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UFD2RE00 engelsk logoAt the beginning of 2016 the Norwegian government appointed a working group tasked with drafting national guidelines for Open Access. On the 15th of June the working group, consisting mainly of researchers, announced an ambitious plan to implement openness to research results. In the long run the goal is to make all types of research result open in the broader context of open science, but for now the emphasis is on open access to research articles.

Immediate and free access to research publications for all will result in many positive gains and will contribute to creating an open knowledge society. Because of the slow uptake of open access the government hopes these guidelines will foster a rapid transition from the current subscription model to a publishing economy based on open access.

The Norwegian government expects the benefit from immediate free open access to stimulate scientific progress, increase efficiency and innovation in the private sector and hopes for a wide variety of benefits for the public sector, special interest groups and the general public.

Head of the working group, prof. Torkel Brekke, commented that we want Norway to support the EU Competitiveness Council agreement to make all scientific articles open access by 2020. And the guidelines state that publically funded researchers shall seek to publish their research articles in Open Access journals (Gold) as a first choice.

In order to successfully implement the guidelines the working group has put forward recommendation to introduce incentives for publishing open access. An important incentive is the introduction of a multiplying factor for publishing open access in the Norwegian publication indicator (a system for documenting Norwegian academic publishing with the aim of measuring publication activity and allocating research funding). In addition to prioritising inclusion of Open Access journals into the highest and most prestigious level, level 2.

The working group recommends that depositing research articles in an institutional repository is a precondition for articles to be counted in the performance based funding system.
Repository infrastructure should be strengthened and the establishing of a national repository is recommended.
Institutions and consortia negotiating purchasing agreements of electronic publications with publishers are instructed to ensure Open Access, transparency and a budget neutral transition.

The report delivered by the working group will be subject to a public consultation that is set to conclude by autumn 2016.

For a short summary of the report in English, click here.