Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Norwegian government considers an OA mandate

OA mandate forthcoming in Norway?  Co-Action Publishing, June 30, 2008.  An English summary of this June 2 document from the Norwegian government.  Excerpt:

This month the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research issued a request to the Norwegian Research Council and The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR) for advice on Open Access to scientific articles.

In a Parliamentary Report nr. 20 (2004-2005) the government signaled that the Ministry would be investigating the possibility of making the results of publicly financed research more widely available. The current request for advice is a follow-up to the report and comes on the heels of a number of international events that have furthered Open Access, including a number of mandates from other national research councils and the Harvard University mandate.

The official request states that “The Ministry of Education and Research wishes to see the possibilities for stimulating an increased use of Open Access publishing of peer-reviewed scientific literature.” By Open Access, the Ministry refers to both gold and green publishing, but there appears to be a stronger emphasis on self-archiving as the request specifically states that the investigation should evaluate whether a mandate on self-archiving (green) of publicly financed research should be introduced, as well as an evaluation of the legal, technical, economic, administrative, and other consequences of such a mandate.

Comment.  There's a good chance that Norway will end up adopting an OA mandate.  The government is asking advice from the Norwegian Research Council, which created an OA working group last fall and is now working on an OA position paper.  The government is also asking advice from the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions, which joined SCOAP3 in January 2008, and submitted a pro-OA comment (in English) to the EC in June 2006, calling on the EC to provide OA to publicly-funded research and revealing that it had already called on its own member institutions to adopt local OA policies.