Discussions regarding open access to scientific literature began in 1990s as a result of the widespread availability of the World Wide Web. 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.