The conclusion of our State of Open Access in Europe series (see the first and the second post here) is a piece on a vitally important EU legislation – Horizon 2020. Horizon 2020 is a €80 billion heavy EU programme for research and innovation. In Brussels, they call it a flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness. A natural question that arises when considering such an enormous fund is – will the end results of that funding be Open Access? Since Horizon 2020 is still in the works, so to say (it has to pass numerous steps before being implemented, including a vote in the European Parliament), it is important to stay informed and possibly take part in the public discussion that follows such a grand project.
Last year we did an analysis, here at the JEPS Bulletin, trying to find out how many of the most reputable journals in psychology are open access. The conclusion was, to say the least, defeating. But as Stevan Harnad likes to remind us, gold open access journals are far from being the only route to achieving widespread access to scientific literature. Green open access is a way to go too. But can scholars, and under what conditions, archive the articles they publish in topmost psychology journals? That’s what we’re going to find out in today’s post.
With the open access protests (e.g. Elsevier boycott) reaching their climax in the past weeks, OA has been condemned to ultimate failure in Europe with the European Commission putting a final and unequivocal stop to it. In analogy to the RWA (Research Works Act) in the USA, according to which scholarly publishers like Elsevier hoped to claw back total ownership of federally funded research, the European Union has started a hot debate on banning OA to scientific literature for the public. Their argumentation is mainly based on the idea to transfer the revenues made by the publishing industry into funds accessible for the academic world and only the academic world. Thus a private scientific journal publishing company could not keep all the money earned through their subscription fees, but would have to pay a third of its income to the European Union. With all this new influx of money, the EU would announce scholarships for talented academics – paying their research expenses and projects. This would render public access to journals a distant dream – mainly academics would be able to access journals through their standing university or library subscriptions (it’s not like anybody else is paying the exorbitant per article fees).
As many of our previous posts have already mentioned, the open access movement is growing steadily. Many academics try to fight companies that sell their scientific knowledge for enormous amounts of money. One of those publishing companies is Elsevier. Its recent increase of subscription fees lead to suggestions of a general boycott of Elsevier’s sources. Why Elsevier? Continue reading