Open access is the free online availability of digital content. It is best-known and most feasible for peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly journal articles, which scholars publish without expectation of payment.
It is projected with the new Law on schoolbooks for elementary and secondary education that the state would pay for the copyrights of the authors of the books in order to provide free print editions to the students. This is a solid basis for making these editions available online not only to the students in digital form, but to the whole public as well. In this way, all the citizens of Macedonia will have access to this knowledge – the ones who have paid for it as tax payers, and people from all over the world interested in the local languages in Macedonia, especially the Diaspora. A great advantage of this initiative is that the additional budget expenses for the preparation of e-books will be minimal, since the Law is already obliging the authors to submit electronic versions of their works.
An additional opportunity for increasing the number of e-contents is to amend the Law on Higher Education in order to oblige the candidates for academic titles, such as PhD or MSc, to publish their papers online according to the open access principles.
Open access is a worldwide movement influencing policymaking in the EU (www.ec-petition.eu) and in the United States, and Macedonia’s admission to the EU Macedonia would allow for better visibility of the Macedonian scientific-academic community worldwide, as well as an increased rating of the country in the educational, scientific and political circles committed to global development.