The SPARC Europe Open Access Diary

Armenia

Open access 1
Open data 0
Events 1

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The Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) in co-operation with the American University of Armenia held an event in November 2015 on the topic of copyright and solutions to the difficulties in providing wider access to textbooks and related course materials.

Austria

Open access 17
Open data 3
Events 1

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The Open Access Network Austria (OANA) and the Austrian Ministry of Science (Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Wirtschaft) issued a report on the status of open access in Austrian universities. The report provides details with regards to open access performance agreements, networks, repositories and projects in the country. In the summer of 2015, the Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education and Research for Development (APPEAR) announced its open access policy, according to which the results of all APPEAR-funded projects need to provide open access. This is a mixed open access policy, where compliance is met both with publishing in journals (pure open access and hybrid) and repositories (subject and institutional), with a Creative Commons license. The Austrian Science Fund (FWF), in an effort to support the growth of Austrian open access science, has signed a contract with the Open Library of Humanities’ Partnership Subsidy for 2016 to 2020. Finally, FWF and the Austrian Academic Library Consortium (AALC) have agreed on a special license with the publisher Springer, according to which Austrian authors can publish their articles to Springer’s hybrid open access journals at no additional cost.

Belgium

Open access 10
Open data 1
Events 5

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The University of Liege (ULg) in an article described its effort to incorporate open science in its doctoral programmes. In a blog post from the university’s pages ULg urges faculty to support the Confederation of Open Access Repositories’ (COAR) petition against Elsevier’s strict policy on self-archiving by imposing long embargo periods. Finally, Bernard Rentier, Rector at ULg, explained in an article how ULg has succeeded in convincing its staff to self-archive their research papers in the institution’s repository. During the celebrations of the Open Access Week, Belgium organised an event on open access to scientific research, which was addressed nationally to all universities.

Croatia

Open access 4
Open data 0
Events 1

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The University of Zagreb, University Computing Centre (SRCE) declared their support for the Croatian Declaration on Open Access and adopted an open access policy. According to the policy, all SRCE educational resources will be provided openly with an open license. The open access status of Croatia was presented in an article, where the author discusses the Croatian Scientific Bibliography (CROSBI), the Croatian Portal for Open Access Journals (HRCAK) and the common infrastructure for digital academic repositories (DABAR).

Cyprus

Open access 1
Open data 0
Events 1

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Through an event on “Open Access to research publications and data” the Cypriot researchers addressed the Horizon2020 recommendations for open access and discussed the Cypriot national open access infrastructure.

Czech Republic

Open access 3
Open data 0
Events 2

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The Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism, Faculty of Social Sciences, at Charles University in Prague has published a post addressing the publishing practices of its academics, which relate to predatory journals and ethical issues around publishing practices.

Denmark

Open access 6
Open data 2
Events 1

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The presentation shows the “Current state of open access publishing in the Nordic Council Ministers” in Danish. In the same country, but in a different context, the MIND Group has created an open collection of high quality research articles that relate to brain, consciousness and the self. Finally, in November 2015 in Denmark, the concept of open data was discussed at two events; one was organised by the Business Authority and the other by the University of Southern Denmark.

Finland

Open access 13
Open data 2
Events 5

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Two events took place in early 2015 in Finland with a focus on open science. The presentations and recordings of one of them, the ‘YEAR Annual Conference 2015: Open Science in Horizon 2020’ are available online. The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies and the National Library of Finland have started a project, where they will investigate workable open access publishing business models.

France

Open access 31
Open data 8
Events 6

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A survey was conducted in 2015 in France and Germany to investigate the current publishing practices for electronic thesis and dissertations (ETDs). According to the survey results, open-access practices for ETDs are different between countries and institutions. In addition, embargoes are applied for confidentiality, author-imposed restrictions and absence of institutional policies. In December 2015, the French Council of Ministers signed a bill which declared that French publicly funded research must be self-archived in repositories, after an embargo period of 6 months for sciences and 12 months for social sciences and humanities.

