Carlos Moedas, a European research commissioner has urged journal publishing companies to reshape their business models to an open access system. Recently, he expressed the strong commitment of the European Commission to open the access of scientific peer reviewed publications to the public.

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Moedas said: “There is a revolution happening in the way science works. Every part of the scientific method is nowadays becoming an open, collaborative and participative process. Can publishers afford to stay out of that trend? I believe that much effort is needed by the main publishers to adjust their business models to the realities of the 21st century.”

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What is open access publishing?

Open access publishing means that the author, not the reader, pays the publishing costs. At the moment scientists, libraries and universities pay subscriptions to get access to the outputs of publicly-funded research. The EU Commission suggests government-financed science should be made available online and free for anyone. The cost of this will be covered by Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme. They say all costs for open access are eligible for reimbursement during the duration of the project. However, the Commissioner warned that the Commission will adapt this policy if it finds that publishers are charging excessive article processing charges.

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Moedas and Dutch Secretary of State for Education, Culture and Science Sander Dekker showed their support during the meeting to stakeholder organisations, such as the League of European Research Universities (LERU) by signing a petition for open access. They jointly call on the publishing industry to follow the example of new publishers that have adopted business models for open access, and of those established publishers who have developed new business models for open access publishing.
“The fact that all LERU members now let go of the old subscription-based models with big deals and clearly choose for models based on open access, perfectly fits with the open science policy. In this policy, results of publicly funded research must be available free of charge for everyone.” said Dekker.
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