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Call for Action in Open Science: borderless, barrierless, open access- the road to success?

The Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science has been released 6 April, as the outcome of the Netherlands EU Presidency conference ‘Open Science – From Vision to Action’. At the heart of the Call is the establishment of a common and integrated EU approach to open science, including open access to scientific publications and an effective reuse of research data. It formulates a response to shifts in the scientific landscape and poses a moral case for knowledge as a public good, freely accessible to all.  

Representing the input of diverse stakeholders from science, university, research and publishing communities, as well as the Commission and EU members states, a plan has been developed to speed up a European transition to open science, with the goal of establishing - Full open access, by 2020, and an open data standard for all publically funded research  and scientific publications. A draft Call for Action was distributed to conference participants, focusing twelve action items along 5 topics:

1.       Removal of barriers for open science 2.       Development of research infrastructures 3.       Fostering and creating incentives for open science 4.       Mainstreaming and further promotion of policies 5.       Stimulating and embedding open science in science and society

Concerning actions on a European level , European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas presented Open Science as a key priority of his mandate and outlined measures that would enable European science to ‘share and succeed’.  His vision entailed: Europe’s transition to open access, establishing a ‘’free to read culture’’, sustained by new revenue and business models; clarification of copyrights, supported by the revision of the Copyright directive to include research exemptions;  and the creation of infrastructures , through measure as the establishment of a European Open Science Cloud by 2020, allowing researchers to deposit and analyse data. In addition, the Open Science Platform will launch soon, advising the Commission on future policy actions.

Underlying this shift into an era of Open Science was a sense of urgency, State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands, Sander Dekker expressing that the agenda needed to be pushed - helping researchers cross disciplinary boundaries in order to speed up scientific processes that determined progress over stagnation. ACA President and ambassador for Open Science of the Netherlands Ministry, Sijbolt Noorda placed special emphasis on a need to transition to a harmonised system, finding consensus between a vast array of current EU policies on open access, and viewing the Call for Action as a foundation to build concerted action.

Further agreements and long term goals in Open Science for the years ahead, will be made during the meeting of the Competitiveness Council 27 May.   

Amsterdam Call for Action in Open Science
The Netherlands EU Presidency 2016, press release
European Commission, press release - Speech by Carlos Moedas ‘’Open Science: share and succeed”