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Access to All the Papers

The Netherlands is pushing the European Union to make open access to scientific papers a priority, ScienceInsider reports.

The Netherlands, which just took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU post in January, held a meeting with European lawmakers, librarians, research funders, and others to discuss how to best implement open access. This, ScienceInsider says, led to a document that urges all new research published in Europe to be publicly available by 2020.

"This is an orchestrated push on the European level that we have not seen before," Ralf Schimmer from the Max Planck Digital Library tells ScienceInsider.

For itself, the Netherlands has adopted a so-called Gold OA approach in which researchers pay publishers a fee to make their papers publicly available. Some OA advocates say a Green OA approach in which authors post a copy of their published paper to a repository may be a better way to go, ScienceInsider notes. That approach, though, has to contend with the months-long embargo many journals have on self-archiving.

Robert-Jan Smits, the director-general for research and innovation at the European Commission, tells ScienceInsider that either approach is acceptable to the EC.

The EU research, innovation, industry, and trade ministers are to meet late next month to discuss OA as well as data sharing.