A study examining the state of the art of scientific publication in Europe recommends improving access to results of publicly-funded research to maximise societal returns on R&D investments.
The Commission published, on 31 March 2006, a study analysing the economic and technical evolution of the scientific publication markets in Europe since 1975. As prices of scientific journals have sharply increased, the number of individual researchers and libraries subscribing to scientific publications has, accordingly, decreased. The study considers the possibility of taking European level measures to improve the access to and dissemination of research results, as well as archiving and exchanging scientific publications.
Much of scientific activity in Europe is publicly funded, and therefore the study recommends guaranteed public access to publicly-funded research. “It is in all our interests to find a model for scientific publication that serves research excellence. We are ready to work with readers, authors, publisher and funding bodies to develop such a model,” said Science and Research Commissioner, Janez Poto?nik.
The Commission is calling for reactions to the study and additional contributions to other issues linked to scientific publications. Interested parties are invited to react before 1 June 2006. A conference discussing the study and its public feedback will be held in autumn 2006.