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University group backs immediate open-access law

Image: Alan Levine [Public domain], via Flickr

Group echoes call for EU legal right to share research papers

The Cesaer group of European universities of science and technology has added its voice to those calling on the European Commission to propose a new EU law that would give researchers the legal right to openly share the results of publicly funded research without delays.

“Give researchers the non-waivable legal right to share publicly funded and peer-reviewed research findings without embargoes,” the group demanded in a position paper it published on 25 February.

The demand echoes a call made earlier in February by three researcher associations: the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers, the Marie Curie Alumni Association and the Young Academy of Europe.

Cesaer also reiterated its support for the use of preprint articles to share research before it has been peer reviewed. It backed “truly transformative” read-and-publish deals between university consortia and publishers—ones that enable a cost-neutral transition to open access for all of a publisher’s journals.

The renewed attention to open access from universities comes as the biomedical research funding charity and open-access torchbearer the Wellcome Trust announced a pilot project to help a shift to open access in developing countries.

Led by the consultancy Information Power, the project will see three society publishers work with the not-for-profit organisation Electronic Information for Libraries to explore whether open-access agreements can work for poorer countries.