The Open Science Policy Platform

Carlos Moedas (centre), and the OSPP, including Wolfram Koch (third from the right)

About a year ago, Carlos Moedas, the EU Research Commissioner, established a high-level expert group on Open Science, the Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP), a topic that is of increasing relevance to the Commission and which will have and already has had significant effects on the European science policy, in particular on Horizon 2020.

The OSPP’s main objective is to advise the Commission on the further development and implementation of the open science policy

The OSPP consists of 25 members, representing the various stakeholders: universities, research organisations, academies/learned societies, funding organisations, citizen science organisations, publishers, open science platforms, and libraries. Together with Christophe Rossel, President of the European Physical Society, I represent the European learned societies.  The OSPP’s main objective is to advise the Commission on the further development and implementation of the open science policy, which Commissioner Moedas defined as one of his priorities.

Since its inception the OSPP met three times. Whereas the first meeting was mainly introductory in character, the subsequent meetings focused on issues such as “Citizen Science”, “European Open Science Cloud“, and “Open Access Publishing“, for which working groups were established. In all three meetings Commissioner Moedas was present for some time and addressed the group, showing his dedication and commitment to push the Open Science agenda forward. In particular the still widespread lack of compliance with the requirement that all research publications originating from Horizon 2020 funded projects need to be open access is a matter of concern. At the last meeting, which took place on March 20 in Berlin, the Commissioner explained that to achieve 100% compliance stronger measures, such as warnings and even sanctions, seem to be necessary. As an additional instrument to support the Open Access (OA) requirement the Commission is considering an Open Research Platform, akin to the platform established recently by the Wellcome Trust. The platform will offer Horizon 2020 researchers a place to publish their results after they successfully pass the peer review. This service will not be for free but will require an adequate article processing charge. The idea, however, received mixed responses, mostly because such low cost but also low reputation open access publishing outlets usually are not heavily used by the scientific community. At the meeting, also the working group on “OA Publishing” presented its report, which pointed to the differences between disciplines with regard to their acceptance and support of open access – one size does not fit all. The development of sustainable business models is also a key recommendation of the report, which also highlights the important role that learned societies play in this process. The next meeting of the OSPP is planned for October 2017 in Tallinn, Estonia.

Wolfram Koch
EuCheMS representative at the OSPP, Member of EuCheMS Executive Board


Recent Use of Chemical Weapons

Brussels, 7 April 2017

The European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences, EuCheMS, condemns in the strongest possible terms the continuing use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict. It calls on the perpetrators to be tried for War Crimes at the earliest possible moment. The use of chemical weapons is a Crime against Humanity of the severest kind and no one who orders attacks using chemical weapons should be allowed to remain free. We further call on all parties in the Syrian conflict immediately to inform the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) of all know stockpiles of chemical weapons held by them or their opponents and to allow them to be removed and destroyed at the earliest possible opportunity.

EuCheMS Executive Board