January 18, 2022

Europe: “Horizon 2020: A €80 Billion Battlefield for Open Access”

From Science:

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

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.