SPARC Europe at the European Commission Public Hearing: Reform of the Research Evaluation System Suggested

At the recent European Commission Public Hearing on Access to and Preservation of Scientific Information that sought feedback information from the European scientific publishing sector, European researchers, European funders, European consumers and society at large, SPARC Europe, that represents almost 100 organizations that support Open Access to scholarly literature made some key messages and suggestions. Some suggestions, especially those involving EU Open Access policies, are tightly connected to the  OpenAIRE project, funded by the European Commission, that should provide support and infrastructure for the policies. The complete statement can be downloaded here.

SPARC Europe has made some preliminary statements regarding Open Access:

  • Open Access via Institutional Repositories (green road) and Open Access via publishing (gold road) are complementary strategies
  • Open Access in Institutional Open Access Policies should refer to “Libre” Open Access: free to access and free to re-use
  • Open Access means immediate access, without delaying mechanisms

SPARC Europe called for the European Commission to:

  • make funding available to cover the costs of Open Access publishing
  • communicate that the quality of Open Access peer-reviewed journals is equal to the quality of subscription peer-reviewed journals
  • extend the Open Access policies to all research areas
  • help in increasing awareness among researchers
  • strive for the shortest embargo period possible
  • provide an infrastructure enabling publisher content to be harvested and deposited into institutional repositories

Finally, SPARC Europe called for subscription-based publishers to:

  • start the transition of subscription journals towards Open Access
  • allow authors and institutions to deposit metadata into Open Access repositories and support Creative Commons licensing of these materials

In the statement, it is concluded: “The current research evaluation system that is aimed mainly on indirect measures based on average journal performance is disadvantageous to Open Access. We are convinced that digital research environments offer much more quality performance indicators than citations alone.” In support of such a reformation of the research evaluation system, it is called for:

  • a shift to an evaluation that is based on article level, instead of journal level
  • including Open Access availability of the publication in the criteria for research evaluation
  • supporting projects that develop alternative bibliometric tools or aim to implement them

SPARC Europe gained support from some important organizations such as EIFL, The National Documentation Centre in Greece, OAPEN, Tartu University Library in Estonia and University of Tromso in Norway. Hopefully, a new model for better scientific dissemination in Europe and then, worldwide, will be found.

About these ads
This entry was posted in Open Access, Open Access Repositories, Open Access Tools and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to SPARC Europe at the European Commission Public Hearing: Reform of the Research Evaluation System Suggested

  1. SPARC SUGGESTIONS TO EC: PART SENSE, PART NONSENSE, PART IRRELEVANCE

    SENSE:

    - extend the [EC] Open Access policies to all research areas

    [assuming that what is meant here is to mandate Green OA self-archiving]

    - Open Access means immediate access, without delaying mechanisms

    - strive for the shortest embargo period possible

    - help in increasing awareness among researchers

    - Open Access via Institutional Repositories (green road) and Open Access via publishing (gold road) are complementary strategies

    NONSENSE:

    - Open Access in Institutional Open Access Policies should refer to “Libre” Open Access: free to access and free to re-use

    [Libre OA asks for much more than Gratis OA (free online access) and we are nowhere near having even Gratis OA yet. It is unrealistic to ask for more when you don't even have the less. Mandating Green Gratis OA will eventually lead to Libre OA too, but demanding Libre OA now will lead nowhere for many more years to come.]

    - communicate that the quality of Open Access peer-reviewed journals is equal to the quality of subscription peer-reviewed journals

    [Utter, utter nonsense. The quality of a peer-reviewed journal is what it is, regardless of its cost-recovery model. Is the EC supposed to give a priori quality ratings to journals, based on whether or not they happen to be OA, rather than letting them earn it, with their peer-review standards and quality track-records?]

    - call for subscription-based publishers to allow authors and institutions to deposit metadata into Open Access repositories and to support Creative Commons licensing of these materials

    [Why call for this, since authors can already deposit their metadata? What publishers should be called upon to do is simply to endorse immediate Green OA self-archiving of the author's final draft, as over 60% of journals already do.]

    IRRELEVANT:

    - make funding available to cover the costs of Open Access publishing

    [Does the EC have spare funds for this? What is needed is OA, not more money to pay publishers. Institutional subscriptions are paying for publication already. What is needed is for institutions and funders to mandate Green Gratis OA self-archiving. If and when funds are needed to pay for Gold OA publishing, they will come from the release of the institutional subscription funds through cancelation.]

    - call for subscription-based publishers to start the transition of subscription journals towards Open Access

    ["Calling on publishers to start the transition" will have no effect and is hence irrelevant. Mandating Green OA, in contrast, will generate OA, and then the publishers will start planning for a transition of their own accord if and when mandated Green OA begins causing cancelation pressure.]

    - provide an infrastructure enabling publisher content to be harvested and deposited into institutional repositories

    [What is needed is not an infrastructure. What is needed is a mandate to deposit.]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s