EC Recommendation on Access to and Preservation of Scientific Information, in Support of Open Science

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The European Commission published a new Recommendation on Access to, and Preservation of, Scientific Information on 25 April, to promote the transition to open science in the European Union. The recommendation provides guidance on incentives for openness; research data management; text and data mining; and technical standards for the re-use of research content. The European Commission published a roadmap for the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) 14 March 2018. The EOSC is a “pan-European federation of research data infrastructures, with a view to moving from the current fragmentation, to a situation where data is easy to store, find, share and re-use.”

The 25 April EC recommendation calls upon member states to provide associated financial planning for open science, and to set concrete objectives and indicators to measure progress. The EC recommends that

  • all scientific publications resulting from publicly-funded research are made available in open access as from 2020 at the latest… preferably at the time of publication, and in any case no later than six months after the date of publication (no later than twelve months for social sciences and humanities) [p.4]
  • data management planning becomes a standard scientific practice early in the research process when data is generated or collected, including through the requirement of data management plans [p.5]
  • research data that results from publicly funded research becomes and stays findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable (‘FAIR principles’) within a secure and trusted environment, through digital infrastructures (including those federated within the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), where relevant), unless this is not possible or is incompatible with the further exploitation of the research results (“as open as possible, as closed as necessary”) [p.5]
  • researchers have an increased access, in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner, to research resources and services for storing, managing, analysing, sharing, and re-using scientific information, including through the EOSC, when available [p.7]
  • the academic career system supports and rewards researchers who participate in a culture of sharing the results of their research, in particular by ensuring early sharing and open access to their publications and other research outputs [p.9]

Recommendation on Access to, and Preservation of, Scientific Information