As we recently reported, the Dutch government, which is currently holding the rotating presidency of the European Union (EU) has set the target of making all new scientific papers published in the EU freely available by 2020. Achieving this aim is now one step closer after the motion was agreed by The Competitive Council, a gathering of ministers of science, innovation, trade and industry, following a two-day meeting in Brussels held over the 26 and 27 of May.
The move would see all scientific publications on the results of research supported by public and public-private funds freely accessible and available for reuse. The European commissioner for research and innovation told a press conference: “We probably don’t realise it yet, but what the Dutch presidency has achieved is unique and huge.” While some have viewed the 2020 target as unrealistic, the council is resolved succeed, Science magazine reports.
The changes are part of a broader set of recommendations in support of Open Science, a concept which aims to make research more open, global, collaborative, creative and closer to society. Open access, data sharing and transparency are key in paving the way towards open science, as outlined in the ‘Amsterdam Call to Action,’ which was agreed at a 2-day conference entitled ‘Open Science – from vision to action’ hosted by the Netherlands’ EU presidency in April 2016.