Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, June 27, 2008

ESF joins EuroHORCs in recommending OA mandates for European funders

In addition to its recent recommendations for OA mandates in 23 European countries, EuroHORCs has joined forces with the European Science Foundation to issue a joint Vision on a Globally Competitive European Research Area and Road Map for Actions to Help Build It, June 2008.  Excerpt:

A globally competitive ERA [European Research Area] requires: ...

8. Open access to the output of publicly funded research and permanent access to primary quality assured research data...

Common policy on Open Access and Permanent Access to research data

Addresses Vision point 8.

Whilst the crucial role of peer reviewed publications in both academia and research is recognised, there is also pressure to ensure that the results of publicly funded research are available quickly and publicly. Influential national and international funding and strategy bodies are formulating their own statements and policies. EUROHORCs Member Organisations, which account among them for over 18 billion Euros research funding in Europe, will develop a joint statement on Open Access. The formulation and adoption of such a common policy would have an immediate, beneficial and unifying impact.

The collection of research data is a huge investment. Permanent access to such data, if quality controlled and in interoperable formats, allows other researchers to use them, allows re-analysis of, for example, long time series and could play a role in ensuring research integrity. EUROHORCs and ESF will address how to best promote and ensure such permanent access to data generated with their funding.

Also see the EuroHORCs press release on the new statement (June 25, 2008):

..."EUROHORCs and ESF are committed to play a key role in shaping this ERA and this Road Map is the proof of that commitment.  This policy briefing is a result of our analysis of what is needed and how our members, together with other partners, could contribute." said ESF President Professor Ian Halliday and the President of the EUROHORCs Professor Pär Omling in a joint statement....


  • EuroHORCs has expressed strong recent support for OA.  But I believe this is the first time the ESF has publicly called for OA, let alone OA mandates across Europe. 
  • In April 2003, Alison Buckholtz, Raf Dekeyser, Melissa Hagemann, Thomas Krichel, and Herbert Van de Sompel wrote an important policy briefing for the ESF, recommending OA.  Although the ESF posted a copy to its web site two months later, I don't believe that it ever endorsed the paper's recommendations.
  • The ESF represents 77 members organizations from 30 European countries.