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Overhead shot of blurred pile of academic articles © FabrikaCr

Open Access

Open Access is the principle and practice of providing free online access to scholarly publications. Science Europe promotes Open Access to research publications as part of its commitment to support Open Science as part of a well-functioning research system. 

Why does Open Access matter?

Open Access is the practice of granting access to scholarly outputs (including, but not limited to 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 believes that Open Access to research publications, as defined in the ‘Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities’, 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. 

It is also crucial to increase 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 research funding and performing member organisations are key players in accomplishing a smooth and rapid transition to Open Access. This 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. 

Open Access Logo

What is Science Europe doing to achieve these aims?

Science Europe is working with its member organisations, the broader research community, and European and national policymakers 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 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 our members have implemented Open Access policies or are actively developing them. Today, our members share the most advanced Open Access policies in the world. 

Science Europe member organisations are also driving forces behind numerous other organisations, initiatives, and movements promoting Open Access with concrete actions. These notably including cOAlition S and its work on full and immediate Open Access centred on Plan S and the OA2020 initiative. 

In 2021, Science Europe published a briefing paper on Open Access monitoring to support decisionmakers at research funding and performing organisations to improve existing processes and develop new monitoring exercises. The availability of data and information on the current state of scholarly publishing is invaluable to help advance Open Access, including to inform policy development, implementation, and evaluation.  


Open Access Monitoring

This briefing paper aims to support decision makers at research organisations and research funders to develop new monitoring exercises or assess and improve existing processes to measure the Open Access status of publications.

Diamond Open Access 

Diamond Open Access refers to a scholarly publication model in which journals and platforms do not charge fees to either authors or readers. They are community-driven, academic-led, and academic-owned publishing initiatives, which typically serve a fine-grained variety of generally small-scale, multilingual, and multicultural scholarly communities. Diamond Open Access journals and platforms are equitable by nature and design and embody the concept of bibliodiversity. 

Science Europe is one of the leading organisations working to strengthen Diamond Open Access in scholarly publishing. This is part of our commitment to support Open Science as part of a well-functioning research system. A collaborative process started in 2020 and continues to engage a growing number of partners. 


Diamond Open Access Conference 

19-20 September 2022 

The Diamond Open Access conference was the first hybrid event for the community of organisations and individuals who endorsed the Action Plan for Diamond Open Access. The goal of the event was to further bring together this community and to provide insights and inspiration to operationalise the Action Plan based on existing good practices, with a vision to develop future common services. 

The event took place on 19 and 20 September 2022 in Zadar, Croatia. It was co-organised by Science Europe, cOAlition S, OPERAS, and the French National Research Agency (ANR). And it was sponsored by the Ministry for Higher Education and Research in France (MESR). 

In collaboration with cOAlition S, OPERAS, and the French National Research Agency (ANR), Science Europe organised a conference to gather the Diamond Open Access community and discuss priority actions related to the efficiency, quality standards, capacity building, and sustainability of the ecosystem. 

Workshop on Diamond Open Access 

2 February 2022 

In collaboration with cOAlition S, OPERAS, and the French National Research Agency (ANR), Science Europe organised a workshop to gather experts from the Diamond Open Access community and discuss priority actions related to the efficiency, quality standards, capacity building, and sustainability of the ecosystem. 

The event took place online on Wednesday 2 February 2022 and was sponsored by the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in preparation for the Paris Open Science European Conference organised in the context of the French Presidency of the European Union. 

Open Access Diamond Journals Study 

March 2021 

Science Europe and cOAlition S published the landmark ‘Open Access Diamond Journals Study’ in March 2021. This in-depth report uncovered for the first time the vast size and scope of the Diamond Open Access publishing ecosystem, while also formulating recommendations for its future development. 

The study was commissioned by cOAlition S and funded by Science Europe. It is the culmination of work undertaken from June 2020 to February 2021 by a consortium of organisations: OPERAS, SPARC Europe, Utrecht University, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), UiT the Arctic University of Norway, Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER), Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), European Network for Research Evaluation in the Social Sciences and the Humanities (ENRESSH), Redalyc-AmeliCA, and Center for the Sociology of Innovation (CSI). 


September 2022–2025 

Science Europe is a project partner and task leader in the Horizon Europe project ‘Developing Institutional Open Access Publishing Models to Advance Scholarly Communication’ (DIAMAS; 2022–2025). 

The objective of DIAMAS is to provide the research community with an aligned, high-quality, and sustainable scholarly communication ecosystem, capable of implementing Open Access as a standard publication practice across the European Research Area. This will substantially increase the capacity of institutions to provide innovative, valid, reliable, and accessible publishing services, taking into account the specific needs of the different scientific communities across the diversity of disciplines, countries, and languages. 


Action Plan for Diamond Open Access 

2 March 2022 

Together with cOAlition S, OPERAS, and the French National Research Agency (ANR), and supported by experts from the Diamond Open Access community, Science Europe developed an ‘Action Plan for Diamond Open Access’. It provides a set of priority actions to further develop and expand a sustainable, community-driven Diamond scholarly communication ecosystem. It aims to bring together Diamond Open Access journals and platforms around shared principles, guidelines, and quality standards respecting the cultural, multilingual and disciplinary diversity that constitute the strength of the sector. 

Interested organisations and individuals are welcome to join the community by endorsing the Action Plan via


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