Open access week – state of play in Europe and next steps

The International Open Access Week will take place between 23 and 29 October and provides the opportuity to showcase universities’ views on the topic and attract attention to a crucial topic for EUA members.

As Mary Ritter, Professor Emeritus at Imperial College London, reminds us: “Science must be open if we are to have impact on the ‘wicked’ problems that face the world today – such as climate change, energy, food and scarce resources. This means open access to the results of research so that they can be translated into action and impact as quickly as possible”.

The political momentum achieved in the areas of open access and open science in recent years has greatly contributed to European universities and the scientific system coming closer to a scenario of full open access to research publications by 2020. Despite these efforts, much remains to be achieved before full open access can be ubiquitous. Governments, National Rectors’ Conferences and university leaders at national level, together with stakeholders at European level, need to mobilise their institutions and come together in the development of guidelines and activities to support open access.

EUA on Open Access
Last June, EUA released a series of aims and recommendations on open access “Towards Full Open Access in 2020: aims and recommendations for university leaders and National Rectors’ Conferences”, with the purpose of further assisting European universities and National Rectors’ Conferences (NRCs) in the transition towards a more open scholarly communication system.

A common position is proposed to the EUA Council for adoption during their meeting of 27 October, based on the 2016 Roadmap on Open Access to Research Publications which stated that “EUA aims to contribute to a publishing system that is simultaneously fair and transparent for stakeholders, in particular universities, research institutions, libraries, researchers, research funders, learned societies and commercial publishers”.

EUA will present the first results of its 2016/2017 report on Open Access in European Universities during open access week as well. In the meantime, Professor Jean-Pierre Finance, Chair of the Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science, summarised the latest developments on the issue and the state of play in Europe.

The International Open Access week is a key moment to reinforce our positions and we encourage all members to support the campaign by using the hashtag #OAweek on social media and promoting their best practices during that week.


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