Poynder on OA in Europe

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 16:13:56 +0000

    From Peter Suber's Open Access News

    OA in Europe and beyond

    Richard Poynder, Open Access: The War in Europe, Open and Shut? March
    15, 2007.

    This is another detailed and wide-ranging (32 pp.) Poynder
    investigation. Focusing primarily on the EC's February Communication
    on OA, Poynder also discusses the Brussels Declaration, the AAP hiring
    of Eric Dezenhall, the journal pricing crisis, the financial outlook
    for full and hybrid OA journals, the CERN project to convert particle
    physics journals to OA, the HHMI-Elsevier deal, prices charged for
    gold (and now green) OA, and the imminent re-introduction of FRPAA.

    I excerpt only Richard's preface:

    "As the battle for Open Access (OA) to the scientific literature has
    intensified, so different fronts of conflict have opened up. With the
    proposed US Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) on hold as
    a result of the American election, the main action in February was
    in Europe - where the European Commission (EC) announced a number
    of measures intended to support OA.

    "However, to the disappointment of OA advocates - and despite the
    recommendations of its own study - the EC chose not to introduce
    a mandate requiring all publicly-funded research to be made freely
    available in open repositories. Why did the EC step back from the
    brink, and where does this leave the OA Movement? ...

    "The EC's long-awaited policy on Open Access was published as
    a Communication on 15th February, and formally announced at a
    conference on scientific publishing held in Brussels.

    "While the Commission has decided that it will encourage researchers
    to publish their papers in "author-pays" OA, or hybrid, journals it
    chose not to introduce a self-archiving mandate. Rather it will issue
    programme-specific "guidelines" for making publicly-funded research
    available on the Web after an embargo period. This, it says, will
    be done on a sectoral basis, taking into account the specificity of
    the different scholarly and scientific disciplines.

    "What this guideline approach will mean in practice, commented OA
    advocate Peter Suber in his March newsletter, is for the moment
    unclear. "It doesn't tell us when it will issue the guidelines,
    whether the guidelines will require or merely encourage OA - [or]
    - what the maximum permissible embargo will be - [However] ... It
    does tell us that the guidelines will vary by discipline and funding
    program; hence even if the rules in some areas are strong enough,
    others are likely to be weak."

    "Speaking to CORDIS News on February 17th, Horst Forster, director
    of digital content at the EC's directorate general for information
    society and media, confirmed: "We [the Commission] will not have a
    mandate on Open Access."

    "In other words, the EC seems inclined to adopt a voluntary, rather
    than compulsory, approach. The aim, Forster told CORDIS News, is
    to encourage experiments with new publishing business models that
    may improve access to and dissemination of scientific information,
    and to initiate a policy debate.

    "So why has the EC retreated from a mandate? ..."

    Excerpted by Peter Suber, Open Access News
Received on Sun Mar 18 2007 - 12:41:24 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:48:49 GMT