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Towards a global knowledge commons

Joint statement about open access by COAR and UNESCO

COAR and UNESCO have published a joint statement about open access which outlines some of the concerns around the drive towards APCs. The statement is aimed at policy makers and underscores the need for a variety of OA models to be implemented around the world

“Open access is a global trend, with policies and practices rapidly being adopted around the world. As the world enters a new era of sustainable development, openness and inclusiveness in scientific research will become increasingly critical. While most governments agree on the underlying principles of open access, there is significant diversity in the way countries have approached its implementation. These differences reflect a range of perspectives, values, and priorities of the different regions. Clearly, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to implementing open access.”

The full statement published on May 9, 2016

The statement in English. The UNESCO announcement is available here.

The statement in Chinese.

La declaración en español.

A declaração em português.


OpenAIRE, LIBER and COAR make recommendations for EC Open Data Pilot

With digital data being declared as the ‘new gold’, the European Commission is developing a pilot to explore ways to make research data open access too. The pilot will look at will look at research data generated in projects funded under the Horizon 2020 framework, with the aim of stimulating the data-sharing culture among researchers and facilitating both the re-use of information and data-driven science. As organisations with a strong interest in Open Data, OpenAIRE, the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) and the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) provided their views on the current situation and made recommendations for an effective Open Data Pilot at a hearing held by the European Commission on 2 July 2013, Brussels.

For further information please consult the joint statement.

Joint response to EC Research Data Framework from COAR LIBER and OpenAIRE

COAR, LIBER and OpenAIRE have jointly responded to a proposal from DG Connect for a Framework for Action addressing research data infrastructures. LIBER, COAR and OpenAIRE strongly support the development of an open, interoperable e-infrastructure for scientific data through the engagement of the relevant actors, including libraries and repositories supporting researchers in their scientific endeavor. This framework for action is highly relevant, both for the success of data driven science and also the uptake and impact of open access policies and initiatives. It recognises the changing nature of research and the importance of engaging the whole stakeholder ecosystem in the development and integration of research data e-infrastructures.

Besides its strengths the three initiatives identified some gaps , i.e they would welcome a more horizontal approach within each of the fiches. Involvement of all relevant stakeholders (for example, researchers, research institutions, universities, libraries, repositories, data centers, publishers etc.) is essential for the supporting of discoverability, navigation and (re)use of research data and literature. Additionally more attention to research institutions and the long-tail of research is needed. The fiches should give more importance to universities to establish skills and services. In addition the development of a clear workflow between research institutions and data centres should be supported.

In conclusion, the group aggrees that:

  • the framework is highly relevant and recognizes the changing nature of research support,
  • that the fiches will provide opportunities for libraries and repositories to support open science in a structured way and
  • it is essential that continuing professional development is supported through engagement with the broader stakeholder community in order to share and develop best practice.


To download the full response, please click here: Response LIBER OpenAIRE COAR.


Letter in response to “Licences for Europe” working group meeting – COAR among signatories

In response to the “Licences for Europe- A Stakeholder Dialogue” working group meeting on text and data mining for scientific research purposes, participants from LIBER, EBLIDA and further key stakeholders have published an open letter. Adressing Commissioners Barnier, Geoghegan-Quinn, Kroes and Vassiliou of the European Commission, signatories express their concerns that additional licensing is seen as the only solution to cover the needs of researchers who wish to undertake text and data mining in content to which they already have lawful access. The letter asks for support of the view that all evidence, opinions and solutions to facilitate the widest adoption of text and data mining should be taken into account and given equal weighting.
Executive Director Alicia Lopez Medina on behalf of COAR is among the signatories. LIBER and COAR collaborate as partners on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding outlining their joint interests.

COAR response to EC Communication and Recommendation

The European Commission has today published its  Conclusion and its Recommendation to Member States on the European Research Area outlining measures to improve access to scientific information produced in Europe based on the acknowledge that a broader and more rapid access to scientific papers and data will make it easier for researchers and businesses to build on the findings of public-funded research.

COAR, the international community of open access repositories, from Europe but also from Japan, India, Latinamerica, USA, China and Canada warmly welcomes the Commission’s approach to define open access to peer-reviewed publications as the general principle in Horizon 2020, through self-archiving (‘Green’ open access) and open access publishing (‘Gold’ open access); to promote open access to research data (experimental results, observations and computer-generated information etc.) and set a pilot framework in Horizon 2020, taking into account legitimate concerns in relation to privacy, commercial interests and questions related to large data volumes; to develop and support e-infrastructures to host and share scientific information (publications and data) which are interoperable on European and global level; and to help researchers to comply with open access obligations and promote a culture of sharing. COAR acknowledges and very much  supports the open access vision of the EU Commission as a worldwide trend and will join the EU Commission effort  to develop an interoperable and sustainable global scientific infrastructure and to inspire other countries in the world to develop their own open access policies.

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