International open science trends and efforts to promote open access reciprocates Varna Medical University's mission to develop fundamental and applied scientific research, along with its shared values for accessibility and equity, opportunities for development and respect for academic traditions.
Open Access is a new way of scientific communication in the global and technologically dynamic world. This is the practice of providing free online access to research output which is free of charge for the end user and available for multiple re-use. The value and utility of scientific and scholarly research output increases with its accessibility.
European University Association (EUA), MU-Varna being a full member, published its "Roadmap on Open Access to Research Publications" at the start of February 2016. The roadmap is just a step in a series of EUA initiatives aimed at addressing the implications of Open Science and assisting universities in the transition to Open Access (OA).
We are pleased to acknowledge that the above understanding is implemented in the Bulgarian Law on Promotion of Research (Art. 3), together with the National Strategy for Research and Innovation Development 2015 – 2020: "Open access represents free of charge access to peer-reviewed scientific and research information. It requires the copyrights-holder to give irrevocable, geographically unlimited right to use, copy, distribute, transmit and create derivative works in any format and for any lawful objectives, subject to proper attribution of authorship. Open access utilizes information and communication technologies to enhance and improve the dissemination of scientific knowledge."
Open access to scientific publications and research data has been anchored as an underlying principle in the Horizon 2020 EU programme aiming to enhance research and discovery process, provide greater efficiency, accelerate innovation and improve transparency of the scientific process.
Medical University of Varna is the first and only university in the country to introduce the model of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM ®) for Business Excellence. Provided the EFQM ® model for Business Excellence is a practical tool for qualitative measurement of the level of success, then practicing Open Access in science is a way of multiplying the success by means of disseminating its research and scholarship as widely as possible.
University's academia assumes leadership in promoting open science as well, as a policy of the future. University's Open Access Policy is based on the understanding that thereby increasing the accessibility, visibility and impact of research results, we foster progress and efficiency of science and multiply the investments in research.
Acting in accordance with the above idea that the future of science is irrevocably related to open exchange of information, the Medical University of Varna launched its institutional Repository.
The University encourages its academic staff and researches to publish their research results in open access journals along with depositing publications in the institutional Medical Academic Repository. OA deposits grant greater visibility, increase citations - clearly and unambiguously, guarantee availability and sustainable archiving. Among the additional benefits of providing open access to the University's research output is the overall vision for its scientific production, standard and reputation.
The Academic Council concedes the complexity of progression of Open Access and its challenges. It is important to mention that in no way OA contradicts copyrights and authors' rights will not be affected. Original works of authorship remain protected by the different Creative Commons* licenses requiring proper attribution. Future regulation for implementation of OA policies within the scientific institutions and universities in the country is set in the Action Plan for implementing the National Strategy for Research and Innovation Development 2015-2020 (Art. 4.2.2).
University's Open Access Policy is motivated by its long-term vision for the future. Meanwhile, the University remains true to the academic values of freedom and justice. Academic freedom is a fundamental right of our academics, researchers, staff and students. In this regard our OA Policy is a recommendation, and they have the right to decide the limits of open access in terms of their own scientific production.
Approved by the Academic Council of MU-Varna on June 20th, 2016
*Creative Commons (Creative Commons, CC – standard types of copyright licenses for free distribution of otherwise copyrighted works on the Internet. Copyright is expanded to the right to share, use, distribute and build upon, etc., subject to attribution. The CC code of the licenses enables many search engines to recognize works bearing its sign as 'conformant with the "Open Definition" for content and data'. Hence, access to these works is facilitated.