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Quote: Open Access “Why are we still at 20 per cent instead of 100 per cent?”

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During the PEER End of Project results conference in Brussels, Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission (EC) responsible for the Digital Agenda, began the meeting with a strong message of support from the EC for open access.

‘We need more timely access to scientific articles in Europe. We need open access to scientific information,’ she said, and extended her support beyond journal articles to include access to research data.

Open access is growing: today representing well over 7500 journals, and 20 per cent of scientific articles. But that is slow growth…Why are we still at 20 per cent instead of 100 per cent? Because even though scientists accept the principle of free online access, there are barriers to putting it into practice,’ she continued.

‘Still today many public funding bodies and research institutes do not do enough to ensure open access to their results. Still today, some publishers continue to impose restrictive conditions on researchers. Still today, only 60 per cent of publishers allow for self-archiving.’

Nonetheless, she acknowledged the economic pressures involved in open access. ‘Of course, that transformation also needs to take place in the real world, based on real economics,’ she said. ‘Publishing 1.5 million articles per year doesn’t happen for free. Nor does organising peer review, a process which remains – and needs to remain – the hallmark of quality science. As everywhere, service providers in this space, whether private or public, can only keep on providing services if their business models are sustainable. We can expect investments only where returns are likely: that is normal.’

Reported by: Weighing up gold and green. Research information, 30 may 2012, Available from:

[Accessed 31 May 2012]


Written by hbasset

May 31, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Posted in Journals

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