EU: Open access to research results aims to boost Europe's innovation capacity
2 - Summary:
On 17 July 2012, the European Commission adopted a Communication that sets out open access policy objectives for the research funded by the Commission through ‘Horizon 2020’. It also outlines the measures to improve access to scientific information produced in Europe.
3 - Description:
Broader and more rapid access to scientific papers and data will make it easier for researchers and businesses to build on the findings of public-funded research. This will boost Europe's innovation capacity and give citizens quicker access to the benefits of scientific discoveries. In this way, it will give Europe a better return on its €87 billion annual investment in Research and Development (R&D). The Communication and Recommendation on scientific information complement a Communication on ‘A reinforced European Research Area partnership for excellence and growth’, also being adopted on the same day, setting out key priorities for completing the European Research Area, including the optimal circulation, access to and transfer of scientific knowledge.
As a first step, the Commission will make open access to scientific publications a general principle of Horizon 2020, the EU's Research & Innovation funding programme for 2014-2020. As of 2014, all articles produced and funded by Horizon 2020 will have to be accessible, as follows:
The Commission has also recommended that Member States take a similar approach to the results of research funded under their own domestic programmes. The goal is for 60 % of European publicly-funded research articles to be available under open access by 2016.
The Commission will also start experimenting with open access to the data collected during publicly funded research (e.g. the numerical results of experiments), taking into account legitimate concerns related to the fundee’s commercial interests or to privacy.
84 % of respondents to a 2011 public consultation said that access to scientific literature is not optimal. Studies show that without speedy access to up-to-date scientific literature, it takes small and medium-sized enterprises up to two years longer to bring innovative products to the market. An EU-funded study showed that currently only 25 % of researchers share their data openly.
In this regard, Neelie Kroes, the European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, noted: "Taxpayers should not have to pay twice for scientific research and they need seamless access to raw data. We want to bring dissemination and exploitation of scientific research results to the next level. Data is the new oil."
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, added: "We must give taxpayers more bang for their buck. Open access to scientific papers and data will speed up important breakthroughs by our researchers and businesses, boosting knowledge and competitiveness in Europe.”
The Digital Agenda for Europe set out an ambitious ‘open data’ policy covering the full range of information that public bodies across the European Union produce, collect or pay for. The EU's Innovation Union flagship also explicitly backs Open Access, as an essential element in realising the European Research Area (ERA).
4 - Domain:
5 - Topic:
Efficiency & Effectiveness, Benchmarking
Services for Businesses
Services for Citizens
High Impact Services with Pan-European Scope
7 - Country:
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