European Commission discusses future of scientific publishing
More than 500 delegates from nearly 50 countries attended a major European Commission conference last week to discuss the future of scientific publishing in the European Research Area. Held in Brussels, the conference attracted researchers, publishers, policy makers, research funders, librarians and administrators drawn to debate the issues of open access of research outputs, dissemination of research and preservation in the digital age.
Opening the two day conference, the EU Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potocnik stressed the importance of raising the profile and standing of European research and of having a European science infrastructure to drive forward innovation and competitiveness. The EU Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potocnik stressed the importance of raising the profile and standing of European research and of having a European science infrastructure to drive forward innovation and competitiveness
Earlier the Commissioner had received a petition, sponsored by JISC and European partners, which was signed by more than 20,000 individuals and nearly 750 organisations, indicating the level of public support for the principle of open access (see last week’s news item).
Among the questions discussed over the two days were the policies of research funding bodies, including the European Commission, new opportunities for the research community in widening access to their research outputs, and a debate on the scientific publication market.
Discussion highlighted the need to address the challenges of providing not just open access to information but to provide integrated access to both full text of articles and primary research data and to deliver new and innovative means of exploiting the capabilities of data mining for further research.
Other topics covered during the conference included business models for scientific publications, the required e-infrastructure, the need for long-term preservation, quality assurance, and copyright and digital rights management. The need to be adaptable to change, for further research on data repositories and the continued support of peer review were further points raised during discussion sessions.
The event was closed by Viviane Reading, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, who announced that scientific publishing will be one of the highlights of the upcoming Portuguese presidency of the European Commission. She also reported that the Commission would like a discussion with ministers and the European Parliament on these issues and to work towards a common European approach.
In principle, she said, access to research outputs should be accessible to all through open repositories after an embargo period. The EC will experiment, she continued, with faster and wider access and will support the cost of author payments in their research grants.
The Commissioner told delegates that the EC will fund infrastructure to store and share data through the FP7 (Seventh Framework Programme) Capacities Programme which has 50m Euros set aside to build the top level infrastructure. A further 25m Euros is earmarked for preservation in the ICT programme in 2007-2008 with 10m Euros for greater accessibility and usability through the e-content programme. Through the Digital Library Forum, the Commission will bring the various stakeholders together and listen to all views in establishing a way forward, she concluded.
For further information on the Seventh Framework Programme, please go to: FP7