Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, February 16, 2007

More on the EC communication on OA

Open access to scientific publishing draws controversy, EurActiv, February 16, 2007.  Excerpt:

Scientific publishers fear that the Commission's plans to support online open access to scientific information will undermine their businesses.

In Spring 2006, a public consultation was held on a study concerning the scientific publishing market. The report gave an economic analysis of European scientific publication markets and made a series of policy recommendations. 

The report and its recommendations were warmly welcomed by the scientific community, but the publishing industry was mostly critical of its methodology and conclusions....

The Commission adopted, on 14 February a Communication on scientific information in the digital age: access, dissemination and preservation....

The Communication...announces a series of measures planned to be taken at EU level, namely to support new ways of promoting better access to scientific information online and to preserve research results digitally for future generations. It also explains how the Commission is set to deal with open access in the projects it will fund under its seventh framework programme for research (FP7). 

"I am aware that (sometimes controversial) discussions on open access are taking place between scientific publishers and the scientific community," said Research Commissioner Janez Poto?nik. However, the Commission believes that increased access to scientific information will lead to more research activities and increased publishing activity and thus strengthen the European Research Area (ERA). 

The main challenge, according to the Commission, is to find a win-win situation for both scientists and scientific publishers. This means giving the research community rapid and wide dissemination of results, facilitated by new information and communication technologies and for scientific publishers to have fair remuneration for investing in tools and mechanisms to organise the information flows and the peer- review system....

PS:  This article gets a lot wrong about the EC report recommendations (as if they required grantees to publish in OA journals or as if they required non-OA journals to convert to OA) and the history of OA (as if it all started with the Berlin Declaration).  I've limited my excerpt to what's new from the Brussels meeting, and I hope it's more trustworthy on those developments than it is on previous developments.