L'objectif de Science Europe est d'identifier les principaux enjeux de la mise en œuvre d'une politique de libre accès aux ouvrages universitaires et d'énoncer un certain nombre de recommandations pour mettre en place des politiques adaptées à leurs propres besoins et spécificités, tout en s'engageant sur un ensemble de principes communs.

On Open Access to Academic Books

Science Europe Briefing Paper


Open Access to research publications enables quick and free access to, and wider dissemination of, scholarly outputs. It also leads to an increase in the uptake and use of publications,[1]European Commission, February 2017. Uptake of open access to scientific peer reviewed publications in Horizon 2020: http://data.europa.eu/euodp/data/dataset/open-access-to-scientific-publications-horizon2020 and can thus lead to new and better research in all disciplines. Open Access is a cornerstone of Open Science.

So far, much of the focus of the transition towards Open Access has been on scholarly and scientific articles. However, a significant number of disciplines, notably – but not only – within the Social Sciences, the Arts, and the Humanities produce and heavily use books. Monographs, in particular, which are pieces of work on a single research topic by one or several authors, have a strong significance to scholars working in these disciplines. Open Access to academic books must therefore be considered in the wider Open Access policies developed by research institutions, funders, and governments.

Science Europe Member Organisations are committed to ensuring a transition towards a system of Open Access for publicly-funded research. They share the vision that this transition will include all types of research publications and all academic fields. To this end, the specificities of academic books, including monographs, in the research ecosystem and the current market situation in the research sector have to be taken into account.

Aim of this Briefing Paper

This briefing paper identifies the key issues at stake in implementing a policy of Open Access to academic books, and outlines a number of recommendations to facilitate and accelerate such a policy.

Its objective is to provide directions for policy developments within Science Europe Member Organisations and other stakeholders who play an important role in the academic book landscape. One of its main messages is also to highlight the need for a collective effort to include books when going forward in the transition to Open Access.

The briefing paper is not an isolated document. It complements the Science Europe Principles on Open Access to Research Publications,[2]Science Europe, May 2015. Principles on Open Access to Research Publications: https://scieur.org/opennew which apply to all publication formats, the Science Europe Briefing Paper on Open Access Business Models and Current Trends in the Open Access Publishing System,[3]Science Europe, April 2016. Briefing Paper on Open Access Business Models and Current Trends in the Open Access Publishing System: https://scieur.org/briefing-oa and the Science Europe Recommendations for the Disclosure of Publication Fees.[4]Science Europe, April 2017. Shaping Open Access and Creating Transparency: Recommendation by Science Europe for the Disclosure of Publication Fees: https://scieur.org/open-apc

The briefing paper is not designed as a practical implementation guideline. It was instead developed to enable all targeted organisations to put in place policies adapted to their own needs and specificities, while committing to a shared set of principles.


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