Advancing a publicly owned and not-for-profit scholarly communication ecosystem based on the principles of open science

“Joint response by the European University Association (EUA), Science Europe, Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER), European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA), Association of ERC Grantees (AERG), Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA), European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc), cOAlition S, OPERAS, and French National Research Agency (ANR). We welcome the adoption by the Council of the European Union (EU) of the conclusions on highquality, transparent, open, trustworthy, and equitable scholarly publishing. As key public research and innovation actors in Europe, we are committed to supporting the development of a publicly owned, not-for-profit scholarly communication ecosystem in collaboration with policymakers in Europe and beyond….”

ERC Scientific Council decides changes to the evaluation forms and processes for the 2024 calls | ERC

“During its December plenary meeting the ERC Scientific Council decided on changes to the ERC’s application forms and evaluation procedures for the 2024 calls. The current CV and Track Record templates will be combined and simplified and applicants will be able to add short narrative descriptions to explain the information provided. Applicants will also be invited to explain career breaks or unconventional career paths and to describe exceptional contributions to the research community. One effect of these changes is that the Profiles of the ERC Principal Investigators which appeared in previous Work Programmes will no longer be necessary. The Scientific Council has furthermore decided to explicitly weigh the project proposal more than the past achievements of the applicant during the evaluation. Full details will be found in the ERC Work Programme 2024 and the associated guidance documents….

In a related development, the Scientific Council also decided to sign the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment published in July this year.”

Open Science – Editorial from ERC Scientific Council

“Open Science aims to transform current scientific practices into a fully transparent and open system, in which all scientific advances are made available not only to the entire scientific community, but also to society at large. A significant bulk of the scientific knowledge generated worldwide is supported by public money, and in many cases, entails scientific and social collaboration. Thus, it seems obvious that this knowledge should belong to society, with no restriction or cost to its immediate accessibility. …”

ERC Work Programme 2022

“Under Horizon Europe, beneficiaries of ERC grants must ensure open access to all peer-reviewed scientific publications13 relating to their results as set out in the Model Grant Agreement used for ERC actions. Beneficiaries must ensure that they or the authors retain sufficient intellectual property rights to comply with their open access requirements….

In the Track record (see “Proposal description”) the applicant Principal Investigator should list (if applicable, and in addition to any other scientific achievements deemed relevant by the applicant in relation to their research field and project): 1. Up to five publications in major international peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary scientific journals and/or in the leading international peer-reviewed journals, peer-reviewed conferences proceedings and/or monographs of their respective research fields, highlighting those as main author or without the presence as co-author of their PhD supervisor (properly referenced, field relevant bibliometric indicators21 [“except the Journal Impact Factor”] may also be included); preprints may be included, if freely available from a preprint server (preprints should be properly referenced and either a link to the preprint or a DOI should be provided);…”

European Research Council bans journal impact factor from bids | Times Higher Education (THE)

“One of the world’s most prestigious research funders has told academics that they must not include journal impact factors (JIF) in their applications, in the latest sign that the controversial metric has become discredited.

In the European Research Council’s (ERC) latest work programme, applicants are for the first time explicitly told to avoid mentioning the metric when listing their publications.

“Properly referenced, field relevant bibliometric indicators” can be used “except the journal impact factor”, states the new guidance, released on 14 July….”

ERC plans for 2022 announced | ERC: European Research Council

“On the occasion of the adoption of this work programme, the ERC is also announcing its formal endorsement of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), in line with its long-standing adherence to the highest standards of research assessment. The ERC is convinced that the broad implementation of research assessment procedures that integrate the DORA principles is the key to an equitable transition to Open Science.”

How Europe’s €100-billion science fund will shape 7 years of research

“Horizon Europe is expected to mandate that grant recipients publish their results according to the principles of open science.

In particular, immediate open-access publishing will become mandatory for all recipients of Horizon Europe research grants, including those from the ERC, says Kütt. Scientists will be required to post an accepted, peer-reviewed version of their papers online at a ‘trusted repository’, according to a draft of the instructions for applicants, but it is unclear at this time which repositories will be acceptable. Grants will cover publishing costs for pure open-access journals, but not for hybrid publications. Authors must also retain intellectual-property rights for their papers….”

European Research Council pulls out of open-access plan

“The European Research Council (ERC) has withdrawn its support for a radical open-access initiative in Europe, known as Plan S, saying that it will follow its own path towards open access….

While the council is “still committed to implementing full and immediate open access”, it states that it wants to focus more on researchers’ needs – especially early-career researchers – as well as preserving equity among European countries, particularly those with more limited national financial support for research.

The main sticking point for the ERC over Plan S was cOAlition S’s stance on so-called “hybrid” journals….”

Open letter on Plan S in Horizon Europe – CESAER

“Recalling our recent position Open Access in Horizon Europe, the leading universities of science and technology united in CESAER remain strong supporters of open science and open access to scientific publications.

