Open science

The purpose of open science

The definition of open science denotes free access to the electronic scientific information, particularly to publications and research data created and published as a result of public funding.

Publicly accessible scientific information makes research more effective and faster – there will be less data duplication, more research results will be achieved with the same basic data, and the visibility and citation of the research results will often grow. Also, the availability of data increases the transparency of research and therefore it contributes to the research quality. Equally important is the feedback to the state and society as well as wider possibilities of using research data in education, people’s science and in the public sector where conventional research journals are not available. The ideology of open science has economic effect and positive impact on innovation.

In 2015, Estonian Research Council established the Open Science Expert Group which has compiled the general principles and policy recommendations document for open science in Estonia. This document is a systematic approach in the field of open science, where the principles of open science are introduced, the main open science policy options and further activities are indicated. The purpose of the document is to create a common framework and understanding how to handle open science issues in Estonia and to encourage the development of national strategy and institutional policies in open science.

Open Science in Estonia: Principles and Recommendations for Developing National Policy (June 2016)


In 2017, two surveys about open science issues were carried out by the University of Tartu and Tallinn University in cooperation with Estonian Academy of Sciences. The aim of both surveys is to support Estonian policymakers in the field of open science at national and EU levels. The survey carried out by the University of Tartu was focused on general issues of open science, open access publishing, open data and socio-economic impact assessment of open science. The survey carried out by Tallinn University and Estonian Academy of Sciences involves the facutal material to enable the interpretation and describe the meaning, possibility and potential of the trends of Open Science in the context of the developmental needs of the Estonian sciences and the State. Both surveys include practical recommendations for the adoption of open science policy in Estonia. The surveys were funded by European Regional Development Fund through the “Strenghtening of the sectoral R&D (RITA)” activity 4.

Kelli, A., Mets, T., Vider, K., Kull, I. (2017) Open Science in Estonia and Europe: Legal and Socio-Economic Aspects. Tartu: University of Tartu (in Estonian, executive summary in English on pages 6-9)

Toom, K., Olesk, A., Ruusalepp, R., Kaal, E., Mandre, S., Vaikmäe, R. (2017) Open Science in Estonia and Europe: Possibilities and Potential from the Viewpoint of Different Target Groups. Tallinn: Tallinn University and Estonian Academy of Sciences (in Estonian, executive summary in English on pages 12-16)

Past events

Seminar „Research data: for whom and why?“ 17.10.2014 (in Estonian)

Seminar „Developments of open science policy in Estonia“ 27.10.2015 (in Estonian)

Seminar „Open science in Estonia: policy recommendations and feedback“ 13.05.2016 (in Estonian)

Seminar „Open Research Data – The FAIRest Data is the Future of Science“ 20.04.2017 (in English)


Marko Piirsoo
Head of Department of Strategic Analysis
Phone 5553 5770