Skip to main content
SearchLoginLogin or Signup


Academic libraries and OA books. The Slovenian perspective.

Published onJan 31, 2021

Key findings

  • The academic library system is dispersed with a large number of faculty libraries, each with their own acquisition strategy 

  • The national OA policy is kept in line with the Horizon 2020 directives and encourages, yet does not mandate, open access for monographs

  • There are no OA book-specific funds in Slovenia

  • The Faculty of Arts at the University of Ljubljana has its own, scholar-led OA book publishing initiative

  • Libraries rely on aggregators for OA book coverage

General library system for e-content and OA publications

Slovenia has three major public universities (University of Ljubljana, University of Maribor, and University of Primorska), and numerous research institutions, each with its own local faculty libraries, adding up to as many as 37 per  institution (in the case of the University of Ljubljana). While the National and University Library (NUK) acts as the central academic library of the country, the system is far from being centralised: each of the smaller libraries has its own acquisition budget and strategy. NUK is responsible for the e-content, as it hosts the Digital Library of Slovenia (a national portal providing access to digitised Slovenian scholarly publications) and coordinates consortia deal negotiations on the national level. 

Slovenian libraries are organised into several consortia, according to the subject of the content they acquire. 

COSEC falls under the NUK’s aegis and is in charge of acquisitions of the international digital sources in the field of HSS, while another consortium led by the Central Technological Library covers STM e-resources. 

The Open Science Slovenia portal unites institutional repositories and provides information on open science developments in the country.

Library community and open access 

Odprta knjižnica (The Open Library Competence Centre ) is a joint initiative of three Slovenian university libraries: the University of Primorska, of Maribor and of Ljubljana, under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport.  The initiative is an important player in the open access community in Slovenia, engaging in both national and international dialogue about matters concerning open science, such as OA mandates, policies, licensing, etc. The centre provides researchers and anyone interested in the principles of open science with free information and guidance on such topics as open publications, research data management, citizen science and open education. 

OA book policies 

Slovenia has a national open access strategy, introduced in September 2015, aligned with the Horizon 2020 priorities and covering the period of 2015-2020 (Research Infrastructure Roadmap 2011 - 2020 2016, 2016). It mandates open access for academic articles published as an outcome of publicly funded projects and encourages it for monographs. In 2017 an action plan was released, outlining the implementation process of transformation to OA (Akcijski Načrt Izvedbe Nacionalne Strategije Odprtega Dostopa Do Znastvenih Objav In Raziskovalnih Podatkov v Sloveniji 2015-2020, 2017).

Currently, there are eight institutions with registered OA policies in the ROAR map. Among them, four mention books specifically: the Central Technological Library at the University of Ljubljana, the University of Maribor, the University of Nova Gorica and the University of Pomorska. 

OA book funding

No specific OA book funds exist in Slovenia. Open access publications can be funded as part of larger research projects. The Slovenian Research Agency (SRA) plays an important role, both as provider of research and as a provider of publishing grants for academic presses in Slovenia.

Library/scholar-led OA book publishing

E-books – Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts: The Faculty of Arts, associated with the University of Ljubljana, is among the largest academic publishing houses in Central/Eastern Europe. Their portfolio also includes open access journals, closed access textbooks and OA monographs and edited volumes. Run by scholars, the press publishes around 70 OA books per year in PDF format. While it serves mainly as a publishing unit for researchers affiliated with the faculty, authors from other departments and institutions can also submit their proposals there. No Book Processing Charges are applied to authors (O Založbi | Znanstvena Založba Filozofske Fakultete, n.d.). 

The press is largely subsidised by the Slovenian Research Agency (SRA), whose funding covers up to 60-70% of the OA publishing costs. The press depends on successful applications for the SRA funds, which are  allocated on a yearly basis. The remaining 40-30% of costs is covered jointly through print sales and funding coming from the Faculty of Arts itself.

The press introduced their OA model in 2015, following recommendations of the national OA strategy at the time, encouraging open access for publicly funded academic books with the goal of having 100% of them OA by 2020.

Integration of OA books in library systems

Academic libraries’ discovery systems rely on COBISS services, which include OA books. There are no special discovery systems for OA content; all publications, both open and closed are handled by the same system.

Important contributors


Akcijski Načrt Izvedbe Nacionalne Strategije Odprtega Dostopa Do Znastvenih Objav In Raziskovalnih Podatkov v Sloveniji 2015-2020. (2017).

Ambrožič, M., & Žumer, M. (2015). Libraries and the Library System of Slovenia. LIBRARY TRENDS, 63(4), 725–744.

Research Infrastructure Roadmap 2011 - 2020. Revision 2016. (2016).

O založbi | Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete. (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2021, from

Photo of the National and University Library in Ljubljana byAndrew Moore on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

No comments here
Why not start the discussion?