Germany

Open access 64
Open data 12
Events 6

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The Berlin Social Science Center digitised 1,000 publications, monographs, reports and articles, which will be provided openly accessible to everyone, while the Berlin Academy for the Sciences published a guide with “Recommendations on the Future of Scholarly Publishing”. Lastly, the Senate Department for Education, Youth and Science announced the creation of an open access working group, which will work towards the dissemination of open access publications. The University of Rostock approved an open access policy, suggesting that academic staff should publish their research outputs in open access journals and monographs and retain their rights while they sign licensing agreements with the publishers.

With regards to Open Educational Resources (OERs), the Free Software Foundation Europe and the Free Education Alliance (Bündis Freie Bildung) released a report on OERs, whereby the institutions envision the creation of OER material and their free of cost and free of licensing restrictions dissemination. To achieve that it is suggested the adoption of open standards and free software.

Please note that a special tag, ru.sparc15_germany, was used for this country.

Greece

Open access 4
Open data 1
Events 2

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Greece hosted the final conference for the Recommendations for Open Access to Research Data in Europe (RECODE) project, which promoted access to research data and open science. In addition, an event took place in June 2015 where the importance of the institutional repositories to digital libraries and scientific scholarship was discussed.

Please note that a special tag, ru.sparc15_gr, was used for this country.

Hungary

Open access 4
Open data 1
Events 1

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Representatives from ten European countries (Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) met in Budapest and discussed the alignment of open access policies. The actions decided in that meeting relate to the introduction of coherent open access policies within the European countries, the European Union’s Horizon 2020 funding scheme, and the promotion of an ongoing dialogue between stakeholders in all Member States. For a complete picture of Hungary’s open access status see the PASTEUR4OA report.

Ireland

Open access 11
Open data 2
Events 1

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In April 2015, The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) introduced an open access policy for the research results it has funded, with a preference for the Green Route to open access, i.e. depositing the output in a repository. Other funders’ open access policies in Ireland can be found in the PASTEUR4OA report for that country. Dublin City University signed a contract in October 2015 with the Open Library of Humanities (OLH), becoming the first Irish institution to have signed a contract with the open access publisher. In addition, the Journal of British and Irish Innovative Poetry, which used to be a subscription-based journal, is converting to open access following the OLH model.

Italy

Open access 17
Open data 5
Events 7

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During the summer of 2015 a report was published on Italy's open access status. The report showed that the majority of Italian researchers receive regional, national, and European Commission funding. Italy has four funder and six institutional mandates, with seventy-six repositories, and approximately two hundred and eighty open access journals. Finally, a new organisation, the Associazione Italiana per la Promozione della Scienza Aperta (AISA), was established in Italy during the summer of 2015, which aims to promote open science, its culture, principles and benefits in research.

Latvia

Open access 4
Open data 1
Events 3

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A workshop was organised in Latvia on “Policy Aspects of Open Science for e-Infrastructures”, which mainly explored the promotion of open science and the policies that need to be adopted. The presentations and recordings are available from this event. In addition, the University of Latvia organised a conference on “Open Science – Benefits for Researchers in the 21st century”, which aimed to inform all research stakeholders about the concept of open science, the challenges and the benefits.

Lithuania

Open access 5
Open data 1
Events 2

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At the beginning of 2015, the Centre of Information Technology Development at Vilnius University launched a new repository for scientific data. In addition, Vilnius University also held an event on “Promoting Open Science among Young Researchers: Challenges and Opportunities”. The event discussion entitled “Open Access in Lithuania” has been recorded and is available online (in Lithuanian only). During the summer, the Research Council of Lithuania also held a meeting where research stakeholders negotiated the possibility of introducing a policy on open access and data to scientific publications.

Malta

Open access 2
Open data 0
Events 1

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In May 2015 the University of Malta held an event called “Open Access and its Impact on Research and Scholarship.” During Open Access Week the University of Malta presented on the topic of Open Access and its status at the university.

