Member states support the idea to develop a broader and more rapid access to scientific publications

The Council held a policy debate on open access to scientific information of public-funded research projects. Member states agreed on the need to promote common implementation standards and criteria, including interoperable infrastructures, in order to achieve the maximum benefit from the open access in a sustainable way within a digital European Research Area.

On the basis of the Commission communication "Towards better access to scientific information: Boosting the benefits of public investments in research" published in July 2012 and its accompanying recommendations on access to and preservation of scientific information, the Council held a debate on 18 of February. Member states supported the idea to develop a broader and more rapid access to scientific publications in order to help researchers and businesses to build on the findings of publicly funded research.

Open access to research data will require to take into account other various aspects such as intellectual property rights, security issues and data protection rules. Therefore, the Council encouraged the definition of clear policies, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, on open access to scientific publications and research data, on preservation and re-use of scientific information and on related e-infrastructures for disseminating scientific information, at both national and EU levels.

Ministers also welcomed the Commission’s view to make open access to scientific publications a general principle of the future research framework programme "Horizon 2020" and presented some of the initiatives carried out under their respective national programmes. The  optimal circulation, access to and transfer of scientific knowledge is one of the objectives for the establishment of a genuine European Research Area (ERA).