Report on the implementation of Commission Recommendation

A report by the EC consolidates and presents information reported by the member states regarding their progress in implementing the 2012 Recommendation on open access to and preservation of scientific information. 

Based on a questionnaire answered in the first half of 2017 for the period 2014-2016, Member States have assessed the Recommendation as a valuable and impactful instrument for the promotion of policies on openEuropean Commission.svg access to and preservation of scientific information at the European and national level. The report shows that the majority of the countries have adopted, are implementing, or currently discussing policies for open access to publications at the national level and mostly reports an improved situation as compared to the previous period. Variable levels of progress are observed regarding policies for research data across Member States, funders and institutions, while data management plans and FAIR data appear to be part of policy or strategy design. Significant progress can be seen in terms of the e-infrastructures supporting access to and preservation of scientific information, relevant policies and strategies at the national and institutional level, as well as participation in EU-funded initiatives for interoperability and common standards. More work appears to be required in the areas of copyright for the benefit of research and researchers, skills and rewards, monitoring open access and preservation.

report 018lMember states largely believe that the recommendation has been valuable and impactful at European and national level. The majority of the countries have adopted, are implementing or currently discussing policies for open access to publications at the national level, with one third of the countries preferring self-archiving, a few countries with a strong preference for open access publishing and half of the countries supporting both means of open access. Still, in one third of the countries the public funding organisations lack open access policies. National governments, as well as funders and institutions, are at different stages of progress in implementing open access to research data policy. The respondents suggested that more coordination would be necessary to assure alignment of policies and practices. A number of countries are working on open research data principles with approximately half of the countries surveyed making DMPs and fair data part of their policies.

And in many countries, open research data principles are applies at the institutional level, even if national policy has not been developed albeit as soft flexible rules. RDM and open access to research data are only rarely mandatory in funder schemes and in many countries RDM is only applied in EU funded projects.

According to respondents, FAIR research data management practices, have to be developed and implemented at national level, with more room for work in the field of TDM and its effects on research and positive conclusions regarding development in e-Infrastructure policy. Most countries plan or have already implemented policies or strategies for e-Infrastructures at the national level as well as policies for the preservation of scientific, information. Rewards for practising Open Science built into the career assessment and related education and skills initiatives and strategies is being implemented mostly at the institutional level. Two-third of the countries reported having advanced-degree programmes for professional profiles in the area of data-handling technologies, where again institutions are in the lead. Only half of the countries monitor the development and/or growth of open access publications at national level while the majority of countries do not monitor the development/growth of access to research data nor the impact of open access.

Some countries are currently running pilots for monitoring of open access. For the great majority of countries the transparency of negotiations for 'big deals' on journal subscriptions and the issue of VAT for digital journals is of importance. The majority of countries are involved in collaborative efforts for digital journal subscriptions and interoperability of e-infrastructures in the national or transnational context.

You can read the full report here.

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