Netherlands

Open access 109
Open data 13
Events 8

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Dutch Universities and the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) have managed so far to arrange an open access agreement with three publishers, SAGE, Springer and Wiley. According to these agreements, all journal articles, whose authors are affiliated with Dutch universities, will be made immediately openly accessible either at no extra cost or with limited cost for the authors. Throughout most of 2015, the negotiations with the publisher Elsevier had made little progress, something that made the Vice Chancellors of the Dutch universities declare a boycott on Elsevier. In December 2015 though Elsevier and the Dutch Universities finally came to an agreement; for the next three years Dutch scholars will have access to Elsevier’s articles and 30% of Dutch authors’ articles will be published open access with Elsevier’s hybrid journals at no extra cost. Last but not least, the Dutch copyright law has introduced a new article in its copyright section, acknowledging the green route to open access, i.e. self-archiving in a repository, for publicly funded research.

Norway

Open access 11
Open data 1
Events 1

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In an effort to increase open access scientific publications the Norwegian Research Council has introduced a new funding scheme, which will cover up to 50% of a paper’s article processing charges (APC). The research, scholarly communications and open access status of Norway can be found in the PASTEUR4OA report.

Poland

Open access 12
Open data 3
Events 8

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Six events took place in Poland in 2015, focusing on open data, open access policies alignment and open science. In addition, during Open Access Week, 26 events were organised in the country. In October 2015, the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure and Development (MIR) announced the funding of projects relating to digital literacy in education, whereby outputs will be provided with an open license for free dissemination.

Portugal

Open access 4
Open data 0
Events 1

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The European-funded project PASTEUR4OA released a report on Portugal’s open access landscape, the challenges and the future developments. In addition, during April 2015 the COAR – SPARC conference took place in Porto, Portugal.

Romania

Open access 3
Open data 2
Events 1

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During 2015 Romania held the second Romanian National Open Education Conference and had another meeting on open data, where a National Action Plan was discussed for the years 2014 – 2016.

Russia

Open access 3
Open data 0
Events 0

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Russian universities can no longer access important scientific information from an American publisher due to their inability to cover subscription costs. In an effort to provide a solution to this issue, a published paper suggests that Russia needs to move towards applying open access and open science to scientific results.

Slovakia

Open access 3
Open data 1
Events 2

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In March 2015, a conference took place in Slovakia, where open access, repositories, copyright and publishing were presented and discussed. The need for an Open Government Partnership Initiative for Slovakia was also addressed there.

Slovenia

Open access 9
Open data 3
Events 3

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The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport openly provided a consultation document entitled “Open Access in Slovenia 2015-2020: Principles and Regulation Regarding the Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Slovenia for the Period from 2015 to 2020”. The final version of this document will introduce the Slovenian open access policy to scientific information. The research results and data that accompanies the research will be provided openly to everyone worldwide. OpenAIRE, PASTEUR4OA and EIFL welcomed and commented on the document. Via the document entitled “National Strategy of Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Slovenia 2015-2020” the Government of the Republic of Slovenia declared its agreement with the open access and open data guidelines of the European Union’s Horizon2020 and adopted a National Strategy on Open Access. This document set the country’s future goals on open access and open data. More specifically, the country made a commitment that publicly-funded research would be openly accessible by 2020.

Spain

Open access 8
Open data 3
Events 2

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The Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) have decided to use OpenAIRE in their effort to track compliance with open access funders’ policies, especially with regards to research funded under the European Commission (EC) and ERC FP7 frameworks. On a similar topic, the University of Barcelona signed the “Moving Forwards Open Access” statement, promoted by the League of European Research Universities (LERU), which supports the creation and adoption of open access policies.

Sweden

Open access 18
Open data 2
Events 3

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The Swedish Research Council has composed guidelines on open access to scientific publications, according to which all scientific publications, artistic works, and the research data that accompanies this research needs to be made openly available. The document is addressed to the Swedish Government, while an introduction of an open access policy is estimated by 2025. In addition, the Swedish Research Council declared its support into open research data with guidelines that align with the UK’s Engineering Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funding body.

Switzerland

Open access 10
Open data 3
Events 2

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During 2015, Switzerland focused on open access, and with a series of activities has managed to address the importance of this in various fields, such as sports, international affairs, community, science, politics, government, finance, apps/APIs and culture.

