Letter to MPs (was European Commission announces own OA archive)

From: N. Miradon <nmiradon_at_YAHOO.FR>
Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2007 03:30:00 -0400

All -

This is about the forthcoming parliamentary discussions of
"Scientific Information in the Digital Age: Access, Dissemination and

Further to Prof Jeffery's posting <Fri, 23 Mar 2007 13:07:20 -0000>
I have drafted a letter to my MP and to my MEP.

Copy of my draft letter below the fold.

I would be v grateful if you could read my letter for errors and
omissions, and send corrections to me off list (or post them here).

And if you have 2 minutes to spare, perhaps you could send something
like this to your own deput/ member of parliament.

Thank you

N. Miradon

+ + +

Dear Member of Parliament/Member of the European Parliament

I understand that Parliament has received a Communication from the
European Commission "On Scientific Information in the Digital Age:
Access, Dissemination and Preservation". There is an accompanying
"Staff Working Paper" - details in footnotes [1] and [2] below.

The reason for this letter is to ask you to pursue some questions
which are relevant to "Access, Dissemination and Preservation" of
scientific information; but which the Commission papers do not seem
to mention.

I am a retired research scientist. I have always found that the
European Research programmes are well structured at the start, but
that it is difficult to find the results at the end. The problem
is that the scientific information that is produced by each EU
research project is dispersed through publications in a multitude of
books, journals, pamphlets and Commission and other web pages.

So I would like to ask why all published results from EU-supported
research projects cannot be grouped together and made available via
one well-organised EU web page or 'portal'.

I think that it is reasonable to ask the Commission to do this. The
three necessary constituents of a 'portal' are -
    (i) the published research documents,
    (ii) a web site,
    (iii) a data standard for classifying and linking the documents.
The European Commission already possesses (i) and (ii) and (iii);

(i) The Commission's "Seventh Framework Programme Grant Agreement"
    already requires that every research contract funded under the
    Seventh Framework Programme should send to the Commission an
    electronic copy of every publication produced, and that the
    Commission shall, with appropriate safeguards, be authorised to
    publish every document sent to it - see footnote [3].

(ii) The Commission already has numerous web pages from earlier
    Framework Programmes, each showing the reports of its particular
    research projects - some examples are listed in [4].

(iii) The Commission has already developed a "Common European Research
    Information Format". The Commission has also sent it to the
    member states as a formal recommendation - see [5].

However the Commission has not yet managed to join up (i) + (ii) + (iii)
So, for the results of EU research projects, "Access, Dissemination
and Preservation" are substandard. I have sketched some of the
current rather untidy situation in footnote [4].

It is of course understandable that a large bureaucracy should
sometimes fail to join up the various elements under its control.

It is also understandable that bureaucracies should not draw
attention to internal problems in their published Papers.

However I trust that you and your colleagues will investigate the
matter when you discuss "On Scientific Information in the Digital
Age: Access, Dissemination and Preservation".

It should not be too difficult or expensive for the Commission to
ensure that the publications that are sent to the Commission, are made
available on the websites that the Commission runs, using the
information format which the Commission itself recommends.

If this is done, then all published documents from the research that
is funded in the Seventh Framework Programme will become available
over the web. Industry, research workers and citizens will all
benefit - and they should be grateful to the Commission and to you.

Yours sincerely

N. Miradon

+ + +


1. "Communication from the Commission to the European
    Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social
    Committee on scientific information in the digital age:
    access, dissemination and preservation {SEC(2007)181}" /*
    COM/2007/0056 final */
    in English, French and German at




2. "Commission staff working document - Document accompanying
    the Communication from the Commission to the European
    Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social
    Committee on scientific information in the digital age:
    access, dissemination and preservation {COM(2007) 56 final}"
    /* SEC/2007/0181 final */


3. "FP7 Grant Agreement - Annex II General Conditions
    Version 20.12.06 ISC clean 3."

    Article II.30 (Dissemination) says -
    "... Furthermore, an electronic copy of the published version or
    the final manuscript accepted for publication shall also be
    provided to the Commission at the same time for the purpose set
    out in Article II.12(2) if this does not infringe any rights of
    third parties."

    And Article II.12. (Information and communication) says -
    "... 2. The Commission shall be authorised to publish, in
    whatever form and on or by whatever medium, the following
    information: ... ^ the details/references and the abstracts of
    scientific publications relating to foreground and, where
    provided pursuant to Article II.30, the published version or the
    final manuscript accepted for publication; ..."

4. The "Fifth framework programme of the European Community
   for research, technological development and demonstration
   activities (1998 - 2002)" was divided into thematic programmes and
   horizontal programmes (TP and HP).

    Programmes TP and HP were divided into sub programmes, and each
    sub programme was further divided into key actions (KA).

    Here are the starter web pages of TP1
     TP 1 Quality of life and management of living resources
       TP 1, KA 1: http://ec.europa.eu/research/quality-of-life/TP 1, KA
       TP 1, KA 2: ?
       TP 1, KA 3:
       TP 1, KA 4: http://ec.europa.eu/research/quality-of-life/TP 1, KA
.4/TP 1, KA .4_reports_en.html
       TP 1, KA 5: http://ec.europa.eu/research/quality-of-life/TP 1, KA
       TP 1, KA 6: http://ec.europa.eu//research/quality-of-life/TP 1, KA
.6/TP 1, KA .6.html
       TP 1, KA 7:

    Note that each of these pages has a different design, and that none of
    them has a search engine.

    If you are looking for particular information, you may also need to
    look through the rest of the structure (web pages not listed here)
    1 Thematic programmes
     TP 2 User friendly information society
     TP 3 Competitive and sustainable growth
     TP 4 Energy, environment and sustainable development
    2 Horizontal programmes
     HP 1 Confirming the international role of community research
     HP 2 Promotion of innovation and encouragement of participation of SMEs
     HP 3 Improving human research potential and the socio-economic
knowledge base

5. CERIF (Common European Research Information Format) was
    developed with the support of the EC (European Commission) in
    two major phases: 1987-1990 and 1997-1999. It is an European
    Union Recommendation to member states.

Received on Sat Mar 24 2007 - 11:35:44 GMT

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