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Research and innovation
News article25 April 2018Directorate-General for Research and Innovation

New Commission guidance supports EU Member States in transition to Open Science

The European Commission has made a crucial step on the way to an Open Science system in which knowledge circulates freely, as soon as it is available, through digital and collaborative technology. The revised Recommendation on access to and preservation of scientific information, published today as part of the Digital Single Market package, lays out the blueprint for policies on open access to publications and data that the EU Member States can put in place.

The guidelines will give even better support to excellent research across Europe, which will in turn result in scientific, economic and social benefits for the Member States and the Union as a whole. To reap as many of these benefits as possible, it is especially important that open access policies are coordinated across the EU as part of the European Research Area.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said:

Open access to scientific information is a cornerstone of a modern Open Science system. Most EU Member States now have open access policies in place but the situation across the EU varies. This revised Recommendation provides very powerful guidance to the Member States so that they can reach their goal of transition to immediate open access as the default by 2020.

EU Member States can now use the Recommendation to set and implement clear national policies to cover all the different aspects of Open Science. The new Recommendation reflects developments in areas such as research data management (including the concept of FAIR data i.e. data that is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable), Text and Data Mining (TDM) and technical standards that enable re-use incentive schemes. It reflects ongoing developments at the EU level of the European Open Science Cloud, and it more accurately takes into account the increased capacity of data analytics of today and its role in research. It also clarifies the issue of reward systems for researchers to share data and commit to other open science practices on the one hand, and skills and competences of researchers and staff from research institutions on the other.

The original Recommendation on access to and preservation of scientific information was adopted in 2012 (2012/417/EU). The Commission now revised it in the context of the developments in practices and policies in Open Science, as well as in connection with the new provisions in the revised Public Sector Information Directive (PSI) and the preparation of the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

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Publication date
25 April 2018
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation