Open Access In EU Finally On The Horizon?

Ivan Filis | The Political Bouillon | November 13, 2012

Dis­cus­sions on the cost of access to art­icles in schol­arly journ­als have been  rock­ing the inter­na­tional media in the past months – every­where from the Eco­nom­ist to the New York Times. The pro­ver­bial genie has left the bottle, every­day more research­ers, stu­dents, and poli­cy­makers are real­iz­ing how unsus­tain­able today’s way of pub­lish­ing research has become. Com­pli­ment­ing bold ini­ti­at­ives on this issue in the UK and the USA, the EU plans to make all €80bn it will fund through 2020 openly avail­able. Neelie Kroes, European Com­mis­sioner for Digital Agenda, has recently said: “Tax­pay­ers should not have to pay twice for sci­entific research and they need seam­less access to raw data. We want to bring dis­sem­in­a­tion and exploit­a­tion of sci­entific research res­ults to the next level. Data is the new oil.”

In this art­icle, I will try to briefly out­line the prob­lem of access to journal art­icles and cur­rent devel­op­ments at the EU level for alle­vi­at­ing it. Today’s stu­dents are the largest part of the aca­demic com­munity. As the schol­ars and poli­cy­makers of the future, we should be aware of the steep bar­ri­ers many face in access­ing journ­als, and how stu­dents can work with sup­port­ive insti­tu­tions like the European Com­mis­sion to be part of the solution...