New EU guidance on Open Science

News: 2018-05-31

The European Commission has published new guidance on open science. The Recommendation from the Commission specifies what European Union member states must do in the coming years in order to increase access to open publications and research data.

Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, commented:
“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.”

The Commission recommendation focuses on several key prerequisites for Open Science, such as open access to scientific publications and good management of research data. The Commission sets out the policies and action plans that Member States in the EU need to develop and the desired outcome of these policies and plans. The following are some of the goals concerning research data and infrastructure:

  • Data management plans produced early in the research process as standard
  • Publicly financed research data are and remain FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable) by being accessible through digital infrastructures
  • Financial resources are devoted to, among other things, infrastructure development and data management, as well as education and training for researchers regarding data management and open access, regardless of where researchers are in their careers
  • Research data is easy to find using persistent identifiers
  • Quality of infrastructure guaranteed through established certification processes and standards
  • The academic career system supports and rewards researchers who openly share research findings, as publications and research data.

Aside from the policies of Member States, the recommendation addresses the responsibility that research financiers and universities must take in order for open science to be realised in the near future.