Open Science in the European Union
A few days ago I noticed a remarkable announcement about a meeting of European Ministers in Brussels relating to Open Access Publishing.This has subsequently been picked up by the Grauniad and has been creating quite a stir.
To summarise the report coming out of the meeting, here is a quotation from the draft communique, which states that they
…welcome open access to scientific publications as the option by default for publishing the results of publicly-funded research..
They also plan to
To remove financial and legal barriers, and to take the necessary steps for successful implementation in all scientific domains.
In a nutshell, the proposal is a move to abandon the traditional journal subscription model and embrace freely-available scientific research by 2020.
This is definitely a very good move. My only worry is that those involved seem not to have been able to make a decision on whether to go for the Green or Gold Open Access Model. The latter route has, in my opinion, been grossly abused by profiteering academic publishers who charge eye-watering “processing fees” for open access. I hope this initiative by the EU is not hijacked by vested interests as was the case with the UK’s Finch Report.
There’s clearly a lot more to be done before this proposal can be implemented, but it’s a very positive development the EU which will benefit science, both in the UK and across the continent, hugely. The European Union’s enthusiastic embrace of the principles of open access to scientific research is just one more to add to the list of reasons to remain.Follow @telescoper