Europe and North America


Open Access in Europe and North America presents a varied picture from countries with the most OA depositories and journals globally, national funding mandates and OA legislation (USA) to those with limited internet connectivity (e.g. Albania).

Although OA developments often follow economic development this is not always so: Moldova, for example, in partnership with INASP and eIFL, has developed active OA programmes. Its work with eIFL has enabled a consortium of international recognition with representation at UN World Intellectual Property Organization.

For many countries in Europe the DRIVER initiative was the critical stimulating activity for Open Access developments. Through provision of guidelines and by establishing a network of OA experts, the project provided the support required to introduce OA practices. The work of INASP and eIFL have assisted in taking these developments further; eIFL in particular has offered an important advocacy role in raising OA awareness and debate.

Throughout Europe there are now 212 repositories with a further 93 in North America (UA and Canada); 4326 of DOAJ’s 7000 IA journals are from Europe and North America [figures valid October 2011].

Major Projects

DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) Directory of Open Access Journals

Is a service that provides access to quality controlled Open Access Journals. The Directory aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use an appropriate quality control system, and it will not be limited to particular languages or subject areas. The aim of the Directory is to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals thereby promoting their increased usage and impact. It is maintained by the University of Lund, Sweden.

DRIVER II (Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research)

DRIVER has established a network of relevant experts and Open Access repositories. DRIVER-II will consolidate these efforts and transform the initial testbed into a fully functional, state-of-the art service, extending the network to a larger confederation of repositories. DRIVER is integral to the suite of electronic infrastructures that have emerged in the worldwide GÉANT network and is hence funded under the e-Infrastructures call of the European Commission's 7th framework programme. It aims to “… optimise the way the e-Infrastructure is used to store knowledge, add value to primary research data and information making secondary research more effective, provide a valuable asset for industry, and help bridging research and education.”
The objectives of DRIVER-II, the second phase of the project, include efforts to expand, enrich, and strengthen the results of DRIVER, in the following areas: strategic geographic and communtiy expansion by means of the DRIVER confederation; establish a robust, scalable repository infrastructure accompanied by an open source software package D-Net; broader coverage of content through the use of enhanced publications; advanced end-user functionality to support scientific exploration of complex digital objects; larger outreach and advocacy programmes; continued repository support; guidelines for interoperability in the larger European digital library community 

e-SciDR (Towards a European Infrastructure for e-Science Digital Repositories)

e-SciDR is a study led by the Digital Archiving Consultancy on behalf of the European Commission to drive forward the development and use of digital repositories—widely defined, constructs from data to publications to tools—in the EU in all areas of science, from the humanities to the earth sciences.

NIH Public Access Policy

The (US) NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication. To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.

OASIS  (Open Acccess Scholarly Information Sourcebook)

Aims to provide an authoritative ‘sourcebook’ on Open Access, covering the concept, principles, advantages, approaches and means to achieving it. The site highlights developments and initiatives from around the world, with links to diverse additional resources and case studies. As such, it is a community-building as much as a resource-building exercise. Users are encouraged to share and download the resources provided, and to modify and customize them for local use. Open Access is evolving, and we invite the growing world-wide community to take part in this exciting global movement.

Open Access Directory (OAD)

Is a compendium of simple factual lists about open access (OA) to science and scholarship, maintained by the OA community at large. By bringing many OA-related lists together in one place, OAD makes it easier for everyone to discover them, use them for reference, and update them. The easier they are to maintain and discover, the more effectively they can spread useful, accurate information about OA. OAD is a wiki and relies upon its users to maintain an accurate and current source of information

OpenAIRE (Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe)

OpenAIRE builds on well-known and low cost technology for an Open Access infrastructure and bases its activities on the European network of institutional and thematic repositories. This allows the project to focus on the real effort – the human factor – by creating and establishing a vibrant network of Open Access advisors in 27 European countries, proactively communicating Open Access policies to researchers, engaging institution and library executives, national funders and policy makers, while adjusting efforts onto the local context.

OpenDOAR directory 

OpenDOAR directory of open access repositories, searchable by location, contents and statistics.

PEER (PEER (Publishing and the Ecology of European Research)

The PEER Pilot Programme is Investigating the Effect of the Deposit of Author Manuscripts on the Ecology of European Research and Publishng. It is supported by the EC eContentplus programme, will investigate the effects of the large-scale, systematic depositing of authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts (so called Green Open Access or stage-two research output) on reader access, author visibility, and journal viability, as well as on the broader ecology of European research. The project is a collaboration between publishers, repositories and researchers and will last from 2008 to 2012.

PKP (PUBLIC Knowledge Project)

The Public Knowledge Project is dedicated to improving the scholarly and public quality of research. It operates through a partnership among the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, the Simon Fraser University Library, the School of Education at Stanford University, and the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at Simon Fraser University.

Southern European Libraries Link (SELL)

Represents library consortia of six countries (France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey). Although this organization was created to exchange experiences and to act as a pressure group in relation to scientific and technical publishers, its founding charter also states clearly that one of its main goals is “to draw common policies towards information acquirement and provision”.

SPARC; the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition

Is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. Developed by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change. Its pragmatic focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries. Action by SPARC in collaboration with stakeholders – including authors, publishers, and libraries – builds on the unprecedented opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship. Leading academic organizations have endorsed SPARC.

SPARC Europe Seal for Open Access Journals

Offers certification for journals choosing the CC-BY license (Creative Commons) and provide DOAJ with metadata on article level.

Collaborative Projects

  • Creative Commons (CC) aims to enable legal sharing of work.
  • OASIS: Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook Tracking Project; aims to provide an authoritative ‘sourcebook’ on Open Access, covering the concept, principles, advantages, approaches and means to achieving it.
  • DOAJ Directory of Open Access Journals; Free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals, covering all subjects and many languages.
  • OpenDepot allows all academics worldwide to deposit their research in an Open Access repository.
  • SHERPA: developing open-access institutional repositories in universities.

Major Mandates

There are 52 funding mandates in Europe.

The following mandates have substantial effect due to the geographical spread of their fundees:

Country Analysis:

Profiles outlining the current status of Open Access are available for the following countries;

Albania | Andorra | Armenia | Austria | Azerbaijan | Belarus | Belgium | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Bulgaria | Canada | Croatia | Cyprus | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Georgia | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Iceland | Ireland | Israel | Italy | Kazakhstan | Latvia | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Malta | Monaco | Montenegro | Netherlands | Norway | Poland | Portugal | The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia | Republic of Moldova | RomaniaRussian Federation | San Marino | Serbia | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | Tajikstan | Turkey | Ukraine | United Kingdom | United States of America

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