Dissertations of Croatian researchers included in DART-Europe
The National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) has set up a system for a regular contribution of data from the Croatian National Digital Dissertations Repository (Nacionalni repozitorij disertacija i znanstvenih magistarskih radova, DR) to DART-Europe, the central point of access to digital dissertations from Europe’s higher education institutions, thus enabling an increased visibility of the research of Croatian scientists.
DART-Europe is a collaborative initiative bringing together 116 libraries and library consortia that contributes data on digital dissertations which has been established with the purpose of improving the visibility and ensuring a wider promotion of the results of research at European universities published as part of dissertations. In line with its advocacy of open access principles, DART-Europe facilitates the wide accessibility and use of scientific information.
The National and University Library in Zagreb, which joined DART-Europe as a partner institution in 2013, takes significant part in the operating of this system by contributing data on final academic papers defended at Croatian universities, at the same time contributing to a stronger presence of Croatian researchers in Europe’s science, and by extension in global scientific developments as well. The DART-Europe Portal currently offers access to data on the dissertations defended at four Croatian universities – the University of Zagreb, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University in Osijek, University of Rijeka and University of Split.
Croatian National Digital Dissertations Repository was set up in December 2015 in order to provide a system for storing and public accessing of doctoral theses defended at Croatia’s universities. It brings together all resources available as part of the digital dissertation repositories of individual Croatian universities and currently includes 257 theses.
The repository has been established through the Library’s cooperation with the University of Zagreb Computing Centre (Sveučilišni računski centar, SRCE) and several university and other academic libraries, as part of the development of DABAR, a central digital network that brings together the archives and repositories of individual Croatian academic institutions. Prior to the repository’s establishment, the Library preserved the digital versions of doctoral and master’s theses defended at Croatian universities in its Doctoral and Master’s Theses Collection, as well as part of the Library’s Digital Academic Repository (DAR). However, the 2013 amendments to the Act on Scientific Activity and Higher Education obliging all Croatia’s higher education institutions to make publicly available all theses resulting from publicly-funded research, made necessary the development of a system enabling the storing and archiving of dissertations in digital form.
It is also worth emphasising that the European Commission as well requires scientists whose research is funded as part of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 to make their research results publicly available.
It is expected that the inclusion of the dissertations of Croatian researchers in DART-Europe and their visibility resulting thereof will serve as an encouragement to all Croatian higher education institutions to be even readier in meeting legal requirements regarding the making publicly accessible of doctoral theses and in this way make their contribution to the promotion, an even more important, practical implementation of the idea of open access to scientific information.