Turkey

Open access 1
Open data 0
Events 1

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In October 2015 the 4th National Open Access Workshop took place in Ankara. The workshop topics focused on open access to publicly funded research, open access funders’ policies, legal issues around open access and software infrastructure.

Ukraine

Open access 2
Open data 0
Events 1

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A government initiative that aims to digitise all books and documents from the country’s national archives has disturbed many Ukrainian authors, who fear copyright infringement and the loss of royalties.

United Kingdom

Open access 500
Open data 141
Events 98

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During 2015 the UK has hosted 71 events on open access, funders’ policies, open access monographs, open data and open science. With regard to governmental news, it was announced that the UK government will provide – openly – the results of research it is funding preferably via the Gold Route to open access, publishing in pure open access and hybrid journals. In addition, citizens who use public libraries will be in a position to access this research and high technology business will receive the same licensing benefits as universities. A UK funding body, the Research Councils UK (RCUK), announced an official agreement on Open Research Data, which described the ways that open data should be published and shared. It has set out the financial and societal benefits of this practice. In addition, at the beginning of December 2015, RCUK announced that they joined the Jisc UK ORCID consortium. As a result, starting from 2016 all RCUK-funded principal investigators will be able to use their ORCID iD as a research identifier. The European-funded project PASTEUR4OA published a report on the status of open access in the UK, which described briefly the governmental, funder and institutional open access policies, presented the existing infrastructure for open access support and the challenges faced by research stakeholders. Jisc, a non-departmental public body that assists UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in their scholarly communication needs, has been negotiating with publishers in regards to the total cost of ownership and article processing charges (APCs). They have also provided resources for services that could assist UK HEIs to meet compliance with funders’ open access policies. Finally, Jisc have supported 7 pathfinder projects, whose target it is to promote open access good practice. The updated Wellcome Trust open access policy, is not limited to solely requiring open access to research articles; but extends its purpose to monographs and book chapters as well, offering funds to support the expense of their publication.

European Union Open Access Policies

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Horizon 2020, EU’s funding framework for Research and Technological Development, mandated that the scientific articles of the research it has funded need to be openly accessible to everyone. With the launch of the "Open Research Data Pilot" the EU framework moves a step forward by creating the strategies and tools for the open availability and discoverability of the research data that accompanies/underpins the research papers.

Many events, blog posts and papers from European countries and European projects have addressed the open access requirements of Horizon2020 and provided suggestions for implementing the policy's terms.
The European Union is making efforts to promote open access as much as possible in the member states. Science Europe published a position statement on the shift to open access. A similar concept is negotiated in the PASTEUR4OA document, which evaluates how prepared EU member states are to adopt open access policies, while another PASTEUR4OA report describes how EU member states can cooperate to succeed in open access policy alignment in Europe. The European University Association released an Open Access Checklist for Universities, a guide addressed mainly to those institutions with an intention to promote an open access policy.

Throughout 2015 the European Union (EU) had an interest in copyright and text-mining. Science Europe released a report explaining the text and data mining benefits and the importance of a copyright amendment in the EU copyright legislation, in order to provide a unified and less strict environment to all text and data mining stakeholders. In December 2015, the European Commission suggested a change in EU’s copyright legislation for European researchers granting them the right to perform text and data mining practices to large amounts of information.

European Union Open Access Services

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Three European Union funded projects have significantly been driving openness forward. The PASTEUR4OA project aims to align funders’ policies and make the compliance process easier for researchers. For example, it has produced an extensive list of Open Access resources. The FOSTER project (Facilitate Open Science Training for European Research), aims to promote the adoption of open science practices amongst researchers. To assist with embedding this new practice, both in 2014 and 2015, the project funded events in many European countries. The project maintains a portal with courses in open science topics and an archive of all events material.
OpenAIRE supports open science in Europe on a number of different levels serving funders, researchers, research administrators and content providers.
Some final news for the 2015 on the EU-funded projects on open access: The PASTEUR4OA will hold its final conference in May 2016. The conference, entitled “Green Light for Open Access: Aligning Europe’s OA Policies”, will present the benefits of open access, the significance of an alignment of open access policies and the project’s accomplishments. The OpenAIRE project, after five years of running, has announced that their focus for 2016 will be on Open Science. The European Research Council (ERC) has funded the Open Access Publishing in European Networks (OAPEN) project, which will provide a depositing service for the ERC-funded open access monographs for two years.

