Open Access: Sharing is caring!

In addition to my research work, I am the Chairman of YEAR - Young European Associated Researchers network, where I have been actively involved since 2012. YEAR is the network bringing together a potential of 4000 young researchers in Europe, with a focus on training, networking, mobility and consulting at the EU Commission level. As Chairman, I represent the association in high-level meetings and coordinate the executive board of YEAR, counting 8 board members with dedicated responsibilities and representing the research institutes members of YEAR.

Sharing is caring“! This is probably a good way to describe what Open Science really means: a new approach to science to share ideas, research results, research data, and publications with the rest of the world, through the newly available network technologies.

Myself (YEAR/SINTEF) during my speech on “Open Access as seen by researchers” (Photo: Karlijn Jans)
During my speech on “Open Access as seen by researchers” (Photo: Karlijn Jans)

The notion of Open Access, probably easier to grasp, is the key pillar of Open Science, and it is probably the notion requiring the most exhaustive turn in term of policies. The main idea behind Open Access today is to make publicly accessible most publications resulting from publicly-funded research. This represents a paradigm shift regarding the current publication practices in research and the traditional subscription model of the scientific journals, where institutions pay a significant yearly fee for accessing journals.

What alternatives?

Works are in progress at the European level (EU Commission and member states) to support the most appropriate Open Access models by involving all the potential stakeholders in their decisions, i.e. librarians, publishers, policy makers and, of course, researchers. The new models would mostly require researchers to pay a fee for publishing with Open Access (namely “Gold Open Access”) or to publish in a regular scientific journal as before, but with an author copy (usually the “pre-print” version) in an Open Access repository, e.g. arXiv, Zenodo or any institutional repository (namely “Green Open Access”). The researchers would then become the main consumers in such a system and therefore need to be further involved into any new policies on Open Access.

Invited by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science

As YEAR Chairman and SINTEF Energy Researcher I was invited by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to be one of the three invited speakers at their Expert Meeting on Open Access on 23 June 2015. The Expert meeting gathered 60 experts from all over Europe, representing research councils, governments, libraries, publishers and researchers. The goal of the meeting was to provide the Dutch government with valuable inputs on how to best implement Open Access and Open Science during their EU-Presidency for the first semester of 2016.

I delivered a speech on behalf of YEAR, on “Open Access as seen by researchers“, based on the consultation YEAR carried out on Open Science seen by young researchers. You can read more about the discussions from the Expert Meeting and the speech here. YEAR was invited due to its exhaustive work carried out on Open Science since 2014, namely: surveys, local debatespublications, participation in EU Commission Workshops on Open Science and the YEAR Annual Conference dedicated to Open Science.



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