A strong need for better access to scientific publications in Europe
Obvious results after a public consultation, open from from 15.07.2011 to 09.09.2011, which concerned access to scientific publications and scientific data as well as the preservation of scientific information. Stakeholders were given the opportunity to comment on the state of play, barriers and potential policy actions in these areas.
Nearly 90 percent of respondents supported the idea that publications resulting from publicly funded research should, as a matter of principle, be in open access (OA) mode and that data from publicly funded research should be available for reuse free of charge on the internet. Furthermore, 83 percent called for policy formulation at the EU level and 86 percent agreed on the development of an EU network of repositories.
Asked about barriers to accessing scientific publications the high price of journals/subscriptions (89 percent) and the limited budget of libraries (85 percent) were identified as key issues. The main barriers to access research data were identified as lack of funding to develop and maintain the necessary infrastructures (80 percent); the insufficient credit given to researchers for making research data available (80 percent); insufficient national/regional strategies/policies (79 percent) as well as the lack of incentives for researchers (76.4 percent).
Self-archiving (‘green OA’) or a combination of self-archiving and OA publishing (‘gold OA’) were identified as the preferred ways for increasing the number and share of scientific publications available in OA mode. The majority (56 percent of respondents) prefer an embargo period (that is the period of time during which a publication is not yet open access) of six months.
Finally, respondents were also concerned that the preservation of scientific information is currently insufficiently addressed.
The survey on scientific information in the digital age is available at