EU £64m funding programme 'to back open access'

EU £64m funding programme 'to back open access'

Further pressure on publishers to fall in line over the use of open access models is set to come from the European Union, which is planning to throw the weight of its £64m research funding program behind open access publishing.

The Times Higher Education Supplement reports today (17th May) that an EC official has revealed that for researchers receiving funding from its Horizon 2020 program between 2014-20, a requirement to adopt open access publishing for their work “will be the norm.” A pilot scheme underway in seven areas of its current funding programme is to be extended across all peer-reviewed research in the new scheme.

The EC is set to publish an official policy before the summer after consulting with publishers and presenting ideas at an event in Brussels on June 20th this year, according to the THES.

The Publishers Association’s academic director Graham Taylor said it was important to point out that at the moment the EC proposals are a work in progress and one in which all the details aren’t clear.

He said: “Our position is we are already committed to working with 'gold' funding and we expect that to be a recommendation in the Finch group which will report before the Commission does.” 

He added: “But we know where our red line is. 'Green'  funding, which is dependent on another funding scheme, with a six-month embargo to publication, we cannot agree to, and we are soon to publish some research into the impact of 'green' open access funding.”

The 'green' model of open access funding sees publishers allowed to charge subscriptions for a limited embargo period before making articles open access. The 'gold' regime entails the research funder paying for the costs of publication outright, with all material freely available from the outset.

The Finch committee report, looking at the funding of publishing academic research, is expected to be released in June.