Discussions regarding open access to scientific literature began in 1990s as a result of the widespread availability of the World Wide Web. Recently, the implementation of Open Access journals has taken up speed, and the landscape of scientific publications is strongly changing. In order to better understand the implications and impact of recent policy developments, the European Physical Society [EPS] organised a Round Table on Open Access publishing at its Council Meeting on 5 April 2013. The Round Table brought together scientists from different fields (astronomy, chemistry, physics, biology…) and from different countries and learned societies. Sir John Enderby chaired the Round Table, whose participants were: J. Dudley (EPS); M. Huber (EAS); D. Kulp (APS); A. Oleandri (SIF – EPJ); B. Pulverer (EMBO); U. Schubert (EuCheMS); and J.-H. Weil (FEBS).
The Round Table showed that publishing is an essential part of scientific research, necessary for the communication of results, inspiring future research and career development. Publishing is also a core activity of learned societies. The Round Table also brought to light that different scientific communities, national contexts, and positions in learned societies have an influence on positions regarding open access to scholarly, peer reviewed articles.
The statement of the EPS – Managing the Transition to Open Access Publication – is the result of a widespread consultation in Europe and abroad, taking into consideration the comments received from EPS Member Societies, and other learned societies in many different disciplines, such as chemistry (EuCheMs, RSC) or biochemistry (FEBS), as well as from the Initiative for Science in Europe [ISE]. The statement formulates conditions for a transition towards Open Access publishing that both respects the need to make publically-funded research results freely available whilst at the same time maintaining peer-reviewed high-quality journals, secure archiving, and a strong and successful international scientific enterprise.
To read the Statement, please click here.