E.U. Pushes for Open Access by 2020

European Union member states agree to an ambitious goal to make all scientific papers freely accessible within four years.

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

From 2017 to 2022, Bob Grant was Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Roundtable at the Competitiveness Council on May 27, 2016 in Brussels.EUROPEAN UNIONEurope is adopting a bold new roadmap toward open science: make all publications open access by 2020. Though the goal is ambitious, some European science ministers and open-access advocates are hailing the move as revolutionary. The proclamation came out of a two-day meeting of the Competitiveness Council, which comprises European business, science, and trade leaders, in Brussels. The effort has been spearheaded by the Dutch government, which holds the rotating EU presidency at the moment. “We probably don't realize it yet, but what the Dutch presidency has achieved is just unique and huge, European science chief Carlos Moedas said during a press conference last week. “The commission is totally committed to help move this forward.”

The commission provided few details for how the sweeping goal is to be achieved or even what a totally open-access Europe might...

The declaration is not legally binding, but rather a guideline for the 28 governments that make up the European Union.

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