European Commission gives a boost to Open Access

17/07/2012

The European Commission has released its Communication and Recommendation to Member States, with good news for Open Access and Open Data.

The Communication sets out open access policy objectives for the research funded by the Commission through Horizon 2020. An accompanying Recommendation provides a policy framework for improving access to a preservation of scientific information in EU Member States.

"EOS is very pleased with this development. It sets an excellent direction for European research over the next period and will mean that all European citizens can benefit directly from the knowledge created by the research they pay for," said Professor Bernard Rentier, Chair of the EOS Board and Rector of the University of Liege. 

The Communication confirms commitment to OpenAIRE, the repository that collects the 20% of FP7-funded research outputs currently covered by the existing Open Access pilot. In future, OpenAIRE will be used for all EU-funded research under the Horizon 2020 framework programme. Commissioner Kroes stated in the press conference that the permitted maximum embargo time in science and technology would be 6 months, and in social science and humanities 12 months, for researchers opting for 'Green' Open Access - that is, depositing their articles in a repository for OpenAIRE to harvest.

The current arrangement whereby grant monies can be used to pay for 'Gold' Open Access (publishing in Open Access journals) will continue in Horizon 2020. The Commission also commits to investigating ways in which publication fees may be paid for from grants after the period of the grant agreement.

The Recommendation  to Member States echoes these conditions.

Professor Tom Cochrane, Deputy Vice Chancellor at Queensland University of Technology, and Vice Chair of the EOS Board said, "The recent policy announced by the NHMRC (National Health & Medical Research Council) in Australia aligns with the policy direction for the European Union. The proposed FRPAA legislation in the US, and the RCUK policy announced in the UK this week also share the same basic policy conditions. We're finally seeing concerted policy advances that we needed for advancing Open Access and Open Data. It's very good news indeed." 

The Communication and Recommendation can be found on the Commission's Science in Society site here.