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Open access to scientific papers

Competitiveness Council meeting in Brussels this week. Source: EU Competitiveness Council.

Martin Enserink, In dramatic statement, European leaders call for ‘immediate’ open access to all scientific papers by 2020, Science, 27 May 2016

In what European science chief Carlos Moedas calls a “life-changing” move, E.U. member states today agreed on an ambitious new open-access (OA) target. All scientific papers should be freely available by 2020, the Competitiveness Council—a gathering of ministers of science, innovation, trade, and industry—concluded after a 2-day meeting in Brussels. But some observers are warning that the goal will be difficult to achieve.

The OA goal is part of a broader set of recommendations in support of open science, a concept that also includes improved storage of and access to research data. The Dutch government, which currently holds the rotating E.U. presidency, had lobbied hard for Europe-wide support for open science, as had Carlos Moedas, the European commissioner for research and innovation.

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