With a constant increase over the years and an average success rate of 83% in open access to scientific publications, the European Commission is at the forefront of funders of research and innovation, concludes the consortium of the company PPMI analysis (Lithuania), research and innovation center Athena (Greece) and Maastricht University (Netherlands).
The main conclusions of study indicate that the early leadership of the European Commission in open science policy has borne fruit. The “excellent science” pillar in Horizon 2020 – the scientific scholarship program in Europe – led the success story, with an open access rate of 86%. The pioneers of this pillar are the European Research Council (ERC) and the Future or Emerging Technologies (FET) program with open access rates of over 88%.
Ad Notten, Information Specialist and Researcher at United Nations Merit University: “We have championed open access publishing for over fifteen years and have conducted several large OA-focused studies, including one on Creative Commons and another funded by the Wikimedia foundation. We believe that research results paid for with government money should also be freely available to the general public and (re) usable by the scientific community at large. ‘
According to Notten, this relates not only to publications, but also to research data, the latter being a point of attention in this study. In collaboration with the University of Maastricht, UNU-Merit wants the application of Open Access and FAIR-principles expand within its scientific community and wider network to support the principle of academic integrity through high quality, reproducible research and data.
“The average cost of an open access article is around 2,200 euros”
In terms of article processing costs (CPA), the study estimated the average cost in Horizon 2020 of publishing an open access article at around 2,200 euros. APCs for articles published in “hybrid” journals (which will no longer be eligible under Horizon Europe) have an average cost of 2,600 euros.
Compliance with the obligation to publish open access publications in a deposit (even when published in open access via a journal) is relatively high (81.9%), indicating that the current deposit policy is well understood and implemented by researchers.
In terms of licensing, 49% of Horizon 2020 publications are published with Creative Commons (CC) licenses, which allow reuse (with varying levels of restrictions), while 33% use publisher-specific licenses that restrict the text and data exploration (TDM).
Institutional repositories have responded satisfactorily to the challenge of providing FAIR access to their publications by adapting internal processes and metadata to accommodate necessary changes: 95% of deposited publications contain some sort of persistent identifier in their metadata ( PID).
Datasets in repositories only meet the requirements to a limited extent: only about 39% of Horizon 2020 dropped datasets are discoverable (i.e. metadata contains a PID and URL to the file. data), and only about 32% of the deposited data sets are accessible (i.e. the data file can be retrieved using a URL link in the metadata). Horizon Europe will hopefully lead to better results.
The study also revealed gaps in the existing Horizon 2020 open access surveillance data, making conformity assessment even more difficult. Self-declaration by beneficiaries also revealed a number of issues.
In parallel with the study, the Commission made the data set underlying the open access publication on Data Europa EU, and put a description of the database and the data management plan (DMP) to available to all for use and reuse.
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