Watering down Open Access in EU (latest compromise)

Bold print are latest changes proposed in text. Final vote on November 28th in Industry Committee.

Pressure on MEPs is necessary.

 

Proposal for a regulation

Article 40

Protection of results

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. Each participant that has received Union funding shall use its best efforts to exploit the results it owns in further research or commercially, or to have them exploited by another legal entity for these purposes, in particular through transfer and licensing of results in accordance with Article 41.

1. Each participant that has received Union funding shall use its best efforts to exploit the results it owns, or to have them exploited by another legal entity, in particular through transfer and licensing of results in accordance with Article 41.

Additional exploitation obligations may be laid down in the grant agreement. Any such additional obligations shall be indicated in the work programme or work plan.

Additional exploitation obligations may be laid down in the grant agreement. Any such additional obligations shall be indicated in the work programme or work plan.

2. Subject to any restrictions due to the protection of intellectual property, security rules or legitimate commercial interests, each participant shall through appropriate means disseminate the results it owns as soon as possible. The grant agreement may lay down time-limits in this respect.

2. Subject to any restrictions due to the protection of intellectual property, security rules or legitimate commercial interests, each participant shall through appropriate means disseminate the results it owns as soon as possible. The grant agreement may lay down time-limits in this respect.

Additional dissemination obligations may be laid down in the grant agreement.

Additional dissemination obligations may be laid down in the grant agreement. Any such additional obligations shall be indicated in the work programme or work plan.

With regard to dissemination through research publications, open access shall apply under the terms and conditions laid down in the grant agreement.

With regard to dissemination of other results, including research data, the grant agreement may lay down the terms and conditions under which open access to such results shall be provided, in particular in ERC frontier research or in other appropriate areas.

With regard to dissemination through research publications, open access shall be mandatory and apply under the terms and conditions laid down in the grant agreement.

Open access to research publications that result from research funded under Horizon 2020, non-regarding whether they are published during or after the duration of a project, shall be eligible for reimbursement.

With regard to dissemination of research data, the grant agreement may, in the context of open access to and preservation of research data, lay down the terms and conditions under which open access to such results shall be provided, in particular in ERC frontier research or in other areas of major societal interest, taking into account the legitimate interests of the participants and all constraints pertaining to privacy, national security or intellectual property rights.

The work programme or the work plan shall indicate if dissemination of research data through open access is required.

 

5 comments for “Watering down Open Access in EU (latest compromise)

  1. November 14, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    I have two kinds of problem with the current draft.

    First, it provides a loophole allowing publishers to opt out at will: “Subject to any restrictions due to the protection of intellectual property….” There are easy, battle-tested ways to close that loophole. For example, the NIH and Wellcome Trust require grantees to retain the non-exclusive rights needed to authorize OA; hence, they may authorize OA without appealing to publishers. This loophole was apparently in the original Horizon2020 proposal, and not added in a recent amendment.

    Second, this key passage is vague: “With regard to dissemination through research publications, open access shall be mandatory….Open access to research publications that result from research funded under Horizon 2020…, shall be eligible for reimbursement.”

    Because of the vagueness, we can’t easily tell whether OA is mandatory *only* when delivered by “research publications” (journals). If so, then this is a gold OA mandate, which is vastly inferior to the green OA mandate in the original Horizon2020 plan. Moreover, to say that a publication is “eligible for reimbursement” presupposes that all OA journals charge publication fees (or article processing charges, APCs), when today most OA journals charge no fees at all. Moreover, it promises money that will induce no-fee journals to start charging fees. If the amended plan has really dropped the green OA mandate, added a gold OA mandate, and created incentives for no-fee journals to charge fees, then it’s distinctly worse than the original. Moreover, it’s worse in ways that show the influence of the RCUK-Finch plan in the UK. For my detailed critique of the RCUK-Finch plan, on precisely these points, see my article from September 2012 [ http://goo.gl/uv2wx ].

    Peter Suber
    Director, Harvard Open Access Project
    Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society
    Senior Researcher, SPARC
    Open Access, MIT Press, 2012 [ bit.ly/oa-book ]

  2. November 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    THE PUBLISHER LOBBY AND THE EC OPEN ACCESS MANDATE

    My reaction is precisely the same as Peter Suber’s.

    I would like to add only that there is another way to plug the loophole that would leave it up to publishers whether and when EC researchers comply:

    Make immediate, full-text deposit of the peer-reviewed final draft mandatory, immediately upon acceptance for publication.

    The only condition determined by the publisher is whether and how long the mmediate-deposit is embargoed before it is made Open Access. The difference is crucial.

    And the immediate-deposit should be in the author’s institutional repository, so the institution can monitor and ensure compliance as well as providing the “Almost-OA” Button to tide over researcher needs worldwide during any allowable OA embargo period:

    Sale, A., Couture, M., Rodrigues, E., Carr, L. and Harnad, S. (2012) Open Access Mandates and the “Fair Dealing” Button. In: Dynamic Fair Dealing: Creating Canadian Culture Online (Rosemary J. Coombe & Darren Wershler, Eds.) http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/18511/

    Harnad, S (2012) United Kingdom’s Open Access Policy Urgently Needs a Tweak. D-Lib Magazine Volume 18, Number 9/10 September/October 2012 http://www.dlib.org/dlib/september12/harnad/09harnad.html

    Stevan Harnad
    University of Southampton
    &
    Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Sciences
    Université du Québec à Montréal

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