OpenAIRE opens to the public results from EU funded FP7 and ERC research projects

The online platform OpenAIRE (Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe) will provide a network of open repositories  providing free online access to knowledge produced by scientists receiving grants from the Seventh Framework programme (FP7) and European Research Council (ERC). Through this initiative the European Commission aims at bringing the results from EU funded research closer to the public, following some the objectives also promoted by the Digital Agenda for Europe and the Innovation Union initiatives.

The launch of Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe, OpenAIRE, marks a very concrete step towards sharing the results of EU funded research to all mutual benefit. Thanks to OpenAIRE, European researchers, businesses and citizens will now have free and open access to EU-funded research papers.

Some 2.5 million research articles are published in 25,000 peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings worldwide every year. Currently, just 15%-20% of these articles are available in Open Access repositories or Open Access journals. The rest are only accessible through pay per read schemes or by paying for a subscription to the publication.

The EU-funded OpenAIRE infrastructure launched on 2 December at the University of Ghent in Belgium, could eventually open up access to all scientific papers and data produced by researchers funded by the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), including scientists receiving grants through the European Research Council (ERC), and beyond, taking into account that since its launch in 2007, FP7 has funded some 10,000 projects.

According to the conditions for receiving funding from FP7 programme calls, there are certain research fields where the publications issued from the projects must be deposited in open access repositories to be made permanently available worldwide. These fields include health, energy, environment, Information & Communication Technology, research infrastructures, social sciences, humanities and science in society. They represent around 20% of all projects funded by FP7, and can be enriched with texts from other fields of expertise should researchers which to do so.

Creating new services thanks open access to information and data

OpenAIRE project could also lead to new ways of indexing, annotating, ordering and linking research results, as well as new methods to automate all this, which could trigger the development of new services on top of the information infrastructure which OpenAIRE provides.

The platform originates from a European Commission pilot initiative on open access, launched in August 2008, and complements other EU-funded research infrastructures such as GÉANT, which provides European scientists with a high speed research network, and PRACE which develops supercomputing capacity for highly demanding applications.

Developing research infrastructures and e-Infrastructures, including those for scientific research results like OpenAIRE, with a view to boosting Europe's competitiveness, is a priority of both the Digital Agenda for Europe and of the Innovation Union initiative.