ERC Scientific Council Guidelines for Open Access
Scientific research is generating vast, ever increasing quantities of information, including primary data, data structured and integrated into databases, and scientific publications. In the age of the Internet, free and efficient access to information, including scientific publications and original data, will be the key for sustained progress.
The ERC Scientific Council's Statement on Open Access of December 2006 stressed the fundamental importance of peer-review in ensuring the certification and dissemination of high-quality scientific research, as well as the importance of wide access and efficient dissemination of research results. In December 2007, the ERC Scientific Council followed this up with Guidelines for Open Access. These Guidelines state that:
- The ERC requires that all peer-reviewed publications from ERC-funded research projects be deposited on publication into an appropriate research repository where available, such as PubMed Central, ArXiv or an institutional repository, and subsequently made Open Access within 6 months of publication.
- The ERC considers essential that primary data - which in the life sciences for example could comprise data such as nucleotide/protein sequences, macromolecular atomic coordinates and anonymized epidemiological data - are deposited to the relevant databases as soon as possible, preferably immediately after publication and in any case not later than 6 months after the date of publication.
The ERC is keenly aware of the desirability to shorten the period between publication and open access beyond the currently accepted standard of 6 months.