Access to scientific information
Improving access to and facilitating re-use of knowledge for the benefit of European researchers, engineers, entrepreneurs, citizens and society at large is a key objective of the Digital Agenda for Europe and the Innovation Union. Easy and fast access to scientific information will strengthen Europe’s competitiveness. A number of challenges must be overcome, though, including high subscription prices to scientific publications, the need to deal with a growing volume of scientific data, and the increasing complexity of curating and preserving research outputs. Modern digital infrastructures can play an important role to address these and other urgent issues, also - potentially - by promoting Open Access.
The European Commission intends to adopt a Communication and Recommendations on access to and preservation of scientific information. The Communication will set out a plan for EC actions, while the Recommendations will detail actions to be taken at member state level.
ALLEA engages with its Member Academies in the process of articulating the scientific communities needs and views in terms of making scientific publications (articles) and research data more easily accessible to researchers and society at large, and reflects on the appropriate framework for facilitating the re-use of data. How to ensure permanent access to digital content and how to overcome the barriers to the preservation of digitally stored output is another set of challenges.
Among the changes in the digital publishing environments, Open Access is still much debated; many academies are scientific publishers in their own right and have often contradictory stakes in this area of activity. ALLEA encourages the growth of a body of shared knowledge, the exchange of experiences and, eventually, the development of common strategies in this field.