« Two years after the publication of the European Commission recommendation on open access to scientific information, the critical threshold of accessibility to fifty percent of papers has been crossed. However, this figure is an average and the implementation of the EC recommendation varies from one country to another. The topical issue now is to observe the different steps of implementation and to wonder about the reaseons of such a disparity. In order to suggest many elements of the response, this research compares the different levels of implementation in the EU28. »
« Background. The 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development is helping the European to prepare for an integrative system for intelligent management of biodiversity knowledge. The infrastructure that is envisaged and that will be further developed within the Programme “Horizon 2020” aims to provide open and free access to taxonomic information to anyone with a requirement for biodiversity data, without the need for individual consent of other persons or institutions. Open and free access to information will foster the re-use and improve the quality of data, will accelerate research, and will promote new types of research. Progress towards the goal of free and open access to content is hampered by numerous technical, economic, sociological, legal, and other factors. The present article addresses barriers to the open exchange of biodiversity knowledge that arise from European laws, in particular European legislation on copyright and database protection rights.
We present a legal point of view as to what will be needed to bring distributed information together and facilitate its re-use by data mining, integration into semantic knowledge systems, and similar techniques. We address exceptions and limitations of copyright or database protection within Europe, and we point to the importance of data use agreements. We illustrate how exceptions and limitations have been transformed into national legislations within some European states to create inconsistencies that impede access to biodiversity information.
Conclusions. The legal situation within the EU is unsatisfactory because there are inconsistencies among states that hamper the deployment of an open biodiversity knowledge management system. Scientists within the EU who work with copyright protected works or with protected databases have to be aware of regulations that vary from country to country. This is a major stumbling block to international collaboration and is an impediment to the open exchange of biodiversity knowledge. Such differences should be removed by unifying exceptions and limitations for research purposes in a binding, Europe-wide regulation. »
MedOANet: The Copyright and OA Landscape in Mediterranean Europe :
« The aim of this paper is to analyse the current copyright framework conditioning the progress of OA in Mediterranean countries and to examine whether this copyright framework needs to be improved and by which measures. In order to do so, this paper firstly introduces MedOANet, which is an EU-funded project the aim of which is to enhance existing national policies, strategies and structures for OA and to contribute towards the implementation of new ones in Mediterranean countries, namely France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Turkey. Secondly, this paper gives an overview of the results of a survey which has been conducted in 2012 amongst research publishers by MedOANet. Thirdly, an interpretation of the most striking results of the survey is given: research publishers based in Mediterranean countries have, on average, very OA-friendly copyright and self-archiving policies in place. Some improvements could be achieved by developing an OA-conductive campaign of awareness rising; however, OA as the default way of scholarly communication would best be supported by an OA-friendly legal environment. In the end the author of the paper therefore asks the national and European legislators to introduce an exception or limitation for a green road OA publication of any publicly funded research paper into European and national copyright law. »
URL : http://liber.library.uu.nl/index.php/lq/article/view/9126
e-InfraNet: ‘Open’ as the default modus operandi for research and higher education :
« This document is a policy paper from the e-InfraNet project concerning open approaches for the research and higher education communities across the European Research Area (ERA). The document has been produced to provide advice and guidance on this topic to the Commission.
In order to realize the full potential of ‘Open’ e-InfraNet recommends that a broad policy framework covering open access to content and infrastructure as well as open approaches to the further development of ‘Open’ itself, and to the way research and higher education is established and developed.
The basis for the policy framework as outlined in this paper is an overview of the current ‘Open’ landscape outlining contexts, drivers, achievements and effects of the various ‘opens’, as well as a number of common issues. »
URL : http://e-infranet.eu/output/e-infranet-open-as-the-default-modus-operandi-for-research-and-higher-education/
Metajournals. A federalist proposal for scholarly communication and data aggregation :
« While the EU is building an open access infrastructure of archives (e.g. OpenAIRE) and it is trying to implement it in the Horizon 2020 program, the gap between the tools and the human beings – researchers, citizen scientists, students, ordinary people – is still wide. The necessity to dictate open access publishing as a mandate for the EU funded research – ten years after the BOAI – is an obvious symptom of it: there is a chasm between the net and the public use of reason. To escalate the advancement and the reuse of research, we should federate the multitude of already existing open access journals in federal open overlay journals that receive their contents from the member journals and boost it with their aggregation power and their semantic web tools. The article contains both the theoretical basis and the guidelines for a project whose goals are:
1. making open access journals visible, highly cited and powerful, by federating them into wide disciplinary overlay journals;
2. avoiding the traps of the “authors pay” open access business model, by exploiting one of the virtue of federalism: the federate journals can remain little and affordable, if they gain visibility from the power of the federal overlay journal aggregating them;
3. enriching the overlay journals both through semantic annotation tools and by means of open platforms dedicated to host ex post peer review and experts comments;
4. making the selection and evaluation processes and their resulting data as much as possible public and open, to avoid the pitfalls (e. g, the serials price crisis) experienced by the closed access publishing model. It is about time to free academic publishing from its expensive walled gardens and to put to test the tools that can help us to transform it in one open forest, with one hundred flowers – and one hundred trailblazers. »
URL : http://eprints.rclis.org/19101/
Implementing Open Access Mandates in Europe :
« This work highlights existing open access policies in Europe and provides an overview of publishers’ self-archiving policies. It also highlights the strategies needed to implement these policies. It provides a unique overview of national awareness of open access in 32 European countries involving all eu member states and in addition, Norway, Iceland, Croatia, Switzerland and Turkey. Moreover, it describes funder and institutional open access mandates in Europe and national strategies to introduce and implement them. An overview is provided of the repository infrastructure currently in place in European countries, including institutional and disciplinary repositories, national repository networks and national open access information portals and support networks. »
URL : http://webdoc.sub.gwdg.de/univerlag/2012/oa_mandates.pdf
The Myth of European Term Harmonisation: 27 Public Domains for the 27 Member States :
« The term of protection of copyright and related rights is generally considered to be one of the best harmonised areas of European copyright law. However, close examination of the EU Term Directive’s intricate provisions reveals a piecemeal and permissive approach to harmonisation which preserves many differences between the national rules. In this report, four main sources of legislative variability are identified and analysed: a) contagion from unharmonised areas of substantive copyright law; b) explicit exceptions to the harmonisation of the term of protection; c) national related rights of unharmonised term; and d) incorrect implementation of the provisions of the Term Directive into national law.
