17 July 2012 Knowledge Exchange welcomes communication and recommendation from European Commission
The European commission has just launched a communication and recommendations to member states; ‘Towards better access to scientific information
’. These outline a clear vision that starts from the interests of European researchers, innovative businesses and the European tax-payer. Knowledge Exchange (KE) welcomes this vision, which sets out a clear rationale for more open research.
Knowledge Exchange (KE) welcomes the terms on which open access shall be provided to research outputs, which are balanced and reasonable. So far as “Green” open access is concerned, publications should be deposited immediately and made available within six months of publication. The only exception is social sciences and humanities where a maximum of twelve months is allowed. Gold open access is also supported and KE welcomes the confirmation that the fees involved in having articles published in open access journals are eligible for funding. By ensuring articles are available in open access a wide audience, including independent researchers, citizens and small and medium sized enterprises will have maximum access to research articles. This will also help remove complicated barriers which will allow for easier re-use of articles in science for example through data and text mining.
The European Commission has also realised the value of research data and will support the development of infrastructure and policies to enable it to be more effectively managed, stored and shared. This will be to the benefit of scientific and scholarly research as it will provide more transparency in research results, will offer the opportunity to build on earlier research, to combine data sets from quite separate fields and work on new science bringing together large data sets and working on new methods of analysing this data.
KE particularly welcomes the reference to software in the EC communication, and expects the importance of this type of research output to increase significantly. While research monographs are not explicitly mentioned, KE is confident that more open scholarship across the disciplines will benefit all.
Working with European Union member states and national organisations such as those that make up KE, we expect these recommendations to allow for a more rapid, transparent scholarly communication system, that also allows for the use of new metrics to measure the value and impact of research both within but also beyond the borders of science. We are happy to see that there is a clear view that rewards will be required to support researchers working on an open approach. There is also a clear realisation that e-infrastructures are required to bring the materials together and link the various elements resulting from the scientific and scholarly research.
Along with the communication, the recommendations to the member states provide a clear route forward for member states. Knowledge Exchange is very pleased to see that the European commission is leading by example and the next step will be for the member states to follow suit.
Related work of KE in this area:
About Knowledge Exchange
Knowledge Exchange is a co-operative effort that supports the use and development of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) infrastructure for higher education and research. The European partners of Knowledge Exchange, DEFF, DFG, JISC and SURF, share a common vision based on their four national strategies. That vision is: To make a layer of scholarly and scientific content openly available on the Internet. In order to realise this goal, the partners work on supporting existing and new programmes on national and international levels, co-ordinating efforts on building an integrated repository infrastructure, exploring new developments in the future of publishing, facilitating integrated management services within education and research institutions and supporting libraries in the digital age. At present CSC, the IT centre for science in Finland is negotiating on becoming a member of Knowledge Exchange.
Notes for editors
The partners in Knowledge Exchange are:
DEFF - Denmark's Electronic Research Library is an organisational and technological partnership between research libraries co-financed by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education. DEFF's purpose is to advance the development of a network of electronic research libraries that make available their electronic and other information resources to the patrons in a coherent and simple way. This is obtained partly through government funding and partly by joint purchase of licenses. The Danish Agency for Libraries and Media runs the secretariat of the partnership.
DFG - The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) is the central, self-governing research funding organisation that promotes research at universities and other publicly financed research institutions in Germany. The DFG serves all branches of science and the humanities by funding research projects and facilitating cooperation among researchers.
JISC – the Joint Information Systems Committee – is a joint committee of the UK further and higher education funding bodies and is responsible for supporting the innovative use of information and communication technology (ICT) to support learning, teaching, and research. It is best known for providing the JANET network, a range of support, content and advisory services, and a portfolio of high-quality resources.
SURF is the collaborative organisation for higher education institutions and research institutes aimed at breakthrough innovations in ICT. SURF provides the foundation for the excellence of higher education and research in the Netherlands. SURF comprises SURF, SURFnet and SURFmarket and works with the Dutch Research organisation on the Netherlands e-Science Center.
CSC — IT Center for Science Ltd is administered by the Finnish Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. CSC is a non-profit company providing IT support and resources for academia, research institutes and companies: modeling, computing and information services. CSC provides Finland's widest selection of scientific software and databases and Finland's most powerful supercomputing environment that researchers can use via the Funet network.