The SPARC Europe Open Access Diary 2014

Austria

Open access 17
Open data 5
Events 3

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The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) was at the forefront of open access news in Austria in 2014. Firstly, it launched a pilot scheme with the IOP publishing house; whereby eligible researchers can publish articles with IOP and the publication costs will be covered in full, by the FWF. At the same time, the publisher agreed to lower subscription prices of its journals for the consortium members participating in the scheme.

Secondly, a new policy on open access monographs was announced, which was implemented from 1st July 2014. Thirdly, data from publication costs for the previous year (2013), were made available, in line with international funding agencies practice for transparency with publication costs. Lastly, the FWF released a new policy relating to publication costs for open access, setting price limits that would cover both pure and hybrid open access publications.

Belgium

Open access 7
Open data 3
Events 3

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Belgium concentrated on two main topics during 2014, namely, open data and subscription prices. With regards to open data, KU Leuven University hosted an open access and open data event for young researchers, and a few months later there were discussions about the country’s ranking in the Global Open Data Index.

With regards to subscription prices, the Consortium for Negotiations (Couperin), and the American Physical Society (APS) had ongoing negotiations on the increasing journal price of the Physical Review Journals, which ended in early 2015 whereby the French physicists can continue to access the APS journals.

Bulgaria

Open access 6
Open data 2
Events 3

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On 19-20 September 2014, during the Fourth International Conference on Digital Presentation and Preservation of Cultural and Scientific Heritage (DiPP2014) an autumn training school took place with the title “Development and Promotion of Open Access to Scientific Information and Research”. The aim of the autumn training school was to train researchers of all levels, librarians and academics on open access and open data practices in a theoretical manner and also on a practical level.

Croatia

Open access 5
Open data 0
Events 2

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During 2014, Croatia organised 19 workshops in various locations, including academic institutions, to raise awareness of open science, open access and open data.
A round table discussion took place, where the current available open access routes in the country were discussed, taking into account the Croatian Declaration on Open Access (signed in 2012) and the Horizon2020 request for openness.

Czech Republic

Open access 1
Open data 0
Events 1

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The Charles University in Prague, organised an open access seminar, at which both open access and open science were explained, while the seminar concluded with an agreeement to focus on the national status on these topics.

Denmark

Open access 28
Open data 1
Events 3

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In 2014, the Danish Agency of Science Technology and Innovation released a draft version of its forthcoming open access policy. According to the policy compliance could be met via self-archiving in a repository, known as the Green route to open access. The long-term plan proposes that until 2017 approximately 80% of the Danish scientific literature is to be made available via repositories, whilst from 2022 onwards, the country aims to provide 100% of its publications open access. The current status of open access in Denmark was described in an article, which also provides a historical background of the open access movement in Denmark.

Estonia

Open access 3
Open data 2
Events 1

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During the period (2011 – 2013) Estonia was funded by Electronic Information for Libraries (eifl) with the aim of organising and implementing open access advocacy campaigns across the country. In 2014, and after the completion of the project, a case study was composed, presenting the achievements, strategies, benefits and lessons learned.

Finland

Open access 13
Open data 1
Events 2

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Finland stated that it will embrace open access by 2017. To accomplish this, the Finnish Government inaugurated an open access initiative, known as the ‘Open Science and Research Initiative’ (ATT), which aimes to create a suitable environment where researchers can share scientific research methodologies, data and results. Anyone interested in exploring the details on the current open access status in Finland further, can read the following article “Open Access in Finland 2014”.

France

Open access 47
Open data 12
Events 13

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On March 2014, the French newspaper Le Monde published the text ‘Arguments for Open Access to Research Results’, composed of sixty French professionals, affiliated with research institutions and scholarly communications fields, calling for the public’s support to open access.

During the last year many French libraries cancelled subscriptions to high profile journals, due to difficulties experienced covering the high subscription costs. At the same time, the French consortium of public and research libraries, Couperin, was negotiating with Elsevier to sign a 5 year national subscription, something that caused scepticism amongst some French organisations and individuals, who expressed their objections. In November, the French Government eventually decided to initiate a new national subscription with Elsevier, while the contract details were later publicized by French open access advocates.

Germany

Open access 97
Open data 13
Events 15

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The German Research Foundation (DFG), one of the largest funding bodies in Germany, was busy in 2014. The foundation, which has been supporting publication fees for open access publications since 2009, announced that it will extend its “Open Access Publishing” plan until 2020. Thirty two universities are working towards the development of a “Publication Fund”, which will help researchers and their academic institutions cover publication expenses and promote open access to German scientific results. At the same time, DFG sent out a call for proposals, entitled “Scientific Monograph and Monograph Series in Open Access”, accepting submissions from institutions and researchers, who wish to create open access monographs business models and work closely with libraries and publishing organisations to succeed in the promotion of open access monographs.

Greece

Open access 6
Open data 2
Events 4

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Published in 2014, this study compared the Mediterranean countries’ and Germany’s scientific attitudes to open access publishing routes. In addition, in 2014 Greece celebrated international open access week (October 20-26, 2014) with two events, in Athens and Thessaloniki. The first event focused on the European Union funding framework programme, and the focus of the second event was on Open Data.

