Brussels, 17 February 2020
A joint statement calling on EU institutions to ensure the right of researchers to share their research findings without embargoes or restrictions has today been issued by three organisations representing early-career and senior researchers in Europe and beyond. The statement by the European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc), the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA), and the Young Academy of Europe (YAE) calls upon the European Commission to propose legislation ensuring that researchers always retain the right to share their publicly funded, peer-reviewed research findings.
Our three organisations represent a broad spectrum of researchers: Eurodoc represents 100,000+ doctoral candidates and postdoctoral researchers from 29 national associations across Europe; MCAA has 14,000+ members who are current or previous beneficiaries of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions; YAE consists of 200+ outstanding and recognised researchers in Europe.
YAE Vice-Chair Toma Susi: “Embargoes are an unjustified disservice to society, researchers and science itself, and it is becoming increasingly clear they are a thing of the past. European governments and others who fund research are entitled to demand immediate open access to research supported by taxpayer money. Legislation like this would ensure that researchers do not end up as collateral damage or bargaining chips in this long-overdue transition.”
Eurodoc President Eva Hnátková: “Immediate access to the most up-to-date information is crucial to tackling urgent societal challenges. A clear example of this is the laudable commitment by funders and publishers to ensure that all peer-reviewed research publications relevant to the coronavirus outbreak are made immediately open access to help save lives. But why should we stop there? Aren’t saving lives from other diseases also urgent and important? And isn’t this equally true for the climate crisis and for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals? There is no valid reason to lock away research outputs that are so vital to help us tackle all of these urgent and important challenges.”
MCAA Chair Matthew DiFranco: “In addition to the many open access journals that exist, there are also numerous subscription-based journals that already today allow researchers to share their findings in open access repositories without embargoes or restrictions. We call upon the publishers that still force barriers on the flow of knowledge to modernize and accept the need for immediate access. While a European directive is important as it would solve this challenge for all researchers in Europe, ensuring that all publishers modernize their policies would solve this problem for all researchers globally.”
We thank all of our members who contributed to this statement.
Please reference the joint statement using: http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3669124