Presidenza Olandese del Consiglio dell’Ue: importanza di OPEN ACCESS

In occasione dell’inizio del semestre di presidenza olandese del Consiglio dell’Ue appena cominciato, sickness il Ministero olandese dell’Educazione ha  sottolineato l’importanza di OPEN ACCESS e l’impegno a rendere gratuita la pubblicazione su riviste e giornali  di ricerche e studi finanziati con soldi pubblici europei.

In particolare:

Education minister Sander Dekker will push to make more journal papers free to publicly-funded researchers during the Netherlands’ presidency of the EU Council .

The Netherlands will use the spotlight of the EU Council presidency to confront the inequity of scientific research publishing, cheap Sander Dekker, Minister for Education, Culture and Science told the European Parliament on Tuesday, as he set out the priorities for R&D policy of the six month Dutch presidency.  

“Europe really needs to catch up on open access,” Dekker said, promising political impetus on open access publishing, a model under which the author, not the reader, pays for publishing costs. To my frustration, I see data and publications are protected still. The fact is that research funded with public money is simply not open to that very same public,” said Dekker. “New scientific knowledge disappears behind a wall, out of the reach of doctors, of general practitioners; people who may want to know more about a certain disease. All these people are deprived of research and knowledge,” he said.

Discontent with science publishers has bubbled to the surface in the last few years, with public funding bodies complaining they pay twice – to fund the research and then to buy access to research outputs in the form of subscription fees for journals.

The Dutch have made efforts to change this over the past two years, with the Association of Universities in the Netherlands, a consortium of 14 institutes, making deals with major publishers.

Steering EU-wide reform will be a hard line to tread for the Dutch minister, given the size and influence of the science publishing sector in the Netherlands.

The UK too, is moving towards open access. Last October, Jisc, a body that represents UK higher education institutions, negotiated a deal giving free access to papers with UK-based authors in 1,600 subscription journals published by Springer.

Now it is the turn of other EU countries, Dekker said, calling on universities to collectively push publishers towards open access. “I think we can increase effectiveness if we combine forces and set high standards for open access,” he said.

Failure to move to a model of freely-available journals will result in a, “competitive disadvantage” for Europe, he added.

Apart from costing less, proponents say open access articles get a larger audience. “New knowledge can have a bigger impact if it’s open to everyone,” Dekker noted. “In 2014, a solution to the Ebola crisis was hindered by a lack of access to recent research publications and data. Pressure from scientists triggered publishers to open up publications. Open science has proved itself in the case of Ebola.”

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