Secondary publishing rights can improve public access to academic research

“Canada’s federal research granting agencies recently announced a review of the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications, with the goal of requiring immediate open and free access to all academic publications generated through Tri-Agency supported research by 2025.

To meet this requirement, the Canadian government should empower academic authors through the adoption of secondary publishing rights. These rights would ensure that authors can immediately “republish publicly funded research after its first publication in an open access repository or elsewhere,” even in cases where this is forbidden by publishers.

Tweaking the Copyright Act to include such rights would give academic authors the ability to make taxpayer-funded journal articles available to the public through open access upon publication….”

Almost 100% open access at the UG/UMCG | News articles | University of Groningen

“In 2022, 97% of UG/UMCG peer-reviewed articles and conference proceedings were open access – including gold (30%), hybrid (32%) and green (35%) open access. The share of open access publications remained stable from 2021, but rose significantly compared to previous years (69% in 2020, 64% in 2019, 55% in 2018, 51% in 2017 and 37% in 2016).

The steep rise registered in the last two years is largely due to the implementation of the new open access procedural regulations which resulted in a significant growth of the green open access share….”

Comments on EC Council Conclusions on scholarly publishing | Sesame Open Science

“I think these Council Conclusions are very welcome and important, as they align with, and in turn can support, a number of important current developments in how open access is perceived and implemented. One of these is the growing awareness, also among research institutions and funders, of the inequality and unsustainability of APC-driven open access publishing, especially by commercial or otherwise revenue-driven publishers. Another is a growing emphasis on important qualitative aspects of open access, in particular immediacy and open licensing.

In this sense, the Council Conclusions, together with for example the UNESCO Open Science Recommendations and the Action Plan for Diamond Open Access, to name but two, can help shift focus to other models of publishing. One thing I would like to emphasize is that while developing new publishing infrastructures (for example at national or even European level) is in itself a worthwhile avenue to pursue, many examples also already exist of non-profit publishing solutions that deserve support and recognition….”

Ministers’ call for free open science publishing backed

“Publicly funded research outputs should be immediately and openly available to all without barriers such as subscription fees or paywalls, say European scientific community leaders who welcomed a recent 20-point plan agreed by the Council of the European Union to encourage open science.

The Council, as it is informally known, represents government ministers from the 27 EU member states and is one of the key European Union decision-making bodies, along with the European Parliament and the European Commission.

After years of deliberations, which continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council’s Competitiveness Council (Research) agreed the text for 20 conclusions to encourage high-quality, transparent, open, trustworthy and equitable scholarly publishing, including cracking down on unsustainable author fees that currently prop up open science publishing….”

EU-Mitgliedstaaten betonen die Rolle von wissenschaftsgeleiteten Open-Access-Modellen jenseits von APCs | [Translation: “EU member states emphasize the role of science-driven Open Access models beyond APCs |”]

Translation: “EU member states emphasize the role of science-driven Open Access models beyond APCs |”

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….”

Open Science: stakeholders welcome European efforts towards publicly owned and not-for-profit scholarly communication | Plan S

For European public research and innovation actors, scholarly knowledge is a public good. Publicly funded research and its results should be immediately and openly available to all without barriers such as subscription fees or paywalls. This is essential in driving knowledge forward, promoting innovation and tackling social issues.

Key representative organisations of the public research and innovation sector have welcomed today’s adoption of the ‘Council conclusions on high-quality, transparent, open, trustworthy, and equitable scholarly publishing’.

Council calls for transparent, equitable, and open access to scholarly publications – Consilium

“In its conclusions, the Council calls on the Commission and the member states to support policies towards a scholarly publishing model that is not-for-profit, open access and multi-format, with no costs for authors or readers. Some Member States have introduced secondary publication rights into their national copyright legislation, enabling open access to scholarly publications which involve public funds. The Council encourages national open access policies and guidelines to make scholarly publications immediately openly accessible under open licences. The conclusions acknowledge positive developments in terms of monitoring progress, like within the framework of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), and suggest including open science monitoring in the European Research Area monitoring mechanism. The Council conclusions also encourage Member States to support the pilot programme Open Research Europe (to create a large-scale open access research publishing service), the use of open-source software and standards, to recognise and reward peer review activities in the assessment of researchers as well as to support the training of researchers on peer-review skills and on intellectual property rights.”

EU ready to back immediate open access without author fees – Research Professional News

“The EU is ready to agree that immediate open access to papers reporting publicly funded research should become the norm, without authors having to pay fees, and that the bloc should support non-profit scholarly publishing models.

In a move that could send shockwaves through commercial scholarly publishing, the positions are due to be adopted by the Council of the EU member state governments later this month.

