Open access key to European research

Nieuws | de redactie
5 februari 2012 | More open access, increased involvement of women, a greater pool of excellent researchers – research stakeholders address main challenges for science in debt crisis Europe. EU Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn says she will “name and shame” EU members undermining the European Research Area (ERA).

During the ERA Conference 2012 last week, stakeholders discussedthe main challenges of European science and research. MáireGeoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science,addressed the attendants in her speech saying that:

“With Europe crying out for growth, ERA can’t wait any longer.We can’t continue with a situation where research funding is notalways allocated competitively, where positions are not alwaysfilled on merit, where researchers can’t take their grants acrossborders, where large parts of Europe are not even in the game,where there is a scandalous waste of female talent and where ourbrightest and best are leaving never to return.”

“I want an entirely new ERA-partnership, with stronger role forkey stakeholders, and much tougher monitoring of Member States’progress. I will not hesitate to ‘name and shame’ those who performbadly against ERA objectives,” Geoghegan-Quinn announced.

More open access, increased involvement of women, agreater pool of excellent researchers

Leading up to the conference, the EU Commission invitedindividual researchers, national and European researchorganizations and governments to complete online questionnaires andpositions papers commenting on the current state of ERA. Apreliminary report summarized findings and pointed out anumber of main challenges to be addressed. It should be ERA’s goalto:

  • Make Europe more attractive for top scientists andglobally-mobile private R&D investment
  • increase transnationally-coordinated research
  • expand open access
  • raise involvement of women in science and research
  • achieve higher scientific excellence
  • support moving, working and co-operating freely acrossborders
  • tackle global challenges

Recently, open access (OA) has gained significant attention by researchers all over the world following theintroduction of the Research Works Act to the U.S. Congress.ScienceGuide discussed this issue with OA expert CameronNeylon who advocated that all data should be available freely,”especially negative data” contradicting earlier researchfindings.

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