The Association of European Association of Research Libraries (LIBER) applauds the cOAlition S announcement of a Rights Retention Strategy: a move which will allow authors to retain copyright to their work and, at the same time, will accelerate progress towards LIBER’s goal of Open Access as the predominant form of scholarly publishing by 2022.
Under the new strategy, cOAlitionS Organisations will change their grant conditions to require that a CC BY licence be applied to all Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAMs) or Versions of Record (VoR) reporting original research, supported in whole or in part by their funding.
In its explanation of the new strategy, cOAlitionS noted how the coronavirus pandemic has illustrated the essential need for research to be immediately and freely accessible – a point which aligns with LIBER’s own call for urgent copyright action to support learning and research.
“The COVID-19 crisis has clearly shown that embargo periods are indefensible. No private or business interests can justify that new and original research results are held back for 6 or 12 months from other scientists, practitioners, governments and authorities, medical staff, patients and patient associations – especially those who are economically disadvantaged, who cannot afford expensive access tolls.”Marc Schiltz, President of Science Europe and Chair of the cOAlition S Leaders Group
While supporting this latest Plan S development, LIBER notes that it will only apply to organisations which have endorsed Plan S. Further interventions are required which strengthen open access across every country in Europe. To this end, LIBER’s Copyright & Legal Matters and Open Access working groups have drafted a model law for a Secondary Publisher Right.
Approved by LIBER’s Executive Board, this model law proposes a zero-embargo period for the lawful online publication of publicly funded research. LIBER’s consultation regarding an Open Access law for all European countries – either by the introduction of such a law at the EU level or, at the local level, by introduction across member states – will launch shortly.