On 29 May 2012, I attended the PEER End of Project Conference at http://www.peerproject.eu/peer-end-of-project-conference-29th-may-2012/. PEER was a project funded by the EU to look at the impact on commercially-published journals of deposit of the same material in Green Open Access repositories.
The Workshop was opened by a rousing address by Commissioner Neelie Kroes, who is responsible for the EU's Digital Agenda. The Commissioner left the audience in no doubt that Open Access would be a cornerstone of the new EU funding programme Horizon 2020.
As President of LIBER, I was privileged to be a member of the Panel which assessed the findings of the PEER project. I made a number of points:
– The findings of PEER show that those journals where the same content is also present in repositories showed an increase (albeit small) in the number of visits to the publisher website.
– Universities use Green Open Access for more than just giving access to commercial content – they use it for marketing and for giving access to grey literature like PhD theses. So the PEER findings do not tell us everything about Green Open Access.
– There are some contradictory findings from PEER that need more investigation. There were predictions that Green Open Access will decline, but on the other hand the number of Green Open Access repositories is increasing….
– What will research libraries do as a consequence of the PEER findings? Probably carry on as we are, looking at both the impact of Green and Gold Open Access.
– For a future project, I suggested a scaling up of the PEER work – to include not just repository-publisher relations, but the impact of Green and Gold Open Access on changing patterns of scholarly dissemination; and the importance of Open Data.