Europe moves closer to open-access publishing | Print Edition - Physics Today
"When two papers describing evidence of a Higgs boson–like particle at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider were submitted in July to Physics Letters B, both were published under a new open-access (OA) agreement. In fact, CERN officials hope to make nearly all papers in high-energy particle physics OA through SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics), an international group of funding agencies, laboratories, and libraries that have committed to paying for converting 12 journals from 7 publishers to OA article by article. 'We are starting the process for libraries to redirect their subscriptions to SCOAP3 as of 2013,' says CERN’s head of OA, Salvatore Meles. If the process works on a large scale, and if the budget balances, then SCOAP3 hopes to launch in 2014. Whereas SCOAP3 affects a relatively small field of physics, two other July announcements have more far-reaching implications. The UK government declared that all papers funded by its research agencies would have to be OA by April 2013, and the European Commission (EC) made a similar announcement for 2014 regarding its billion-euro Horizon 2020 research program. The EC also asked member states to consider making '60% of European publicly funded research' OA by 2016. The main EC push for OA 'is to enable wider access to academic research to the vast majority who do not have access to research libraries,' says Tony Doyle, chair of CERN’s ATLAS Publications Committee. An additional attraction, says Victor Henning, CEO of information company Mendeley, is that OA 'will allow more effective data mining. Third-party research apps are querying Mendeley’s database more than 100 million times per month, and this number would explode if we could offer more open-access articles...'