Open Access to Scientific Publications

Open Access refers to the principle and practice of providing free online access to scholarly publications. In line with the Berlin Declaration on Open Access of 22 October 2003, Science Europe defines Open Access as “unrestricted, online access to scholarly research publications (including books, monographs and non-traditional research materials) for reading and productive re-use, not impeded by any financial, organisational, legal or technical barriers.” Ideally, the only restriction on use is an obligation to attribute the work to its author. The Science Europe Roadmap also states the objectives of Science Europe regarding Open Access, saying that removing barriers to access to published research results increases the impact of research as well as the overall cost efficiency of the publication system.

Given the benefits of Open Access, a swift transition from the current subscription-based publication model to Open Access models is needed. Science Europe Member Organisations play an important role in insuring the transition takes place in an effective manner at national level, while at the same time collectively contributing to policies that support the transition. This includes taking into account the needs of researchers in the different scientific communities.

In order to support this transition, Science Europe members unanimously adopted a set of  ‘Common Principles on the Transition to Open Access to Research Publications’ in April 2013. It was the first time that the major European public Research Funding and Performing Organisations collectively endorsed and committed to actionable principles that will contribute to a swift transition to Open Access.

The Science Europe Working Group on Open Access to Scientific Publications brings together experts from Science Europe members to exchange knowledge, provide expertise on practical issues and offer advice to enable Science Europe to contribute to policy debates.

Working Group Members

(17/05/17) Science Europe expresses its full support to the statement released by the European Research Council (ERC) Scientific Council... read more

(26/04/17) Science Europe recommends the ‘Open APC Initiative’ to create more transparency... read more

(04/04/17) Science Europe condemns legislative measures against academic freedom in Hungary... read more

(24/03/17) Science Europe congratulates ALLEA on the release of the revised ‘European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity’... read more

(23/03/17) Science Europe, LERU, CESAER, and EUA, issue a statement calling on policy makers to provide new momentum for the European Research Area... read more

(09/03017) Science Europe is pleased to announce the appointment of Stephan Kuster as its Acting Director... read more

(10/02/17) New joint Open Letter from European science organisations on mobility, transparency & openness... read more

(06/02/17) New practical guide on improving gender equality in research organisations... read more


Discover the new practical guide to improving gender equality in research organisations... read more