Changes Coming For Open Access To Research In Europe

Dugie Standeford | Intellectual Property Watch | April 16, 2012

Pressure is growing in Europe for open, free access to research results, particularly if they are publicly funded. The European Commission (EC) said this week it will propose a plan for open access soon, while the Wellcome Trust and Research Councils UK are cracking down on researchers who don’t comply with their policies.

Changes in the value chain enabled by the internet make sharing of scientific knowledge economically possible, European Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes said at an 11 April meeting of the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities in Rome. Open access (OA) should apply to all research at least partly funded by taxpayers, but that holds true for all scientific and scholarly research as well, she said.

The EC is readying a communication and recommendation on the way forward on OA to research results, Kroes said. It will reflect the EC decision to make all outputs funded under the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program openly accessible, she said. The proposal will also examine the role of electronic infrastructures in supporting OA, and the how to motivate researchers to share, she said.