Open Science: Commission launches open access publishing platform for scientific papers

A new platform was launched on 24 March 2021 to take another step towards Open Science. The new platform is Open Research Europe (ORE) and it was launched by the European Commission.

Open Research Europe will offer everyone, researchers and citizens, free access to the latest scientific discoveries. In the Communication “A new ERA for Research and Innovation”, the Commission introduces Open Research Europe as an open access publishing platform for the publication of research stemming from Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe funding across all subject areas in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as social sciences, arts and the humanities. The platform makes it easy for Horizon 2020 beneficiaries to comply with the open access terms of their projects and offers researchers a publishing venue to share their results and insights rapidly and facilitate open, constructive research discussion.

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel said “We need to accelerate scientific breakthroughs through more collaborative and open research practices. By helping researchers to publish in open access way, Open Research Europe eliminates obstacles to knowledge flows and feeds the scientific debate. We are only at the beginning”. This is further confirmation of the growing role of Open Science in European society.

To date, 30 articles have already been published:

  • 11 in Social Sciences;
  • 8 in Natural Sciences;
  • 6 in Engineering and Technology;
  • 6 in Medical and Health Sciences;
  • 3 in Humanities and the Arts;
  • 1 in Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences.

Among the main topics covered there are topics related to social sciences such as the papers “Promoting citizen science in the energy sector: Generation Solar, an open database of small-scale solar photovoltaic installations” and “Ethics as attention to context: recommendations for the ethics of artificial intelligence “; and there are topics related to natural sciences such as the papers “A spatiotemporal atlas of hydropower in Africa for energy modeling purposes” and “Cross-over 

analysis of the climate-change delta situation of the cities Gdansk (Baltic-sea) and Rotterdam ( Nord-sea)”.

All articles will be published under CC-BY license and all the review processes are fully transparent. Authors are asked to include detailed descriptions of methods and to provide full and easy access to the source data underlying the results in order to improve reproducibility. Articles are published rapidly as soon as they are accepted, after passing a series of prepublication checks to assess originality, readability, author eligibility, and compliance with Open Research Europe’s policies and ethical guidelines. Peer review by invited experts, suggested by the authors, takes place openly after publication. An article remains published regardless of the reviewers’ reports. Another great point is that the platform encourages constructive debate on articles published by a user-friendly comment function.

The European Commission intends to support open science practices and promoting transparency in the publishing process. It hopes other funders, also at national level, to do the same. By integrating Open Research Europe into Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe the Commission is bringing innovative solutions in research communication to the next level.

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