11 November 2008

A word from the European Commission - Berlin 6

"Results of publicly funded research should be accessible." - Horst Forster

Over the last year especially, with the passing of various Open Access mandates, this phrase has been used more and more - today by Horst Forster of the European Commission.

His perspective (and many of his colleagues in various areas of the EC, from my experience) on the accessibility of publicly funded research is in line with the leading OA advocates. Though still, as good as access is today in comparison, there is still an access problem.

Forster briefly touched on the landscape of OA currently, citing statistics from ROARMap of there being 3,700 OA journals to date, a 15 percent increase since last fall; and current figures of there being 57 self-archiving mandates, a 42 percent increase since last year.

But questions still remain -- how do you fund the dissemination of scientific knowledge? Why is there a limited uptake of Open Access?

Mandated depositories are not as rosy of a strategy as it may seem, he said. Deposit compliance rates in other areas are lower than the figures cited (NIH - 60+% current compliance and Wellcome Trust - 37% of their work accessible).

His view, researchers and funding institutions are not pursuing this rigorously enough -- and points the finger at himself as well (Note: Forster is responsible for a 1 billion euro funding program.)

The EC currently offers fair remuneration for those who try to make the OA system work. They've also recently enacted a large scale experiment in OA to peer reviewed articles, as part of their Framework Programme 7. In this pilot, articles resulting from certain areas of funded research under FP7 will be made available within 6-12 months. This OA pilot covers close to 37% of the budget of the research group until 2013 - a figure that sits at approximately 20 billion euro. Yowza.

1 comment:

  1. What's needed to reinforce the funder mandates and their compliance rates is complementary institutional mandates. Institutions are the universal providers of peer-reviewed research output, across all disciplines, funded and unfunded. That covers all of OA space:

    "How To Integrate University and Funder Open Access Mandates"


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