Scholarly Communications: EU Conference and Commission Statement

Added by Michael Jubb on 20 February 2007 15:40

I spent Thursday and Friday last week at an EU conference in Brussels on Scientific Publication in the European Research Area. The conference attracted over 400 representatives of the library, publishing and research communities, and there was an impressive range of speakers from the US as well as across Europe.

There was a sense that the debate on open access is beginning to move on at a European level, following the EURAB), and the shorter statement< from the European Research Council.

Shortly before the conference, the Commission issued its own communication setting out some actions that it intends to take on access to Community-funded research results, the co-funing of research infrastructures, and policy debate and co-ordination. There is much still to debate. Organisations from across Europe, including SPARC Europe and JISC presented a petition with 20,000 signatures urging the Commission to accept the recommendations of the report of the EU-funded Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication Markets of Europe’. Specifically, the petition asks the Commission to 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 to explore with Member States whether and how such policies and open repositories could be implemented.

At the same time, 43 publishing organisations have issued the Brussels Declaration laying out ten principles through which scientific, technical and medical (STM) publishing can continue working for the benefit of science and society.

All this activity seems to presage further developments in the scholarly communications world over the next few months. The RIN is issuing later this week a statement of the public policy goals for scholarly communications in the UK. It has been endorsed by the key representative bodies for libraries and publishers in the UK, as well as the Wellcome Trust and JISC. We hope it will prove a fruitful contribution to the development of policy in this area.

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