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Achieving Open Access by 2020: tracking universities’ progress and guidelines for the future

29 June 2017

In furthering its work in the area of open science, EUA releases today a series of aims and recommendations on open access, with the purpose of further assisting European universities and National Rectors’ Conferences (NRCs) in the transition towards a more open scholarly communication system.

As stated in its Roadmap on Open Access to Research Publications (2016), “EUA aims to contribute to a publishing system that is simultaneously fair and transparent for stakeholders, in particular universities, research institutions, libraries, researchers, research funders, learned societies and commercial publishers”. The political momentum achieved in the areas of open access and open science in recent years has greatly contributed to European universities and the scientific system coming closer to a scenario of full open access to research publications by 2020. Despite these efforts, much remains to be achieved before full open access can be ubiquitous. Governments, National Rectors’ Conferences and university leaders at national level, together with stakeholders at European level, need to mobilise their institutions and come together in the development of guidelines and activities to support open access.

With the document Towards Full Open Access in 2020: aims and recommendations for university leaders and National Rectors’ Conferences, EUA calls for an open scholarly communication system grounded in the quality of the peer-review process, the preservation of authors and institutions’ ownership rights over research outcomes and open licences for the re-use of information, and an equitable cost-benefit ratio for both public institutions and publishers. A series of recommendations in different areas relevant to open access are outlined, including open access to research publications and research data management, institutional development of open access, the mobilisation of researchers, assessment systems, and negotiations of ‘big deals’ with publishers.

The aims and recommendations for university leaders and NRCs were guided by the results of the open access institutional survey, the work of the Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science and the dialogue with NRCs. Professor Jean-Pierre Finance, Chair of the Expert Group, noted that: “It is of the utmost importance that the university sector at large, particularly university leaders and NRCs, regain their scientific sovereignty in the publication process. Concerted efforts at institutional, national and European levels are essential to achieve full open access as swiftly as possible”.

The publication of these recommendations occurs in tandem with the release of the report Open Access in European universities: results from the 2015/2016 EUA institutional survey, which tracks the progress of institutions in the implementation of policies and practices in the area of open access. The survey conducted in 2015/2016 focused on open access to research publications and, for the first time, on open access to research data. It gathered responses from 169 institutions across 33 European countries, showing a relatively more consolidated progress on open access to research publications, but also an increasing awareness on open access to research data.

Towards Full Open Access in 2020: aims and recommendations for university leaders and National Rectors’ Conferences
Open Access in European universities: results from the 2015/2016 EUA institutional survey
• More information on  EUA’s work on Science 2.0/Open Science

European University Association (EUA)

Brussels office:
Avenue de l’Yser, 24
1040 Brussels
Belgium
Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 55 44

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Case postale 3174
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Tel: +41 22 552 02 96