We value the leadership that the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC) have shown on these important topics, including in their support of Plan S which we also fully support.

It was therefore with surprise that we learned of the ERC Scientific Council’s abrupt withdrawal of their support from Plan S, despite their support since its inception, which was also reiterated last year.

With this letter, I reiterate our association’s strong support for achieving full and immediate open access. We firmly believe that Plan S is an important step towards achieving this goal, as expressed in our position Open Access in Horizon Europe.

We call upon the European Commission to continue their leadership in open science and open access, and we look forward to the full implementation of Plan S in the model grant agreement for Horizon Europe….”

ERC argumenterte med behovene til unge forskere, nå får de svar på tiltale

“In a recent letter, which Khrono has with a copy, four organizations that organize researchers early in their careers plead with the European Commission to ensure full implementation of Plan S, despite the ERC withdrawing from the coalition. They point to the EU’s forthcoming research program Horizon Europe. The letter is addressed to EU Research Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and Director-General for Research Jean-Eric Paquet.

The letter from the Young Academy of Europe (YAE), the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA), the European Council for Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc) and the Global Young Academy (GYA) is written in support of Plan S and open publication of research.

The need for open access to research has been “confirmed by the Covid-19 pandemic”, they argue….”

Bourguignon back at the European Research Council, and ready to ‘jump into budget battle’ | Science|Business

“Bourguignon was ERC president from January 2014 until December 2019. His successor was nanobiologist Mauro Ferrari, whose tenure lasted for three months before a very noisy departure.

The sense around the ERC in recent months was of a ship beginning to drift without a captain. Only yesterday, the former EU director general for research and innovation, Robert-Jan Smits, criticised the agency for a lack of “strategic leadership”.

It has been a hard, unpredictable year for the agency, which had to face down criticism from Ferrari for its handling of the COVID-19 crisis, but also, in the past week, from advocates of open access to scientific research papers, who were dismayed at the agency for pulling its support for an open access initiative….”

Det europeiske forskingsrådet (ERC) trekker støtte til Plan S

“The ERC, together with funders of research throughout Europe, has been behind the demand for open publication of research which is laid down in the so-called Plan S.

Now the collaboration is abruptly over.

In recent months, the ERC’s Scientific Council has “intensified the internal debate and reached a unanimous decision”, the press release states, and the result is that they will end their cooperation with Coalition S and work on the introduction of Plan S.

The Norwegian climate researcher Eystein Jansen, who is a professor at the University of Bergen, is a member of the Scientific Medical Council and has been involved in the unanimous decision. He tells Khrono that the decision has been made after thorough assessments….

Director of the Research Council, John-Arne Røttingen, is one of the leading figures in the international work on Plan S.

– The decision in the ERC comes as a big surprise, and the timing is strange, says Røttingen.

– When we established Plan S, we got the Scientific Council of the ERC on the team, and they played an important role in shaping the plan and the implementation plan.

He assures that the decision in the ERC will not affect the changes in financing terms that are planned to be introduced from 1.1. 2021. Since the EU Commission is allocating the money to the ERC’s budget, Røttingen believes that the ERC’s change of course will not put a stop to the plans for open publication as set out in Plan S.

– It is the EU Commission that set the framework for all project funding that is provided. The commission has wholeheartedly assured that they support Plan S and the implementation plan, says Røttingen….”

European Research Council’s rejection of open access scheme ‘a slap in the face’, says Plan S architect | Science|Business

“The decision by the governing body of the European Research Council (ERC) to pull support for the radical open access initiative Plan S, is a “slap in the face” to all those who support the scheme, said its creator.

Robert-Jan Smits, the European Commission’s former director general for research and innovation, and also one of the founding fathers of the ERC, said the COVID-19 crisis “has shown the importance of making the results of publicly funded research immediately available” and not locked behind expensive paywalls with embargo periods….”

The ERC and Plan S: an open letter | by George Walkden | Jul, 2020 | Medium

“I was dismayed to read your press release of 20th July announcing that you are withdrawing your support from cOAlition S and Plan S. I was even more dismayed to see that you rationalized this based on the needs of “young researchers who represent the future of European science and innovation”, arguing that the unavailability of APC funding for hybrid journals under Plan S is detrimental to early career researchers. As a young researcher and ERC Starting Grant awardee myself, I would like to take this opportunity to state categorically that I do not recognize this argument as valid.

The harm that hybrid journals cause to the ecosystem of scholarly publishing is well known. In particular, through “double dipping” — charging subscription fees at the same time as full APCs for Open Access articles — publishers of such journals are able to appropriate a far greater quantity of public funds than would otherwise be possible. Pinfield et al. (2015) demonstrate empirically, in a UK context, that double dipping is not merely a theoretical issue, but a genuine problem; they also show that hybrid journals charge on average vastly higher APCs than fully Gold Open Access journals, strongly suggesting that funding Open Access publication in hybrid journals represents bad value for money….”