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Guaranteed public access to publicly-funded research

The European Commission has released its long-awaited report, Study on the Economic and Technical Evolution of the Scientific Publication Markets in Europe.

"The study confirms scientific journals as an essential channel for the dissemination of scientific knowledge. With large amounts of public money invested in research, it becomes increasingly important for publications reporting on that research to be accessible to as wide a public as possible.

The study therefore makes a number of recommendations for future action, including:

* Guaranteed public access to publicly-funded research, at the time of publication and also long-term
* A “level-playing field” so that different business models in publishing can compete fairly in the market
* Ranking scientific journals by quality, defined more widely than pure scientific excellence, but also taking into account factors such as management of copyright, search facilities and archiving
* Developing pricing strategies that promote competition in the journal market
* Scrutinising major mergers that may take place in this sector in the future
* Promoting the development of electronic publication, for example by eliminating unfavourable tax treatment of electronic publications and encouraging public funding and public-private partnerships to create digital archives in areas with little commercial investment."..

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