Open access to research publications reaches fifty percent

Brussels, 21 August – The European Commission has released a study confirming the shift towards ‘open access’ for research results. In 2011, over 50% of scientific papers published were made available to readers for free; around twice the rate previously estimated. Open access is seen as a major boost to innovation potential.

Brussels, 21 August – The European Commission has released a study confirming the shift towards ‘open access’ for research results. In 2011, over 50% of scientific papers published were made available to readers for free; around twice the rate previously estimated. Open access is seen as a major boost to innovation potential.

Recent Commission publications have identified open access to be a core means to improve knowledge circulation, and open access will be mandatory for all publications produced from Horizon 2020 funded research.

 “These findings underline that open access is here to stay. Putting research results in the public sphere makes science better and strengthens our knowledge-based economy,” said European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. “The European taxpayer should not have to pay twice for publicly funded research.”

Researchers will have two options over open-access publication; immediate online publication, or publication after a six month delay (twelve months for the social sciences and humanities).

The Commission’s study looked at EU states and neighbouring countries, as well as Brazil, Canada, Japan, and the USA. Whilst, as a whole, 50% of publications were open access, this rate varied by field. Free availability of the majority of articles has been reached in the fields of general science and technology, biomedical research, biology and mathematics and statistics. The lowest rates were found in social sciences and humanities, and applied sciences, engineering and technology.

Click here to read the Commission’s study, ‘Proportion of Open Access Peer-Reviewed Papers at the European and World Levels, 2004-2011’.

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