"Data is the New Oil": Open Access to Sweep Europe?

abernard102@gmail.com 2012-07-18


“The European Commission has followed the UK government’s plans to make all publicly funded scientific research available for free, announcing that it will improve access to scientific information in Europe. The UK’s proposal, on the table since last year, was confirmed on Monday by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts. The scheme will make research papers stemming from work paid for by the British taxpayer free online by 2014. The Guardian has called it ‘the most radical shake up of academic publishing since the invention of the internet.’ The European Commission weighed in the very next day (July 17), with European Commissioner for Research and Innovation Máire Geoghegan-Quinn declaring that open access to scientific papers and data ‘will speed up important breakthroughs by our researchers and businesses, boosting knowledge and competitiveness in Europe.’ Like the UK, the EC has set 2014 as the start date. By then all journal articles produced with funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 initiative will become accessible, either immediately online or through an open access repository. The goal is for 60% of European publicly-funded research articles to be available under open access by 2016. ‘Data is the new oil,’ said Neelie Kroes, EC Vice-President for the Digital Agenda. ... In his blog, Dr Martin Coward of Newcastle University pointed out that ‘all of the talk about ‘UK taxpayers’ might cause us to lose sight of one of the main purported reasons for open access publishing — that the results of research can be monetized by commercial organizations faster’. He added that the scheme’s ‘open access gold’ proposal, whereby authors, not readers, will pay for their articles to be published, is just a pay wall by another name. As such it may force research councils to ‘reduce the total number of projects funded to reflect the additional cost each project will entail’... but we mustn’t expect academic publishers to abandon ‘quality control’ in the era of open access. It is fair to say that, in the UK, they are welcoming the proposals, in their own way... yesterday Richard Horton, Editor of the Elsevier-owned The Lancet, tweeted: ‘The mood about open access is changing fast among traditional commercial and society publishers. The next year will bring large changes.’ And Graham Taylor, Director of Academic Publishing at the UK Publishers’ Association, reminds us that publishers ‘are not conspirators looking to ‘cripple’ the progress of science’. Instead they are pursuing the goal of universal access ‘through whatever means are practically available’. They know the journey is under way, he says. It’s just that the transition will take time.”




08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » abernard102@gmail.com


oa.new oa.gold oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.policies oa.comment oa.government oa.green oa.elsevier oa.peer_review oa.uk oa.quality oa.funders oa.fees oa.funds oa.publishers_association oa.horizon2020 oa.europe oa.repositories oa.journals



Date tagged:

07/18/2012, 22:28

Date published:

07/18/2012, 23:22