Europe and the Humanities

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At the beginning of 2015 the Open Access Funding Project and three of the UK’s funding bodies, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), published a report on the status of monographs in the arts, humanities and social sciences subject fields. The results discussed the importance of monographs in these fields, the monographs crisis, open access monographs and their business models. Some progress has also been made with regards to publications in journal articles. Thanks to a new publishing model, humanities authors will not have to cover article processing charges (APC) when publishing with the Open Libraries of Humanities (OLH). So far the Dublin City University and the Austrian Academic Library Consortium have signed a contract with OLH. During the summer of 2015 another report was published in the UK, a “Guide to open access monograph publishing for arts, humanities and social science researchers”, which aims to assist humanities’ researchers with open access monograph publishing, focusing on the monographs’ business models and the types of concerns with regards to open access monograph publishing.

Please note that a special tag, ru.sparc15_humanities, was used for this subject area.

About this project

We are pleased to present this Diary, a round-up of what happened on Open Access in Europe in 2015. We hope this will be an aide memoire and will provide some useful context in which to set the developments that will undoubtedly take place in 2016. This is the second year that SPARC Europe is presenting this Diary. For the open access news in 2014 please go here.

The Diary has been compiled by tagging specifically-European items in the Open Access Tracking Project. We have organised it so that you can view the information by country and by discipline.

About this map

The SPARC Europe Round Up project has used as a primary source of information Peter Suber’s Open Access Tracking Project (OATP), a community project that effectively records international developments in open access (OA) published online.

The OATP has an international focus and therefore contains OA news entries from all over the world for the last five years. In order to retrieve records associated with European countries, the new tag, “ru.sparc15”, was added to all the related tagged items for that year – so far the tag was added to 1210 entries. All items that have the “ru.sparc15” tag, are also assigned the “oa.new” tag, since the latter is recommended by Peter Suber to be used “for OA developments that are new within the last six months, at the time of tagging”.

Currently the map provides content for 29 European countries, the remaining European countries not covered, did not have a tagged entry in the OATP and therefore their country names were not included in the map. Along with the country name, there is also a number, which shows how many new entries were tagged in 2015 for each individual country. In order to retrieve accurate numbers, we conducted a search of the OATP with the tags “#ru.sparc15 AND #oa.[countryname]”.

The functionality is as thus: When you hover your mouse over a country in the map and the country changes colour, you can click on that country and more information will be retrieved and revealed under the map. This information includes:

  • Graphs: The graphs show the number of the OATP entries per category. The Open Access category is accumulative of all news and includes entries that relate to open data as well as relevant events. The two categories, open data and events, were added in the graph because open data is a relatively new field in the open scholarly communications agenda and we were interested to see the level of uptake. In the 'events' category, we wanted to depict the activities that took place last year in each country.

  • Country summary: In this section we aimed to include what we thought were the most important news items from the tagged items, for each country.

The OATP search engine has powerful search capabilities. One can search a wide variety of tags that relate to open access, open data, and in general, the whole open science agenda. In this section, the hyperlinked sentence “Take me to this country's news to refine my search” will direct you to the OATP’s search engine, where two tags are pre-selected, the project’s tag, “#ru.sparc15”, and the country’s name tag, #oa.[countryname]. The OATP supports a variety of search options, including Boolean searching.

An important feature of the OATP search engine, is its ability to create permanent links for all types of searches. Therefore, if you click on the “Permalink” button, located right next to the “Search” button, a new URL will be formulated in your browser’s address bar.

If you wish to find out more about the functionality and features of the OATP, you can explore the project’s page.


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