Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, March 14, 2008

Draft motion in support of OA for the European Parliament

Umberto Guidoni (Rapporteur), Draft Report on the European Research Area: New Perspectives, European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, October 22, 2007.  Excerpt:

Motion for a European Parliament Resolution...

The European Parliament...

12. Believes that improvement of dissemination goes with the development of open access to scientific information and that, for example, the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities could be used to promote the internet as a way of better disseminating scientific findings widely; ...


  • This draft motion is in response to the green paper, The European Research Area: New Perspectives, by EU Research Commissioner, Janez Potocnik, April 4, 2007.  See my blog comment on the green paper at the time it was released, my comment when the public comments on the green paper (overwhelmingly supporting an OA mandate) were released in October 2007, and my most recent comment last month when the Council of the European Union supported the general conclusions of the green paper but without mentioning OA.  (Also see my other past posts on the green paper.)  The new draft motion to the European Parliament doesn't call for an EU-wide OA mandate, as the public comments on it did.  But it does endorse OA as a way to improve the dissemination of research.  Should we count ourselves lucky? 
  • Does anyone know what has become of this draft motion since October?  If it has not yet been introduced, does anyone know how to influence its shape before it is introduced?

Update (3/15/08).  The draft motion was revised and adopted on January 31, 2008.  I even blogged the adopted text with comments at the time --something I didn't realize yesterday when I was only looking at the original version of the language.  Thanks to David Prosser, Director of SPARC Europe, for sending me the revised text. 

But instead of just pointing back to my January post, I'll re-post the adopted language in order to contrast it with the original, above.  From the new text (p. 47):

[The European Parliament...] Believes that investments in infrastructure, functionality and electronic cross-reference initiatives have enabled major improvements in the dissemination and use of scientific information and that the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities is an example of how opportunities for experimentation with new models have been opened up by the internet; underlines the importance of respecting authors' freedom of choice and intellectual property rights (IPR), ensuring the continuation of quality peer reviews and the trusted secure preservation of refereed work, and encourages stakeholders to work together through pilot projects to evaluate the impact and viability of alternative models, such as the development of Open Access....

Note how the new draft weakens the original:  instead of endorsing open access, it endorses experiments and the importance of respecting IPR.  The diluting amendment was proposed (p. 18) by Teresa Riera Madurell, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, and Alejo Vidal-Quadras.