Knowledge Rights 21 Project

LIBER Actions on Secondary Publishing Rights – KR21 Year in Review

Posted: 19-12-2023

The Knowledge Rights 21 Project (KR21) advocates for changes in legislation and practice across Europe that will strengthen the right to knowledge for all. LIBER participates in KR21 by adding the voice of our research library members to this goal. Libraries are powerful interlocutors in discussions around copyright, as they seek to improve access to and use of knowledge in a fast-changing digital environment.

In 2023, LIBER’s role in the Knowledge Rights 21 project focused on Secondary Publishing Rights (SPR) – a legal instrument that allows the republication of research in an open-access repository or elsewhere.

Knowledge Rights 21 Project Coordinator, IFLA’s Stephen Wyber, had this to say about LIBER’s work on the topic:

‘Through its work on Project Zero, supported by Knowledge Rights 21, LIBER has built on its influential model provisions on secondary publishing rights, and shone an invaluable light on how these work in practice. Through this, it has brought a key tool for accelerating open access closer to reality, not just at the national but also at the European level.’

To conclude this year, we want to highlight three key outputs of the project that will bring you up to speed on SPR legislation in Europe and beyond:

WEBINAR – Enabling the Reuse of the Scholarly Publication: Modus Operandi et Modus Desiderandi


In Spring, LIBER and SPARC Europe worked together to bring you a KR21 webinar on Secondary Publishing Rights and Rights Retention. The webinar explores how these two approaches help pave the way to open access. The panel involved authors from two reports on these topics by LIBER and SPARC Europe, commissioned by KR21, who shared their preliminary findings on the European situation of Rights Retention.


RESEARCH REPORT – Secondary Publishing Rights in Europe: Status, Challenges, and Opportunities

LIBER published a study in October which investigated the European landscape on Secondary Publishing rights legislation. The report aimed to understand the impact of legislation and understand what obstacles must be overcome in countries that do not have SPR laws. We found that this legislation can be a powerful tool for policy makers to truly open up access to scientific information and promote inclusive, collaborative and impactful research in Europe.

Watch LIBER Vice President, Giannis Tsakonas, explain the key findings of the report below:



WEBINAR – Harmonising Zero Embargo initiatives: Challenges in Europe and Beyond

Following the report release, LIBER organised a webinar for KR21 to explore how Secondary Publishing Rights legislation could move from a national to an international level. Speakers from Europe and America – moderated by LIBER Executive Director Martine Pronk – provided insights on how SPR can enable the immediate access to research findings, and identified the stakeholders who must act in order for this goal to be realised.



Knowledge Rights 21 covers work on many areas beyond SPR, such as AI legislation, copyright exceptions, e-book lending, and Rights Retention Policy. The project now has national coordinators throughout Europe working on copyright advocacy who are available to answer any questions you may have on national legislation.

To learn more about LIBER’s role in the KR21 project – which will continue into 2024 – get in touch through the contact form on our KR21 page. Or stay up to date via X (Twitter), LinkedIn and the project website.

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