional specifics can be of great importance.

The aim of this research is to show the current state of scholarly book publishing in Croatia: recognising the key stakeholders, their characteristics, and the current level of open access to scholarly books.

(2) Methods: The existing data from two different sources were used: the data about the public subsidies for book publishers by the Ministry of Science and Education and the data on published books from the Croatian Scientific Bibliography CROSBI, both for the period from 2018 to 2021.

(3) Results: In the four-year period, 224 Croatian publishers were awarded subsidies to publish 2359 book titles. The majority of the publishers received support for only a small number of titles and relatively low amounts of subsidies. More than half of the titles are published by small private commercial publishers.

However, the uptake of digital publishing among commercial publishers is very modest. Open access to scholarly books is almost entirely in the domain of non-commercial publishers. Most open access titles are available on the websites of their publishers.

(4) Conclusions: The analysis of the data from these two sources have resulted in an overview of the current state of book publishing in Croatia. Such an overview provides a good basis for designing future measures and creating a national open science plan and can also be a useful contribution to international discussions.

URL : The Landscape of Scholarly Book Publishing in Croatia: Finding Pathways for Viable Open Access Models


Role of a Croatian National Repository Infrastructure in Promotion and Support of Research Data Management

Authors : Kristina Posavec, Draženko Celjak, Ljiljana Jertec Musap

The paper will give an overview of national infrastructure for digital repositories, Digital Academic Archives and Repositories (DABAR), and its role as technology steward in raising awareness about research data management (RDM) and promoting good practices in the Croatian A&R community.

The University of Zagreb, University Computing Centre (SRCE) is providing national infrastructure DABAR suitable for storing and dissemination of different types of digital objects. Through DABAR, all Croatian higher education and research institutions can establish their digital repository.

A strong collaboration between SRCEs DABAR team and institutions repository managers has proven to be important in the process of disseminating knowledge about research data management among researchers and the scientific community at large.

The paper will provide information about this collaboration during the project RDA Europe 4.0 – The European plug-in to the global Research Data Alliance (RDA). The main goal of this collaboration is to raise awareness about the importance of managing and sharing research data.

URL : Role of a Croatian National Repository Infrastructure in Promotion and Support of Research Data Management


Small Public Libraries as Publishers

Author : Dijana Sabolović-Krajina

The aim of this paper is to stress the importance of small public libraries as publishers. The case study will be the library network of the Koprivnica-Križevci County in the Republic of Croatia. Among five public libraries, three of them are publishers.

Although publishing is not their core business, they use it as a tool in: (i) protecting and promoting richness of local cultural heritage; (ii) contributing to library collections with specific local topics; (iii) empowering local identity; (iv) positioning themselves better as important culture, education and information centres of their local communities; and (v) creating new, added value of libraries in society. Publishing profiles, topics, and formats will be stressed, as well as these public libraries’ creative efforts to find finances in alliances with private and public sectors.

The models show that these libraries use both print and digital opportunities in publishing. Collaboration with all stakeholders who participate in the publishing process is also stressed.

We conclude that publishing activities relating to collection development policies and practices do not primarily depend on type, size, and financial means of libraries, but on library policy and strategic orientation that includes also publishing as a business model.


Publishers’ responses to the e-book phenomenon: survey results from three ‘small language’ markets

Authors : T.D. Wilson, Elena Maceviciute


This paper reports on a study of publishers’ attitudes towards e-books in the context of the global situation of e-book publishing. Comparative data are drawn from a replication of a survey carried out in Sweden, in Lithuania and in Croatia.


A self-completed questionnaire survey was undertaken, offering respondents the choice of a printed questionnaire or a response through an online SurveyMonkey alternative.


Quantitative analysis was performed using the descriptive statistics capability of SurveyMonkey.


The three country survey reveals a number of similar responses from publishers on several key issues, i.e., self-publishing, the future role of bookshops, and relationships with public libraries. The results also reveal that publishers have a certain ambivalence on these issues


In ‘small language’ markets, the take-up of e-books represents a much smaller proportion of total sales than in the English language market. Responses to questions on publishers’ relationships with authors, booksellers and libraries show a high degree of unanimity of opinion.


Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Croatia

There is a vibrant Open Access environment in Croatia and several academic and research institutions initiate different activities concerning open access to the scientific information (Ruđer Bošković Institute, School of Medicine, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, Faculty of Organization and Informatics at University of Zagreb, University of Zadar, University of Osijek, National and University Library, etc.). It is very important to improve collaboration among different stakeholders, as well as to provide top-down guidance harmonized with EU practices.

Important blocks of the existing Open Access research infrastructure are presented in the paper: the Croatian Scientific Bibliography CROSBI, the Croatian portal for Open Access journals HRČAK, and the common infrastructure for digital academic repositories DABAR. Future development of Open Access infrastructure in Croatia is discussed.