OA policies are important to ensure increased access to scientific information. However, they are many and varied. At the global level, there are now 724 OA policies recorded in ROARMAP. Policies are often expressed in different ways and there is wide variation in the elements and requirements expressed in them. They can vary between being mandatory or only encouraging OA to taking a preference for Green or Gold OA models. As a result, researchers and professional staff in research institutions are often faced with numerous challenges when seeking to comply with or provide information on different policies.
A major challenge arising from the extensive variation between OA policies is compliance. OA policies often do not produce the expected results. Researchers required to comply with more than one OA policy may be deterred from doing so when requirements are contradictory and policies complex. As a result, the alignment of OA policies, where a consistent set of policy requirements is in place (across institutions, funders and countries), would harmonize the process of providing scientific information on open access and maximize compliance.
Because the EC’s H2020 programme has an impact on all ERA (European Research Area) countries (Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey and the UK), this places the H2020 OA Policy in a strategic position to be the policy model through which ERA countries develop and align their OA policies through national and international networks – for instance, the Knowledge Exchange – as well as through participation in EU-funded OA projects such as PASTEUR4OA, OpenAIRE, MedOANet, RECODE and FOSTER.
Moreover, recent research has shown that the H2020 OA policy model is an effective policy model type for the development and increasing alignment of OA policies. Accordingly, the OA policy landscape in five ERA countries is assessed and the extent of alignment or divergence of those policies with the H2020 OA policy is examined. The data collected from the case studies show that, at the cross-national level, OA policies are largely aligned with the H2020 OA policy requirements to deposit peer-reviewed articles and to ensure open access to them.
This demonstrates that when OA policies are adopted, they share a common goal: to make scientific information freely available online.
Source: Aligning European OA Policies with the HORIZON 2020 OA Policy, by M.Picarra , M. Angelaki, G. Doğan, M. Guy, C.Artusio
The Policy Recommendations for Open Access to Research Data (RECODE) Portal: http://policy.recodeproject.eu/
OA Advocacy Resources/ PASTEUR4OA: http://www.pasteur4oa.eu/resources
Open Access Week 2015: http://sparcopen.org/event/open-access-week-2015/
OpenCon 2015: https://www.youtube.com/user/R2RCvideo/playlists
Is your department or institution ready to approve or has already released and aligned an Open Access policy?
Your shared experiences will surely support and connect other AIMS and OA members!
We would be glad to hear about your OA strategies and challenges.