EU action plan for Open Science

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EU action plan for Open Science

Author: European Council.

The following press release was issued by the Presidency of the Council of the EU on .

The Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science is the key outcome of the two-day conference ‘Open Science – From Vision to Action’ organised by Dutch State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science Sander Dekker as part of the Netherlands EU Presidency.

During its EU Presidency, the Netherlands is working towards a common EU approach to open science, including open access to scientific publications and the best possible reuse of research data.

This is important not only for researchers and students but also for many people outside the universities, who currently have no access or need to pay high fees for it. If all scientific publications are made available online, free of charge, and research data is used more effectively, everyone will benefit from it – and sooner. For example, doctors can learn about the latest developments in treatment methods, entrepreneurs and businesses can apply scientific findings to accelerate product innovation, and teachers can use them more often in their lessons.

The action plan

The action plan that was presented today contains specific objectives and action points to speed the transition to open science in Europe. Based on the input and commitment from all participants – scientists, universities, research institutes, publishers, EU member states and the European Commission – the EU has adopted three main goals:

1. Full open access for all publicly funded scientific publications by 2020.
2. Open data – the sharing and re-use of data – as the standard for all publicly funded research.
3. More open science, which will maximise its effectiveness and its impact on society and the economy.

To achieve these objectives, all of the stakeholders must take action. Scientists’ evaluation and assessment systems will need to be reviewed. Universities and research funders must ensure that the new system values the impact of research and sharing results more highly, instead of just looking at numbers of publications and citations. The EU member states and the European Commission must better align their policies to facilitate open access and open data, thus making policy more uniform.

All stakeholders will have to share their knowledge, strategies and good examples of open science more with each other. The European Commission will set up an open science policy platform to facilitate this process. Mr Dekker is pleased with the joint approach being taken by stakeholders across Europe. ‘The world of science is pre-eminently international,’ he said. ‘So you need to take an international approach to providing open access to scientific publications and sharing data and new assessment systems for scientists. I’m confident that this detailed plan, which sets out clear goals linked to action, is a big step forward.’

EU ministers for research and innovation will make agreements on open science and their goals and plans for the years ahead at the Competitiveness Council meeting on 27 May.

Copyright European Council.