The European Commission has outlined measures to improve access to scientific information produced in Europe. Broader and more rapid access to scientific papers and data will make it easier for researchers and businesses to build on the findings of public-funded research.
As a first step, the Commission will make open access to scientific publications a general principle of Horizon 2020, the EU's Research & Innovation funding programme for 2014-2020. As of 2014, all articles produced with funding from Horizon 2020 will have to be accessible:
- articles will either immediately be made accessible online by the publisher ('Gold' open access) - up-front publication costs can be eligible for reimbursement by the European Commission;
- or researchers will make their articles available through an open access repository no later than six months (12 months for articles in the fields of social sciences and humanities) after publication ('Green' open access).
The Commission has also recommended that Member States take a similar approach to the results of research funded under their own domestic programmes. The goal is for 60% of European publicly-funded research articles to be available under open access by 2016.