Hungary

Open access 3
Open data 0
Events 1

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The Hungarian Academy of Sciences met last year to discuss the performance of Hungarian researchers during the period 2011 – 2012. Issues covered included the quality of their research results and the services offered – Electronic Information Services (EISZ), the Repository of Hungarian Scientific Publications (MTMT), and an Open Access Initiative. All members were pleased and declared unanimously that the status of the Hungarian research is noteworthy and could be compared to the high standards of international research.

Iceland

Open access 7
Open data 0
Events 0

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A significant open access news item came from Iceland in 2014, namely the Secretary’s General approval of an Open Access mandate. This mandate outlines how all publications funded and published by the Nordic Council of Ministers must be provided open access via the new e-collection in the DiVA repository.

Ireland

Open access 10
Open data 4
Events 1

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Ireland’s focus last year was Open Data. Tagged items referred to the Open Data Initiative Workshop, the launch of the Open Data Pilot Portal, the problems arising with the open geolocation data and funders requirements for sharing content.

Italy

Open access 33
Open data 13
Events 3

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Last November, 71 Italian Universities signed the Declaration of Messina, with which they declared their support to the Berlin Open Access Initiative. A Road Map was created which outlined the plans for the development of the scientific agenda, where open access of publicly funded research, disseminated via repositories, will be at the forefront. The Road Map sets out the priorities for the forthcoming years, until 2018. This Road Map has gained the support of many Italian public funding agencies, such as the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, the National Institute of Nuclear Physics and the Department of Economic, Business, Environmental and Quantitative Methods.

Lithuania

Open access 4
Open data 2
Events 0

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Four journal articles summarise and outline Lithuania’s up-to-date news and current activity on open access for 2014. The University Mykolas Romeris case study provides details on the number of the open access articles in its institutional repository, the creation of the National Open Access Research Data Archive, an interview with an academic who had self-archived articles in the institutional repository of the Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences and an article that details the country’s open access status for the past ten years.

Luxembourg

Open access 1
Open data 0
Events 0

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The Luxembourg Portal for Innovation and Research hosts scientific publications published by the publicly-funded research organisations of Luxembourg.

Malta

Open access 1
Open data 0
Events 0

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In 2014, Open Knowledge created a local group and the creation of an Open Data Malta portal in Malta.

Moldova

Open access 1
Open data 0
Events 1

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In Moldova, the results of the Electronic Information for Libraries (eifl) funded campaign for the promotion of open access were presented to a conference that took place at the Library of the Scientific Pedagogical University. At this conference 65 participants shared their experiences and project conclusions.

Netherlands

Open access 57
Open data 3
Events 9

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In the early part of 2014, Sander Dekker, Dutch Junior Education Minister, Netherlands supported the Gold route to open access – paid publications in journals. His speech at the APE2014 conference in Berlin, caused high level discussions both nationally and internationally. The latter part of the year closed with the tough negotiations between the Association of Universities in the Netherlands, VSNU, and the publisher Elsevier, regarding subscription prices. The publisher failed to meet the association’s requests for lower prices and promote the transition to open access. More success had VSNU’s negotiations with the Springer publishing group, which will provide access to more than 2,000 subscription journals to Dutch universities and in addition work closely with publicly funded Dutch researchers to support the transition to more open access content.

Norway

Open access 23
Open data 2
Events 1

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In January 2014 Norway initiated the digitization of all books in the National Library, including translations, which are currently offered for free to Norwegians.

As an attempt to promote open access, the Norwegian Research Councils have taken two important steps: Firstly, they funded 40 local Social Sciences and Humanities journals, which would convert into open access publications after a three year transition period and, secondly, they released their ‘Principles for Open Access to Research Publications’.

Poland

Open access 9
Open data 2
Events 4

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Back in 2012, the Polish Ministry of Education decided to allocate 43 million PLN for the creation of open textbooks for primary school students. Two years later, in 2014, the first open textbooks have been released under a Creative Commons License.

On a different topic, but still related to books, Peter Suber’s book on Open Access was translated into Polish.

Portugal

Open access 9
Open data 3
Events 0

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In September 2014 one of Portugal’s largest national funder’s, Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), released an open access policy requesting all research funded by the FCT to be self-archived in one of the FTC repositories. The policy was implemented on 05/05/2014. This policy and other developments relating to open access were presented in the PASTEUR4OA country case study report.

Romania

Open access 2
Open data 0
Events 0

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Romania’s National Strategy for Research, Development and Innovation is setting forward a plan to increase the open access availability of the country’s scientific research results. According to the announced strategy, Romania has committed to develop two registries, a National Registry for Research and Development Infrastructures and a National Registry for Researchers, which will help increase the country’s open access content.

Russia

Open access 2
Open data 0
Events 0

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Last year Russia amended its Civil Code and introduced Open Licenses and the Freedom of Panorama; the first law acknowledges free licenses, while the latter permits photo taking in public areas.

