Open access – the practice of granting free-of-charge access over the internet to research results – is central to knowledge circulation. Studies show that open access leads to better visibility and better impact of research results and that it has the potential to save governments and research institutions tax payers’ money. Open access is not a means in itself, but a gateway to the exploitation of science and research. Despite the recognised benefits of open access, its implementation is a challenge.
This report gives an overview of how open access is developing in the European Research Area. It is based on a survey conducted via the European Research Area Committee. It shows that open access is backed by a growing number of universities, research centres and funding agencies across Europe, and it highlights the dynamic growth of open access. It also underlines, however, that national initiatives and practices are still fragmented, thus preventing the European Union from realising its full research and innovation potential.