Various draft positions on scholarly publishing have been published by the January-June Swedish presidency of the Council in recent months, but with few clues as to how the potentially industry-shaking proposals were being received by fellow member state governments.

Now, however, the latest version published on May 4, which retains the most radical aspects of the earlier drafts, has been agreed “at technical level”, ready for research ministers to give it their assent at a meeting on 23 May….”

Open access regulation

“Article 25fa of the Dutch Copyright Act (hereafter: CA) entitles researchers to share a short academic work without financial consideration for a reasonable period. To facilitate exercising this right, the VSNU (Association of Universities in the Netherlands) completed a successful pilot project as a part of the National Programme for Open Science (NPOS) in 2019. The participating researchers gave universities their permission to share short academic works. 

The pilot’s evaluation showed that the efficiency of the administrative procedures for researchers to grant permission (by two-way paper licence) is an obstacle to scaling up. The solution was found in converting the so-called opt-in approach into a tacit licence procedure with the possibility to opt-out. 

The universities, as the employer, warrant the participating researchers to pay for the possible costs in the case of a legal dispute with a publisher. Within the VSNU, the universities agreed to share the legal risks. 

Considering that: 

the Eindhoven University of Technology supports the importance of Open Access, thereby following Dutch government policy as laid down in the letter of the State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science dated 15 November 20131; 

Article 25fa of the Dutch Copyright Act (CA) entitles researchers to share a short academic work without financial consideration following a reasonable period after publication; 

the University has an interest in the academic output of its staff members being easily retrievable and, with a view to being a good employer, wishes to facilitate that its staff members can optimally exercise their rights under Article 25fa CA; 

the University requires a tacit, non-exclusive licence from its staff members for the purpose as mentioned above…”

Das Zweitveröffentlichungsrecht und die Causa Konstanz –

From Google’s English:  “Finally, in 2023, the Federal Constitutional Court wants to decide in the dispute over the right of secondary publication. The core question is whether scientists can be required to publish their articles freely accessible a second time after twelve months. What makes the regulation so offensive that law professors complained about it? …

In the open letter, the new statutes are described as “legally encroaching”, as a “violation of the fundamental right to academic freedom” and as “a violation of the guarantee of intellectual property”. Although one is “not against the idea of ??open access itself”, as the letter says literally, “but against the path taken by the university of converting the possibility of secondary publication into a compulsory instrument that is discredited in this way.” The new The regulation is therefore unanimously ignored by the professors of the law faculty. They would not republish their publications in the Open Access repository of the University of Konstanz….”

Europe’s academic publishing system must become sustainable and equitable – The Guild

“The Guild strongly supports the draft of the Council conclusions on scholarly publishing in its calls to support non-APC-based open-access models, have APC commensurate to publication services provided, and to ensure academic publishing remains aimed at research excellence and integrity. We fully endorse the Council’s recognition of the increasing costs of paywalls for access to scientific publications as well as scholarly publishing. Therefore, The Guild calls for the development of alternative models that do not charge fees to authors or readers.

The Guild also emphasises that the Member States must ensure researchers’ author’s retention rights and secondary publication rights and coordinate to harmonise the legislation across borders. The academic publishing system must prioritise the dissemination of high-quality research while upholding the principles of research integrity and academic freedom.

Finally, The Guild supports the Council’s recognition that researchers play a crucial role in the academic publishing ecosystem and that their contributions to the well-functioning of research communities should be better recognised in research assessment. We strongly encourage the creation of initiatives aiming to improve the quality, transparency, and efficiency of peer review mechanisms.”

cOAlition S supports efforts to improve copyright framework for research | Plan S

“Copyright retention has been at the core of Plan S since its inception. Its first principle is that authors or their institutions retain copyright to their work. The Rights Retention Strategy aims to ensure that authors retain their rights and comply with funders´ mandates of immediate open access under open licenses while publishing in the venue of their choice.  

cOAlition S welcomes the various rights retention strategies adopted by research funders and institutions, as well as efforts to improve copyright legislation for research. These include the introduction of Secondary Publication Rights in national copyright legislation, and the European Research Area policy work to identify barriers to access to and reuse of scientific publications in EU copyright legislation and propose legislative and non-legislative measures.  

cOAlition S is also supportive of exploring an EU Secondary Publication Right, advancing towards sustainable universal open access on an international scale, e.g. statutory licensing, and suggestions for mandatory clauses for scientific publishing agreements via contract law, mandatory reversion rights, EU harmonisation of first ownership, and mandatory and stronger exceptions and limitations for research (see: and”