Europe Goes Open with Research

August 17, 2012

Europe appears to be changing the way publishing licenses operate with releases of open-access policies from two groups that may set the pace for the entire country.

The European Commission and Research Councils U.K. both recently adopted requirements concerning open-access policies for journal articles. The EC will require journal articles based on research funded through its Horizon 2020 program to be accessible for free either online immediately upon publication or in a repository after an embargo period. Research Councils U.K. adopted a similar policy which will apply to all publically funded research in the U.K., beginning with papers submitted in April 2013.

An article from Chemical and Engineering News, “Europe Opens Up,” tells us more about the changes:

“When an author pays a fee for immediate open access, the U.K. policy requires the author to get a liberal publishing license. The license allows others to modify, distribute, and build upon the work, provided they credit the original author.

The EC encouraged all other member states to take similar steps for research funded by their domestic programs, setting a goal of having 60% of European-government-funded research freely accessible by 2016.”

The rest of Europe will likely be encouraged to follow suit by these groups. We think this is an interesting pressure applied to professional publishing outfits, but are curious to see if the exploitation of scientific results will make science move faster.

Andrea Hayden, August 17, 2012

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