Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Open Access to scientific information

Open Access provides researchers, businesses and citizens with improved and free of charge online access to EU-funded research results, including scientific publications and research data.
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The objective of the open access policy is to optimise the impact of publicly-funded scientific research, both at European level through FP7 and Horizon 2020 and at the member state level. This is essential for Europe's ability to enhance its economic performance and improve the capacity to compete through knowledge. One way to get there is open access. Results of publicly-funded research can therefore be disseminated more broadly and faster, to the benefit of researchers, innovative industry and citizens. Open access can also boost the visibility of European research, and in particular offer small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access to the latest research results for future use.

Our strategy is to develop and implement open access to research results from projects funded by the EU Research Framework Programmes, namely FP7 and Horizon 2020. We do this through balanced support to both 'Green open access' (immediate or delayed open access that is provided through self-archiving) and 'Gold open access' (immediate open access that is provided by a publisher). We encourage national initiatives at member state level and contribute to their co-ordination within the European Research Area. Funds are also provided for research and supporting activities in the area of open access.

During the course of Horizon 2020, we will continue to engage with stakeholders while continuing to encourage a culture of sharing scientific publications and, with due respect to the rights of all concerned, research data. To this end, we have launched a pilot action on open access to research data in projects which is being taken up by participants, and are considering how best to extend and mainstream this throughout Horizon 2020.

In this, we are implementing the policies outlined in the scientific information package adopted by the Commission in July 2012, consisting of a Communication "Towards better access to scientific information: Boosting the benefits of public investments in research" that sets out open access policy objectives for the research funded by the Commission through "Horizon 2020" and a Recommendation to the Member States on access to and preservation of scientific information setting out a complete policy framework for improving access to, and preservation of, scientific information. Together, these two initiatives feed into the wider context of achieving a European Research Area.

Last updated on 30/06/2015