On 17 July 2012, the European Commission announced its plans to make open access to scientific publications a general principle of Horizon 2020.
Articles will either immediately be made accessible online by the publisher ('Gold' open access) - up-front publication costs can be eligible for reimbursement by the European Commission; or researchers will make their articles available through an open access repository no later than six months (12 months for articles in the fields of social sciences and humanities) after publication ('Green' open access).
The Commission will also be encouraging Member States to make nationally funded research open in the same way with a target of 60% of European publicly-funded research articles to be available under open access by 2016.
The announcement comes prior to the publication of the Commission’s Communication and Recommendation to Member States on access to and preservation of scientific information in the digital age”, expected to be published later this year.
This Communication will be important to VPH and this will be monitored closely. Strong legislative measures in this field could free up access to previously unavailable research material, and provide VPH with much easier access to new sources of data to aid in its work.