CORE Ambassador: Milica Sevkusic

MilicaMilica is a librarian at the Institute of Technical Sciences of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts since 2007. Her education background is in art history and her previous work experience includes heritage policies and documentation standards, heritage-related civil society projects and digitisation, traditional librarianship and bibliography. Currently, her professional interests focus on Open Science, library services aimed at supporting research activities, training on academic services and tools, information literacy and research ethics. Since November 2014, she has been serving as the EIFL Open Access country coordinator in Serbia. In this capacity, she designed and coordinated the project – Revisiting open access journal policies and practices in Serbia, which was implemented with EIFL’s support in 2016–2017. She has also been involved with institutional repositories since 2013, when her affiliated institution implemented the first fully functional institutional repository in Serbia. She is now a member of the Repository Development Team at the University of Belgrade Computer Centre, which is currently the leading force in repository development in Serbia.

Q: What does Open Access mean to you?
For me, Open Access is primarily about building new research communication models, systems and infrastructures towards enabling the broadest possible free insight into research all over the world. It is about equal chances.
What is specific of my country – along with typical issues related to paywalls and researchers who are overly ready to sign off their rights – is that the greatest part of locally published research outputs in local journals and books are Open Access, or at least free to read. This is particularly so in humanities. Too often, this research remains invisible due to a poor infrastructure or the lack of awareness, and this creates a false idea that it is not relevant and interesting in an international context. I believe that a greater visibility could crucially change this. That is why I am particularly interested in those aspects of Open Access that have to do with research dissemination infrastructures and I see repositories both as a means of opening up what is closed and unveiling what lies hidden.

Q: How do you think that CORE’s mission is important?
Over the past twenty or so years, we have been able to see many projects aimed at making content available digitally. A great deal of this content is now freely available on the internet but a significant part of it is scattered and difficult to find across isolated, sometimes exotic, platforms that are not connected. In this respect, CORE’s role in pooling together and integrating various resources is immense. It perfectly builds upon individual efforts to enable Open Access and make content visible.

Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and Knez Mihailova street in Belgrade.

CORE’s role in pooling together and integrating various resources is immense. It perfectly builds upon individual efforts to enable Open Access and make content visible.

Q: How do you use or plan to use CORE at your institution?
I have been using the CORE Dashboard, for all repositories developed by the University of Belgrade Computer Centre. It offers an insight into how CORE sees our repositories. Some harvesting issues have been identified and we plan to report them to the CORE team and to work together towards to resolve them. CORE Discovery and CORE Recommender are very interesting for our team and we will test how they operate with our repositories and work towards integrating them. CORE Recommender, especially, is expected to add value to our repositories.

Q: Why did you decide to become a CORE ambassador?
Becoming a CORE ambassador has been a natural shift with respect to my previous activities. Aggregators are exceptionally important for institutional repositories and content in local languages, especially in rather small countries. My first institutional repository was harvested by CORE since 2013 (the content of this repository is now fully integrated with the DAIS repository) and I was fully aware of the value it added to the content and its visibility. In recent years, when the development of institutional repositories in Serbia took a more vigorous pace, submitting repositories for harvesting in CORE has become an important step in the procedure of establishing a repository. This is one of my tasks in our small development team at the University of Belgrade Computer Centre.