Slovenia

Open access 2
Open data 1
Events 1

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In Slovenia, at the annual meeting of the Education Consortium (OEC), which was held in Ljubljana, it was announced that the Slovenian Ministry of Education will initiate a local “Opening Up Education Initiative”, reflecting the synonymous initiative from the European Commission, with the hope to create a good example on other countries’ activities around open educational resources.

Spain

Open access 19
Open data 2
Events 2

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Although open access and open data were at the forefront in Spain, important news during the year focused on the new copyright law, known as CANON AEDE. According to this law, websites have to pay tax when linking to news published originally by the Spanish newspaper association. Open Access supporters have expressed their disappointment and fear that the new law will be detrimental to fair use and to content licensed with Creative Commons.

Sweden

Open access 24
Open data 2
Events 2

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The Swedish Research Council released draft guidance on open access. According to the Council’s text, the guidance not only relates to publicly funded results appearing in research articles, but also to monographs, which should be made open access. The policy draft favours the Gold route, paid publications in journals, and expected implementation date is in 2025.

Switzerland

Open access 28
Open data 5
Events 4

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From the 1st July 2014, the Swiss National Fund Science Foundation (SNSF) will support the publication costs for the creation of open access monographs, produced in a digital form. Based on the premise that digital content can be disseminated and shared more widely than printed texts, the Swiss funding body that used to fund open access publications in print form, will now cover the expenses of online open access monographs only.

Turkey

Open access 7
Open data 0
Events 3

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The European project PASTEUR4OA held its 3rd national workshop in Turkey during last year’s 2014 international open access week. The event had around 350 participants and events programme and some of the presentations can be found here.

Ukraine

Open access 1
Open data 0
Events 0

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In 2014 Ukraine launched a new journal, which focuses on Application IT in Business and Economics. The journal provides articles open access via article processing charges, the Gold route to open access.

United Kingdom

Open access 615
Open data 131
Events 4

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Much progress was made in the open access environment in the United Kingdom (UK) during 2014. The UK was the leader in open access amongst European countries, made obvious by the number of tagged items in the OATP – 615 items tagged with the “ru.sparc” tag, 131 items with the “oa.data” and 64 items with the “oa.event” tags.

The most important news in the UK came from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the largest funding body for UK universities, which introduced a Green open access policy, requesting compliance via self-archiving into a repository, subject or institutional. Much activity took place around the analysis of publication costs of the Research Councils UK (RCUK), another British funding body, which had released an open access policy in 2013 that has a preference into the Gold route to open access, paid publications in journals.

There was also significant interest in Open Data, where funders, organisations and academic institutions mandated open accessibility to data sets that result from publicly-funded research.

The activities and importance around open access in the UK can be seen by the number of events that took place in the country. During open access week alone, 15 academic institutions had planned one or more events and 64 events were recorded in the OATP to have taken place in the UK on the topics of open access, open data and open science in 2014.

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.

European Union and Open Access Services

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The EU has funded new services and tools or the continuation of existing ones, which will promote open access to scientific scholarship and open data.

An example of such a service is OpenAIRE (Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe), which received funding for a further 3.5 years. In its initial funding the project assisted with the compliance of the EU open access mandates and the development of the OpenAIRE portal. In this second phase the project will work as a reporting tool for Horizon2020 publications and will assist with EU’s Research Data Pilot.

Another EU-funded project, PASTEUR4OA (Open Access Policy Alignment Strategies for European Union Research), aims to align funders’ policies and make the compliance process easier for researchers. It has partnered with the Electronic Information for Libraries (eifl) organisation.

The FOSTER Project (Facilitate Open Science Training for European Research) is a EU-funded project promoting the adoption of open science practices amongst researchers. To assist with the embedding of this new practice, in 2014, the project funded events in many European countries, with further events planned for 2015. The project maintains a portal with courses in open science topics and an archive of all events material.

Europe and the Humanities

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SPARC Europe, an organisation that focuses on scholarly communications, hosted a UK Roadshow on open access monographs and the humanities. The roadshow consisted of 6 events that took place in different academic institutions in the UK. All the speakers were significantly involved and engaged with the publishing of open access monographs.

In 2014 two events took place that related to the humanities: the Open Literature Sprint organised by the Open Humanities Research Group at Open Knowledge and the Open Humanities Awards, a contest for EU citizens with humanities projects.

Two humanities projects also drew our attention this past year. The ENGAGE project that relates to open government data, and DARIAH (Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities), which aims to promote Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities digital research data.

About this project

We are pleased to present this Diary, a round-up of what happened on Open Access in Europe in 2014. 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 2015.

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.

Acknowledgements

The Diary has been compiled by Dr Nancy Pontika. SPARC Europe gratefully acknowledges funding from the Open Society Foundations which made this work possible.

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).

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.sparc”, was added to all the related tagged items for that year – the tag was added to 1456 entries. All items that have the “ru.sparc” 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 21 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 2014 for each individual country. In order to retrieve accurate numbers, we conducted a search of the OATP with the tags “ru.sparc 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.sparc”, 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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