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InfoToday: European Commission Releases Key Scientific Publishing Report

.: Information Today reported today that the European Commission has released its report on scientific publishing. Opening paragraphs from the article by Robin Peek:

April 10, 2006 — The European Commission has finally released its report on scientific publishing and now has firmly placed itself in the international discussion of where such publishing should go in the future. In June 2004, the European Commission began a study to examine the economic and technical evolution of scientific publishing in Europe. Originally the results were going to be made available in 2005, but the final report was released in January 2006. It was only made available to the public on March 31, 2006. The study was carried out by a consortium led by Mathias Dewatripont of the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

The study, undertaken by the directorate-general for research, sought to determine the conditions for “optimum” operation of the scientific sector and to assess how the Commission could help meet those conditions. European Science and Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “It is in all our interests to find a model for scientific publication that serves research excellence. We are ready to work with readers, authors, publishers, and funding bodies to develop such a model.”

It was not the intent of this study to replicate the “voluminous existing literature” but to focus upon the “state of the art.” In the balance, this report does a good job of not hammering us over the head with things that are already well-known and well-reported. However, this is not a frothy report, and the analysis in this 100-page document is from an economic perspective. This report even tackled the thorny issue of long-term preservation, which is largely absent from many other discussions.

The report acknowledged that much of the scientific research conducted in Europe is publicly funded and hence recommended that access to such research should be guaranteed.

The report is titled Study on the economic and technical evolution of the scientific publication markets in Europe.”

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