Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Petition for open access to scientific publications

From Ian Brown via the ORG list, JISC and others are petitioning the EU for open access to scientific publications:

In the wake of the publication of the report from the "EU Study on
the Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication
Markets of Europe" a consortium of organisations working in the
scholarly communication arena is sponsoring a petition to the
European Commission to demonstrate support for Open Access and for
the recommendations in the report. Signatures may be added on behalf
of individuals or institutions.

Please register your support for Open Access in this way. To sign the
petition (shown below), please go to The sponsoring organisations are JISC (Joint Information Systems
Committee, UK), SURF (Netherlands), SPARC Europe, DFG (Deutsches
Forschungsgemeinschaft, Germany), DEFF (Danmarks Elektroniske Fag- og
Forskningsbibliotek, Denmark).

Dear Commissioner,

Our mission of disseminating knowledge is only half complete if the
information is not made widely and readily available to society. Berlin Declaration, October 2003

In January 2006 the European Commission published the Study on the
Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication
Markets of Europe. The Study resulted from a detailed analysis of the
current scholarly journal publication market, together with extensive
consultation with all the major stakeholders within the scholarly
communication process (researchers, funders, publishers, librarians,
research policymakers, etc.). The Study noted that 'dissemination and
access to research results is a pillar in the development of the
European Research Area' and it made a number of balanced and
reasonable recommendations to improve the visibility and usefulness
of European research outputs.

Now, a year after publication of the Study, we urge the EC to endorse
the recommendations in full. In particular, we encourage you to adopt
the first recommendation as a matter of urgency:


Research funding agencies have a central role in determining
researchers' publishing practices. Following the lead of the NIH and
other institutions, they should promote and support the archiving of
publications in open repositories, after a (possibly domain-specific)
time period to be discussed with publishers. This archiving could
become a condition for funding.

The following actions could be taken at the European level: (i)
Establish a European policy mandating published articles arising from
EC-funded research to be available after a given time period in open
access archives, and (ii) Explore with Member States and with
European research and academic associations whether and how such
policies and open repositories could be implemented.

We would recommend that, in accordance with the recent
recommendations from the European Research Advisory Board and the
statement of the European Research Council on Open Access, any
potential 'embargo' on free access should be set at no more than six
months following publication.

Research must be widely disseminated and read to be useful. Adopting
Recommendation A1 will immediately ensure the widest possible
readership for EC-funded research, increasing the potential benefits
resulting from the research, and promoting European scholarship both
within Europe and beyond. Evidence is accumulating to indicate that
research that is openly accessible is read more and used more and
that open access to research findings would bring economic advantage
across the European Research Area. The Commission has a unique
opportunity to place Europe at the forefront of the dissemination of
research outputs and we encourage you to adopt the Study
recommendations for the benefit of European research.

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