EU ministers want free access to scientific work

Photo: ANP

All scientific publications of the European Union must become freely accessible to all as soon as possible. EU education ministers unanimously agreed in Brussels.

According to Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf (Education, Culture and Science), the conclusion to make “open science” the standard for scientific literature across the EU is “very important”. The Netherlands is at the forefront and has already put the issue on the agenda during the temporary EU presidency in 2016, he said after the meeting with his European colleagues.

According to figures from two years ago, 82% of all scientific publications in the Netherlands were freely accessible. Over the next ten years, an additional €20 million will be invested annually to support this policy. “We all want to fight for it to become 100% across Europe via the internet,” Dijkgraaf said.

Scientific publications should not only be free, but should preferably be read immediately. “If we’ve learned one thing during the covid crisis, it’s that information needs to be available quickly,” says Dijkgraaf. If new information was behind a paywall for another year, it wouldn’t be as useful as a direct release.

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