Science Europe supports Open Access, the principle and practice of providing free online access to scholarly publications. The association has established its very own set of common principles that will facilitate a smooth transition from subscription to Open Access. Science Europe has also been instrumental in developing and promoting Plan S.
Why does Open Access matter?
Open Access is the practice of granting access to scholarly outputs (such as publications) to anyone without any costs or other barriers and restrictions, including to most forms of use and re-use by humans and machines.
Science Europe strongly believes that Open Access to research publications, as defined in the Berlin Declaration, improves the pace, efficiency, and efficacy of research, and heightens the authors’ visibility, and thus the potential impact of their work. By removing structural and geographical barriers that hinder the free circulation of knowledge, it contributes to increased collaboration, ultimately strengthening scientific quality and capacity.
Moving to a system of Open Access that enables re-use and computational analysis of published material, opens up new possibilities for researchers to access information, and improve knowledge transfer for society, policy, and the economy.
This is also crucial in order to increase both the impact of publications and the cost efficiency of the publication system. This sparks innovation and facilitate interdisciplinary research, as well as scholarly exchange on a global scale, for the benefit of not only the research community, but also the economy and society as a whole.
What are the current priorities?
Science Europe and its Member Organisations are committed to playing a role in accomplishing a smooth and rapid transition to Open Access. The transition must take place in an efficient and sustainable way, avoiding unnecessary costs. It also requires strong engagement of the research community, in order to adapt the system to a culture of sharing. Defining new models to replace the current subscription system, elaborating guidelines adapted to the different forms of research publications, revising research evaluation mechanisms, raising awareness as well as addressing possible impacts to other aspects of the research process are among the priorities of Science Europe and its members.
What is Science Europe doing to achieve these aims?
Science Europe is continually works with its Member Organisations, members of the research community, and the European Commission to elaborate the best possible solutions to practical aspects of the transition and implementation of full Open Access policies, adapted to different contexts.
In 2013, Science Europe's Member Organisations unanimously endorsed and committed to a set of common principles on the transition to Open Access to research publications. Today, as a result, an overwhelming majority of its members have implemented Open Access policies or are actively developing them. Today, many of Science Europe Member Organisations share the most advanced Open Access policies in the world.
Science Europe Member Organisations are also driving forces behind other organisations and movements promoting Open Access with very concrete actions, such as the OA2020 initiative launched by the Max Planck Society.
Open Access means unrestricted, online access to peer-reviewed, scholarly research papers for reading and productive re-use, not impeded by any financial, organisational, legal or technical barriers. Science Europe Member Organisations are committed to a shared set of principles on Open Access to ensure consistency and coherence in their efforts and activities.
What is Plan S?
In September 2018, 11 Science Europe Member Organisations, supported by the European Commission and the European Research Council, created cOAlition S and launched Plan S, an initiative to accelerate the transition to full Open Access.
Plan S requires that recipients of research funding from cOAlition S organisations make the resulting publications available immediately (without embargoes) and under open licences, either in quality Open Access platforms or journals or through immediate deposit in open repositories that fulfil the necessary conditions.
Science Europe continues to support its Member Organisations in implementing Plan S and has actively contributed to grow cOAlition S into a global movement that is supported by a large number of stakeholders and research communities.
More information and guidelines for Plan S implementation can be found on the cOAlition S website.
|Austria||Austrian Science Fund||FWF||Katharina Rieck|
|Belgium||Fund for Scientific Research||FRS-FNRS||Jean-Claude Kita|
|Belgium||Research Foundation Flanders||FWO||Guy Thoonen|
|Croatia||Croatian Science Foundation||HRZZ||Lovorka Barać Lauc|
|Czech Republic||Czech Science Foundation||GAČR||Petr Chorošenin|
|Estonia||Estonian Research Council||ETAg||Marika Meltsas|
|Finland||Academy of Finland||AKA||Jussi Varkemaa|
|France||French National Research Agency||ANR||Zoé Ancion|
|Germany||German Research Foundation||DFG||Astrid Sänger|
|Germany||Max Planck Society||MPG||Georg Botz (Chair)|
|Ireland||Science Foundation Ireland||SFI||Marion Boland|
|Ireland||Health Research Board||HRB||Patricia Clarke|
|Italy||National Institute for Nuclear Physics||INFN||Laura Patrizii|
|Latvia||Latvian Council of Science||LZP||Ingmars Kreismanis|
|Lithuania||Research Council of Lithuania||LMT||to be appointed|
|Netherlands||Dutch Research Council||NWO||Hans de Jonge|
|Norway||Research Council of Norway||RCN||Jon Øygarden Flæten|
|Poland||National Science Centre Poland||NCN||Laura Bandura-Morgan|
|Portugal||Foundation for Science and Technology||FCT||Joana Novais|
|Romania||Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding||UEFISCDI||Alina Irimia|
|Spain||Spanish National Research Council||CSIC||Agnès Ponsati Obiols|
|Sweden||Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare||FORTE||Tommy Dahlen|
|Sweden||Swedish Research Council||VR||Lisbeth Söderqvist|
|Switzerland||Swiss National Science Foundation||SNSF||Tobias Philipp|
|United Kingdom||UK Research and Innovation||UKRI||Paul Richards|
Science Europe and cOAlition S publish an in-depth report and recommendations arising from a study of community-driven Open Access journals across the world that are free for readers and authors, usually referred to as 'OA diamond journals'.
The 20 and 21 November 2019 Science Europe Workshop on Digital Transformation in Scholarly Communication explored how new possibilities and technologies provided by the digital transformation can impact the future of the scholarly publication process.
So far, much of the focus of the transition towards Open Access has been on scholarly and scientific articles. However, a significant number of disciplines, notably – but not only – within the Social Sciences, the Arts, and the Humanities produce and heavily use books. This briefing paper identifies the key issues at stake in implementing a policy of Open Access to academic books, and outlines recommendations for different stakeholder groups to facilitate and accelerate such a policy.
Today cOAlition S releases revised guidance on Plan S implementation which has been approved by all coalition members. “Plan S is a bold step forward which the European Commission, along with a growing number of national funders, is committed to implement” explained Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Science, Research and Innovation.
Science without Publication Paywalls: ‘cOAlition S’ for the Realisation of Full and Immediate Open Access
Researchers and research funders have a collective duty of care for the science system as a whole. The current publication paywalls withhold a substantial amount of research results from a large fraction of the scientific community and from society as a whole.