On May 23, 2023, the Council of the European Union adopted conclusions on the high quality, transparent, open, trustworthy and equitable scholarly publishing.
The following points notably stand out:
- immediate and unrestricted open access must become the norm for the publication of research involving public funds;
- the increase in the cost of access to scientific publications reduces the funding available for research;
- the lack of reliable data and information on the costs of academic publishing weakens the position of Member States and research organizations in negotiations with commercial publishers.
In these conclusions, the EU Council promotes :
- the development of not-for-profit, open-access academic publishing models in Europe, at no cost to authors or readers. It places particular emphasis on the transformation of Open Research Europe (ORE) into a collective open-access research publication service;
- the introduction of secondary publication rights in Member States' national copyright legislation, enabling open access to publicly-funded academic publications (this is already the case in Belgium, see Modification of the provisions of the Code of Economic Law relating to copyright)
- the recognition of diverse research activities in research assessments, and welcomes in this respect the activities of the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA);
- the application of the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) and encourages interoperability and the use of free software and open standards.
In terms of information and training for researchers, he recommends focusing on :
- intellectual property rights and their value, including the consequences of copyright transfers from authors to publishers and the importance of strategic intellectual property management by researchers;
- predatory, questionable, misleading and poor-quality publishing practices and their negative impact on the reliability of research;
- responsible, open and ethical publishing practices;
- any training that supports researchers in their efforts to apply the principles of open science, while ensuring high standards of research integrity.
For more information: EU Council press release