Open Access: What’s next?

28 juni 2016

What did the recent attention for Open Access by the Netherlands Presidency deliver? And how to implement the goal of 100% Open Access of publications by 2020 in member states? Over fifty stakeholders from all over Europe came together to discuss these issues during a seminar organised by Neth-ER, the Dutch association of universities (VSNU) and the European University Association (EUA).

Open Access under the Netherlands Presidency

Last May, the European ministers endorsed clear ambitions for Open Access during the Competitiveness Council and agreed on setting a target for reaching full Open Access to scientific publications by 2020 and an optimal reuse of scientific data. How to implement these goals was discussed during the seminar.

European activities on Open Access

Johannes Vogel, chair of the Open Science Policy Platform, spoke about the Open science Policy Actions. He referred to the draft European Open Science Agenda of the European Commission, that gives an overview of the policy actions at EU and national level. Vogel also explained the main challenges of the Open Science Policy Platform and underlined the importance for the Platform to involve stakeholders.

Experiences and results with Open Access in the Netherlands

Robert van der Vooren, Project Manager Open Access at the VSNU, shared the experiences and results with Open Access in The Netherlands and how the universities did the negotiations to inspire other countries. According to Van Der Vooren, a market transformation from subscription to open access, saves money. So far the Dutch universities mainly focused on the big publishers and negotiated Open Access deals with them. Big deals serve as a vehicle for Open Access negotiations. Van Der Vooren focussed on four success factors: form one block as universities in the bargaining; send a powerful delegation to the negotiations; be loyal to principles and clear political support is very helpful.

How to achieve Open Access?

An international panel, covering the governmental, publisher and university perspective, shared their views on the transition to Open Access and discussed with the participants of the seminar what politics could do for science and what science could do for politics. Four main conclusions can be drawn from this discussion:

  • It is time to move from the question ‘Why should we achieve Open Access’ to the question ‘How to achieve Open Access’. The answer to the latter question can be provided by stakeholders in the member states and by concerted actions.
  • Moving towards Open Access has to be done top down and bottom up simultaneously.
  • We need a proper dialogue between the different stakeholders to get into action. This dialogue should not only be about the results, but also about the system as a whole.
  • A lack of action will lead to uncertainty. So action should be the focus for both politics and science.

The panel was chaired by Lidia Borrell-Damián, director of research and innovation of the European University Association. The members of the panel were Marek Niezgódka, Director of Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling (ICM), University of Warsaw, Stuart Pritchard, EU Affairs Manager at Wellcome Trust, and Ana Alves Pereira, Member of Cabinet of the Portuguese Ministry of Science.

More information

Publication: Council Conclusions on Open Science
Publication: Amsterdam Call for Action
Publication: E-zine Open Access VSNU
Publication: Concept Agenda OSPP
Publication: Photo Album 
Website: VSNU
Website: EUA 

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