Our objective is to optimise the impact of publicly-funded scientific research, both at European level (FP7, Horizon 2020) and at 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 for utilisation.
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. Open access requirements are based on a 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).
The strategy is also to 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 obtain the input of all concerned stakeholders on this important and sensitive issue, the Directorates-General Connect, responsible for the Digital Agenda, and Research and innovation ( DG RTD), jointly held a one-day public consultation on open research data in Brussels on 2nd July 2013. The contributions can be found here.
In July 2012, the Commission adopted a scientific information package 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.
Background documents on open access to scientific information are available here.
Please also consult the press release "Commission launches pilot to open up publicly funded research data" of 13 December 2013.