As a result, the desired harmonising effect has not been fully achieved: although a single rule may be applicable across the EU in theory, drastically divergent terms of protection may attach to the same information product depending on the jurisdiction within which protection is sought. In this way, the territorial nature of copyright undercuts harmonisation efforts, forcing the public domain to contract and expand according to divergent national rules. The result is a legislative framework that makes cross-border rights clearance calculation difficult, hampering end-users and cultural heritage organisations from taking full avail of the new opportunities now technically available for the digitisation and exploitation of the public domain. If the EU wishes to establish a truly harmonised term of protection for copyright and related rights, a more committed and comprehensive approach will be a necessary. »
URL : http://ssrn.com/abstract=2145862
Survey on open access in FP7 :
« Open access refers to the practice of granting free Internet access to research outputs. The principal objective of an open access policy in the seventh framework programme (FP7) is to provide researchers and other interested members of the public with improved online access to EU-funded research results. This is considered a way to improve the EU’s return on research and development investment.
The European Commission launched in August 2008 the open access pilot in FP7. It concerns all new projects from that date in seven FP7 research areas: energy, environment, health, information and communication technologies (cognitive systems, interaction, and robotics), research infrastructures (e-infrastructures), science in society (SiS) and socioeconomic sciences and humanities (SSH). Grant beneficiaries are expected to deposit peer-reviewed research articles or final manuscripts resulting from their projects into an online repository and make their best efforts to ensure open access to those articles within a set period of time after publication.
In addition to the pilot, FP7 rules of participation also allow all projects to have open access fees eligible for reimbursement during the time of the grant agreement (1) (‘open access publishing’, also called ‘author pays’ fees).
In May 2011, the Commission identified the 811 projects designated at the time and sent a questionnaire to all project coordinators in order to collect feedback on their experiences of both the implementation of the pilot and the reimbursement of open access publishing costs. A total of 194 answers were received by the end of August 2011. They provide important input for the future of the open access policy and practices in Horizon 2020 (the future EU framework programme for research and innovation), and for the preparation of a communication from the Commission and a recommendation to Member States on scientific publications in the digital age. »
URL : http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/document_library/pdf_06/survey-on-open-access-in-fp7_en.pdf
Online survey on scientific information in the digital age :
« The public consultation ‘Online survey on scientific information in the digital age’ spurred great interest among different categories of stakeholders, with 1 140 responses received. The Commission received responses from 42 countries, including from all Member States except Ireland, Malta, Slovenia and Slovakia, with 37 % of all responses submitted by German respondents.
Respondents were asked if there is no access problem to scientific publications in Europe: 84 % disagreed or disagreed strongly with the statement. The high prices of journals/subscriptions (89 %) and limited library budgets (85 %) were signalled as the most important barriers to accessing scientific publications. More than 1 000 respondents (90 %) supported the idea that publications resulting from publicly funded research should, as a matter of principle, be in open access (OA) mode. An even higher number of respondents (91 %) agreed or agreed strongly that OA increased access to and dissemination of scientific publications. Self-archiving (‘green OA’) or a combination of self-archiving and OA publishing (‘gold OA’) were identified as the preferred ways that public research policy should facilitate in order to increase the number and share of scientific publications available in OA. Respondents were asked, in the case of self-archiving (‘green OA’), what the desirable embargo period is (period of time during which publication is not yet open access): a six-month period was favoured by 56 % of respondents (although 25 % disagree with this option).
As for the question of access to research data, the vast majority of respondents (87 %) disagreed or disagreed strongly with the statement that there is no access problem for research data in Europe. The barriers to access research data considered very important or important by respondents were: lack of funding to develop and maintain the necessary infrastructures (80 %); the insufficient credit given to researchers for making research data available (80 %); and insufficient national/regional strategies/policies (79 %). There was strong support (90 % of responses) for research data that is publicly available and results
from public funding to be, as a matter of principle, available for reuse and free of charge on the Internet. Lower support (72 % of responses) was given for data resulting from partly publicly and partly privately funded research.
Responding to the question asking whether preservation of scientific information is at present sufficiently addressed, 64 % of the respondents disagreed or disagreed strongly. The main barriers signalled in this area were: uncertainty as to who is responsible for preserving scientific information (80 %); the quality and interoperability of repositories (78 %); and the lack of a harmonised approach to legal deposit (69 %). »
URL : http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/document_library/pdf_06/survey-on-scientific-information-digital-age_en.pdf
PEER Economics Research – Final Report :
« This study considers the effect of large-scale deposit on scholarly research publication and dissemination (sharing of research outputs), beginning with the analysis of publishers and
institutions managing repositories and their sustainability. The study associates costs with specific activities, performed by key actors involved in research registration, certification, dissemination and digital management: authors, the scholarly community, editors, publishers, libraries, readers and funding agencies. Contrary to most of the existing literature, the study analyses cost structures of individual organizations. The focus of this study is therefore to provide context for the costs to specific organizations and to their choices in terms of scale and scope. »
URL : http://www.peerproject.eu/fileadmin/media/reports/PEER_Economics_Report.pdf