As negotiations proceed to shape the next installment of Europe’s gargantuan research funding programs, scientists, librarians, and publishers are eagerly awaiting the answer to a critical question: How strong will the new 7-year program, called Horizon 2020, be on Open Access (OA)?
Last week, the commission’s director-general of research and innovation at the [European] commission, Robert-Jan Smits, said in an interview in the Times Higher Education that open access, which typically involves making research papers freely available within months or a year of publication, “will be the norm” for research funded through Horizon 2020. “With our €80 billion we can make one hell of a difference,” Smits said.
hat that will mean exactly is still unclear, however, and the topic of much lobbying and speculation. OA advocates say a clear mandate to make all E.U.-funded papers publicly available would be hugely significant, and would be another step in what they hope is a complete transition to OA.
“We very much welcome” Smits’s comments, says Alma Swan, Director of European Advocacy of SPARC, an international alliance of academic and research libraries promoting open access.
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Hat Tip: Sebastian Poth