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All Publishers Must Provide Researchers with Clarity and Transparency on Open Access

CESAER, the European University Association (EUA), and Science Europe call on all publishers to fully respect researchers’ rights and to end the use of restrictions and embargoes.

On 25 May 2021, more than 880 universities and research-performing and research-funding organisations united within CESAER, EUA, and Science Europe call on all publishers to stop requiring researchers to sign over their rights and to end the use of restrictions and embargoes. The joint statement, signed by the presidents of the three organisations, is a strong show of support for Open Science and Open Access.

The statement expresses deep concern regarding the unclear practices of some publishers, in particular the examples recently reported by cOAlition S, that complicate and confuse matters for researchers. The organisations urge publishers to reconsider their position and modernise their approaches in a way that fully respects researchers’ rights, including sharing their peer-reviewed research findings without restrictions or embargoes.

Notably, the statement declares that researchers who wish to deposit their author-accepted manuscript in a repository with an open license (e.g. CC BY), and without any embargo, must be able to do so.

Currently, publishers commonly require authors to sign exclusive publishing agreements that restrict what authors can do with their research findings. The statement urges this outdated system to be replaced and supports a diversity of models for the open dissemination of research for the greater benefit of society.

Rik Van de Walle, President of CESAER: Researchers, students, teachers, innovators and society as a whole thrive when scientific knowledge circulates freely. The retention of rights by researchers and universities is vital as it enables the full use of research outcomes in all areas of research, education and innovation, for the full benefit of society.”

Michael Murphy, President of the European University Association (EUA): “It is time to make Open Access a permanent feature of the research system. Researchers must be empowered through the freedom of choosing where and how they publish their findings – and this choice must include self-archiving their work in repositories to ensure Green Open Access. This is a simple question of fundamental values and respect.”

Marc Schiltz, President of Science Europe: “The manuscript - even after peer-review - is the intellectual creation of the authors. Publishers have no legitimacy to impose transfer or restrictions of ownership rights on any form of manuscript. In the light of the current pandemic, publisher-dictated embargo periods appear hopelessly antiquated.”


Joint Statement on Empowering Researchers in Open Access

CESAER, EUA, and Science Europe outline how all publishers must fully respect researchers’ rights by providing clarity and transparency on Open Access.

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