Wednesday 6 April 2016

LERU Statement on Open Access - October 2015

The League of European Research Universities (LERU) released a new statement on open access on 12 October 2015 calls for research funding to be focused on research, rather than to be overly diverted to publishers.  It calls on the European Commission to work with the university and public research sectors, funders, publishers and authors to develop models and solutions for the sustainable support of open access publishing, both by Gold and Green Open Access routes, while allowing for commercial publishers to retain viable returns.  Specifically, the statement calls on the Dutch Presidency of the European Commission from January-June 2016 to bring together all interested parties to develop a way forward acceptable to all parties on an international basis.

The full LERU statement, "Christmas is over. Research funding should go to research, not to publishers!" can be accessed at

Many international research funders are now making requirements for OA dissemination of both publications and data as a condition of continued and renewed research funding. Moreover, in the recent consultation on Science 2.0 (Open Science) developments by the European Commission, 63% of those responding felt that more inter-sectoral agreement on open access interventions was crucial for progress.

LERU calls on all universities, research institutes, research funders and researchers to sign the statement, giving a clear statement of support for a shared solution to be developed to both European and international legislations.  This new statement aims to develop a shift in the momentum of open access in Europe by getting all parties to work together to devise a scalable economic OA model. The proposals are supported by the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas and by the incoming Dutch Presidency of the EU.

Looking in more depth, LERU notes that the costs of Gold APC charges are commonly lower in born-OA journals than in OA/subscription hybrid journals and poses the question as to why this differential exists. It calls for a future path of OA transition where the determination and allocation of OA costs is both fair and transparent.

The debate engendered by the statement can be followed on Twitter at: #christmasisover

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