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Insight welcomes the European Commission's renewed push for open access publishing
by William Davis, Managing Director, Insight Publishers
The EU is making increasingly positive noises about opening up access to information about research that is funded by the Horizon 2020 programme by “mandating’ researchers to use “gold” and “green” open access publishing outlets when publishing the results of their work.
Of course, throwing the weight of its multi-billion Euro research programme behind this call for research funded out of the public purse to be more accessible to all will have a big impact on scientific publishing over the coming months and years, despite what many traditional publishers are arguing.
As Robert Jan-Smits stated recently when speaking to the Times Higher Education supplement in the UK, the Commission is “committed” to free, open access to this information as it is “essential” to driving free movement of researchers and of their ideas in Europe.
“We can make one hell of a difference,” he said when referring to the billions of Euros Horizon 2020 is making available to European researchers. “We’re clear about the huge potential that exists on open access.”
Insight has been committed to opening up access to research information for many years now, shifting the associated cost of publication and distribution away from the reader and on to those funding the research in the first place. It makes what should be public information far more accessible to a much wider group of stakeholders, while it also benefits the researchers looking to create wider impact with their work because it is seen by a much wider and more influential group of people. We now welcome the EU’s determination to continue opening up this flow of information and believe that it is a process that must continue.
Many research funders in the UK have already thrown their weight behind open access publishing and with Europe as a whole now likely to follow suit, it seems the bandwagon is unstoppable.
Indeed, anyone preparing proposals for funding through the new funding programme will have already noticed how the EC is likely to score open access planning at the evaluation stage.
In the guidelines published for proposal writers, dissemination and exploitation advice is clearly geared towards plans for open access publishing. In outlining recommendations for strategising the management and protection of knowledge, the guidelines state: “Include measures to provide open access (free on-line access, such as the ‘green’ or ‘gold’ model) to peer-reviewed scientific publications which might result from the project
“Open access publishing (also called 'gold' open access) means that an article is immediately provided in open access mode by the scientific publisher. The associated costs are usually shifted away from readers, and instead (for example) to the university or research institute to which the researcher is affiliated, or to the funding agency supporting the research.
“Self-archiving (also called 'green' open access) means that the published article or the final peer-reviewed manuscript is archived by the researcher – or a representative – in an online repository before, after or alongside its publication.”
Insight believes that while open access to peer-reviewed manuscripts is essential to increase the impact European research has on a global scale, it is also essential that well-constructed, editorially-robust and objective articles are written by journalists about research and that this material is then widely distributed to an audience that cuts across academia, industry, the public sector, policy makers and the general public.
Only then will those paying for this research truly understand where their money is being spent while at the same time those doing the research have access to an audience who will be able to use it, develop it, invest in it and, ultimately, bring their ideas to life.
- Please call me on +44(0)117 2033 120 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org talk further about how Insight can bring your research to life.
Published: Tuesday, 18th February 2014 by William Davis