The Commission adopted, on 14 February a Communication on scientific information in the digital age: access, dissemination and preservation. The Communication deals with the functioning of the scientific publication system and its impact on research, addressing the issues of access, dissemination and preservation of scientific information. It gives an overview of the current state of play of scientific publishing and the preservation of research results in Europe, including organisational, legal, technical and financial issues.
The Communication also announces a series of measures planned to be taken at EU level, namely to support new ways of promoting better access to scientific information online and to preserve research results digitally for future generations. It also explains how the Commission is set to deal with open access in the projects it will fund under its seventh framework programme for research (FP7).
"I am aware that (sometimes controversial) discussions on open access are taking place between scientific publishers and the scientific community," said Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik. However, the Commission believes that increased access to scientific information will lead to more research activities and increased publishing activity and thus strengthen the European Research Area (ERA).
The main challenge, according to the Commission, is to find a win-win situation for both scientists and scientific publishers. This means giving the research community rapid and wide dissemination of results, facilitated by new information and communication technologies and for scientific publishers to have fair remuneration for investing in tools and mechanisms to organise the information flows and the peer- review system.