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Open Science in Slovenia

A conversation about the importance of reforming research assessment and the potential of open science to transform research to become less competition-based and more cooperation-based.

Published onMar 01, 2023
Open Science in Slovenia

With a focus on Open Science initiatives in Slovenia, Tea Romih, Ana Slavec, Maja Dolinar, and Jo Havemann talk about how Open Science transforms research practices from competition-based toward being more cooperation-based. In their observations, the uptake of open science practices differs both across disciplines and also between early-career and established researchers and therefore it is important to provide an enabling environment for a more quality-based research assessment to bridge the generational gap. The conversation further addresses issues of reproducibility and reusability of research data, as well as the need for professionalization of data stewardship.

Listen here:


Tea Romih

It probably all began with The Little Flying Bears animated series and my mother's natural history encyclopedia when I was a child; the love of nature, interest in science, and passion for environmentalism have persisted ever since. My curiosity led me to pursue a graduate degree in Biology and a PhD in Nanotoxicology at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. I have worn many occupational hats since my thesis defense, from scientific visual communication, academic editing, and specialist translation to research in electrochemical biosensors. In February 2022, I embarked on an alt-ac career in information science and research data management. I currently work as a Research Data Specialist at the Central Technical Library at the University of Ljubljana, where I contribute to a national project of a coordinated roll-out of open science practices in Slovenian public research-performing organisations. Since 2017, I have been active in the Young Academy of Slovenia, where I volunteer in activities related to mentorship, academic employment, career development, and research assessment. I also served as its president from December 2019 to December 2022. When I have some spare time left, I participate in bird and wolf monitoring activities led by DOPPS – Birdlife Slovenia and Dinaricum – The Society for Conservation, Research and Sustainable Development of Dinarides. 

Ana Slavec

My educational background is in sociology and I have a PhD in Statistics from the University of Ljubljana where I worked first at the Centre for Social Informatics and later at the Slovenian Social Science Data Archives. Since 2017 I am a consulting statistician and postdoctoral researcher at the InnoRenew CoE Renewable Materials and Healthy Environments Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence where one of my roles is to support the implementation of the institute data management plan and assist other researchers with data collection, analysis, and reporting. In my free time I am also active as a writer, reviewer and editor of popular science text and from 2015 to 2020 I was a scientific podcast co-host. In 2015 the Statistical Society of Slovenia awarded me and my colleagues the prize for excellence in statistical reporting. Since 2015 I have been active in the Young Academy of Slovenia and from 2018 to 2020, I coordinated the Eurodoc Open Science WG at the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers. I am an alumni of the 2019 CODATA-RDA Data Steward School and in 2019 and 2020 I was the Research Data Alliance Ambassador for Engineering/Renewable materials and a member of the European Open Science Cloud FAIR WG

Maja Dolinar 

My academic journey reads like a thrilling adventure through the vast expanse of social sciences. It's a wild mishmash of political science, ethnology, cultural and social anthropology, and international economy and business, not to mention operations research and data science. But for the past six years, my focus has been on the open science movement and the critical role that open research data plays in the modern research landscape. Currently, I'm the Head of Digital Preservation at the Slovenian Social Science Data Archives, where I'm responsible for the daily preservation and management of research data. I'm also involved in numerous national and international projects and initiatives. As one of the coordinators of the RDA Node Slovenia, I'm involved in developing open science in my country and beyond. Outside my work, I am a member of several organizations devoted to open science and data management. As a reviewer for the CoreTrustSeal, I conduct comprehensive reviews of CoreTrustSeal applications. I also co-chair the World Data System Early Career Researchers and Scientists Network and serve on the World Data System Scientific Committee. I coordinate the Open Science Working Group of EURODOC and I am also a member of the Task Force Researcher Engagement and Adoption of the EOSC Association, the SSHOC Editorial Board, and FAIRsharing Community Champions. But it's not all work and no play for me. In my free time, I like to indulge my creative side through painting, writing, and exploring the fascinating world of philosophy. I also love nothing more than immersing myself in the latest trends in interior decoration and architecture.

Which researcher – dead or alive – do you find inspiring? 

TR: The Nobel Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Rita Levi-Montalcini, who dared to live her life her way, rebelling against her father and the societal norms of her time. She was persevering, upstanding and tenacious, a true role model.

AS: Florence Nightingale, who is better known as the founder of modern hospital care but she was also a pioneer in the development of survey instruments and graphical presentation of data. Fun fact: my last name (slavec) translates to nightingale.

MD: When it comes to which researcher inspires me the most, I must say that I find myself drawn to the Renaissance man himself, Leonardo da Vinci. He was not only an extraordinary artist but also excelled in various research fields, from engineering to anatomy to astronomy. Like him, I believe in exploring different research fields. Leonardo da Vinci embodies the spirit of intellectual curiosity and creativity that I strive to emulate in my own work.

What is your favorite animal and why? 

TR: Cats, always have been and always will be. Mainly because they do not defer to humans in the same way as dogs but maintain their independence. You know the popular saying: “Dogs have owners, cats have staff.” :)

AS: Owls (and birds in general) because they are beautiful, but I am also scared of them. 

MD: While the sloth may not be the most obvious choice for a favorite animal, as they are often associated with laziness and sluggishness, I find them quite fascinating because, upon deeper philosophical reflection, their unique perspective on the existence and the human condition can offer valuable insights into our own lives and values. By contemplating the sloth's way of life, we may gain a deeper understanding of the importance of taking things slow, broadening our perspectives, and finding contentment in the simple pleasures of life.

Name your (current) favorite song and interpret/group. 

TR: I'm madly in love with Heaven by Emma Ruth Rundle, which I would describe as an anthem of dark optimism.

AS: I am more into podcasts than music.

MD: While it is always difficult to pick just one favorite group, if I had to choose, I would say that Lorna Shore has been occupying the top spot for me lately. Their ability to seamlessly blend intense blast beats and soaring melodies is truly impressive, and their dynamic vocals only add to the intensity of their sound.

What is your favorite dish/meal?

TR:  Maa ki dal, a simple Indian dish that became my comfort food as soon as I tasted it.

AS: Sushi.

MD: I seem to never get enough of Pad Thai.


Open Science resources in Slovenia

Interactive map of Open Science resources in Slovenia
To view this map in a separate tab/window go to

To view Open Science resources available in the Slovene language go to

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