SPARC Europe has been working for a number of years in the area of copyright to better ensure Open Access to Europe’s research. We have advocated for an EU copyright directive that protects the academic research outputs and the research repository, and our campaigning at the European Council and at the European Parliament paid off in 2019.

Starting our campaign to retain author rights, in 2020, we conducted a research study into the Open Access copyright policies of publishers in Europe since it has been one of the most challenging barriers to advancing open. This report Open Access: An Analysis of Publisher Copyright and Licensing Policies in Europe was published in September 2020.  Though the past decade has seen a great deal of movement around establishing and advancing OA policies — including the recent Plan S Rights Retention Strategy; this report provides an account of where actual copyright policies and practices stand today. It shows how, in spite of recent years’ policy shifts, publishers have yet to align and support authors in getting the maximum amount of visibility and re-use of their research through Open Access and open licensing.

In late 2020 we held a webinar on the study’s results with the key authors in November with almost 100 participants. If you missed it, watch the hour-long recording with Q&A with the authors.
Alternatively, watch the shorter presentation held at the Munin Conference on 19 Nov 2020 by Ignasi Labastidu i Juan.

In 2021 we look forward to taking this forward in a range of activities.

If you have questions on our copyright work, please mail us at