Conclusions on Open Access Scholarly Publishing Adopted

24 May 2023 News Open Science
scholarly publishing

The Council of the European Union has adopted conclusions on open access scholarly publishing involving public funds. What has been paid by all should be accessible to all. 

The conclusions will allow researchers to make their findings available and re-usable. High-quality scientific articles should be openly accessible to anyone who needs to learn from them. 

The initiative aims to support the development of a publicly owned, not-for-profit scholarly communication ecosystem in collaboration with policymakers in Europe and beyond. As one of the practitioners pointed out, Europe needs to 

transition to full and immediate open access to scholar publications by establishing equitable scholarly publishing models with no costs for authors or readers, under the oversight of the research community.

Scientific articles and scholarly publishing

Scientific articles and scholarly publishing play a pivotal role in sharing research findings and advancing knowledge. However, the current state of affairs is far from ideal. 

Restrictive paywalls, unsustainable costs, and private companies controlling intellectual property have hindered the widespread availability of articles. The peer review process, although crucial for quality control, faces challenges such as overwhelming submission numbers and reviewer fatigue. 

Moreover, predatory publishing practices have further exacerbated the issue. The conclusions aim to rally behind a scholarly publishing model that is not-for-profit, open access, and multi-format. 

This paradigm shift aims to eliminate costs for both authors and readers, ensuring that knowledge knows no financial barriers. 

By introducing secondary publication rights and enacting national open access policies, scholarly publications funded by public resources can be immediately and openly accessible, fostering a truly inclusive and collaborative research environment.

Embracing Open Science

Some positive developments, such as the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), serve as a means to monitor and drive progress in the field of open science. The integration of open science monitoring into the European Research Area monitoring mechanism will provide a comprehensive overview of advancements and opportunities. 

Additional support is needed to back initiatives like Open Research Europe, a pioneering open-access research publishing service. By utilizing open-source software and standards, we can ensure interoperability and enhance accessibility to research outputs.

Peer review is the cornerstone of rigorous research validation. Therefore, it is necessary to stress the importance of recognising and rewarding peer review activities in the assessment of researchers. 

By incentivising this crucial contribution, we can safeguard the integrity and quality of scholarly publications. 

Furthermore, the training of researchers in peer-review skills and intellectual property rights is required. This will empower them with the knowledge and tools to navigate this evolving publishing landscape effectively.

A scholarly publishing revolution

The time has come for a scholarly publishing revolution. By embracing open access, removing financial barriers, and fostering collaboration, the true potential of research dissemination will be within reach. 

The conclusions open the window of opportunity to create a future where knowledge is freely accessible to all. 

This will enable innovation, drive progress, and empower researchers to shape a brighter tomorrow.