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European policy on open access publications

The European Research Advisory Board (EURAB) has recommended that the European Commission should promote open access publication policies for all their publicly funded research. EURAB was invited by the Commission to examine the issue of scientific publication with particular reference to policy recommendations regarding open access for Framework Programme 7 (FP7). It has recommended that 'a clear policy at European level is required which sets out a number of key high level principles.  The Commission can play a role in three respects: as a funding body, as a policy body, as a supporting body.

As a funding body:
1. The publication policy should not compromise the freedom of scientists to publish wherever they feel is most appropriate.
2. The effect of the policy should be to increase the visibility of and improve access to the research funded by the Commission.
3. The policy should be based on recognised best practice,
4. EURAB recommends that the Commission should consider mandating all researchers funded under FP7 to lodge their publications resulting from EC-funded research in an open access repository as soon as possible after publication, to be made openly accessible within 6 months at the latest.
a. The repository may be a local institutional and/or a subject repository. b. Authors should deposit post-prints (or publisher’s version if permitted) plus metadata of articles accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journals and international conference proceedings.
c. Deposit should be made upon acceptance by the journal/conference. Repositories should release the metadata immediately, with access restrictions to full text article to be applied as required. Open access should be made available as soon as practicable after the author-requested embargo, or six months, whichever comes first.
d. Suitable repositories should make provision for long-term preservation of, and free public access to, published research findings.
5. Given the complexity of the issues involved, the Commission should consider implementation of this policy on a phased basis, starting with research funded by the European Research Council.

As a supporting body:
6. There should be an emphasis on streamlining the process of deposit for researchers, and on standards for supporting interoperability, in digital archive projects funded under FP7. To this end it is recommended that the commission introduces a specific supporting action into every FP7 programme/thematic priority which will specifically address facilitating the use of deposit in OA repositories by the researchers funded under the particular programme/theme. They should provide key guidelines for researchers on what to deposit, where to deposit it, and when to deposit it. These supporting actions should work closely with the Digital Library Initiative and be co-ordinated across the entire FP7.
7. FP7 should include an action to invite proposals for an enhanced ranking of journals which includes not only traditional indicators of impact but also open access policies.

As a policy body:
8. The Commission should strongly encourage all Member States to promote open access publication policies for all their publicly funded research'.

This report should be read in the context of the 2006 "Study on the economic and technical evolution of the scientific publication markets in Europe"  to which the RAS responded (attached pdfs)

pdf_small EU study on open access journals.pdf

pdf_small EU study on scientific publications - RAS response May 06.pdf