19 July 2012

EU Presents Open Access Aims

The following targets are among the most striking points in the European Commission's recent report on Open Access to scientific publications within the EU. 

  • By 2016, the share of publicly-funded scientific articles available under open access EU-wide will have increased from 20% to 60%. 
  • 100% of scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 will be available under open access.

Two models of Open Access are mentioned in the report. They each have consequences for different groups in the current system of international sharing and creation of scientific knowledge: 

Green Open Access (self-archiving): the published article or the final peer-reviewed manuscript is archived by the researcher in an online repository before, after or alongside its publication. Access to this article is often delayed (‘embargo period’) at the request of the publisher so that subscribers retain an added benefit.

Gold Open Access (open access publishing): payment of publication costs is shifted from readers (via subscriptions) to authors. These costs are usually borne by the university or research institute to which the researcher is affiliated, or by the funding agency supporting the research.

The Open Access debate in UK at the moment is dominated by disagreements with regards to which model should be followed. An article in Guardian gives examples of arguments for an against. The report to the UK government written by a working group headed by Dame Janet Finch strongly recommend the Gold model. The group has been criticised by some UK academics for being partial, as many working group members are representing scientific journal publishers. 

A link for the EU Commissions report can be found here.

The article in the Guardian on Open Access model debate can be read here.