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The problem

Although digitisation, globalisation and the development of the Internet have tremendously changed and accelerated communication in general, the scientific communication process remains fairly traditional. Excessive time periods between submission and publication, payment walls, embargos and other access barriers impede the transfer of knowledge. This obstructs the evolution towards an open and transparent academic process and the associated knowledge exchange with society at large. We train students to use scientific literature but when they leave universities they can no longer access This should change. Innovative models for knowledge transfer, like citizen science and crowdsourcing, are primarily seen as 'nice to have' and are not sufficiently embedded in regional and national research and innovation strategies.

The solution

  • Encourage the development of publishing models that provide free access for readers/users.
  • Bring in more competition into the academic publishing market; we need sustainable long-term funding for open access publishing models and auxiliary open access services (like DOAJ).
  • Foster the development of new models for academic communication, beyond the traditional scientific articles.
  • Explore alternative ways of releasing research results, of commenting on them and of measuring their impact. 
  • Facilitate bringing in new users – such as citizens– into the research process. 

Concrete actions

  • All partners: mobilise stakeholders for a fair, balanced and innovative publishing system by fostering structured dialogue among all stakeholders and sharing expertise and best practices. Take stock of the information needs among SMEs and explore how open science can help fill those needs.
  • National authorities and European Commission: give political backing to universities in their negotiations with publishers about access to content.
  • Research Performing Organisations: collaborate closely in negotiations with publishers, in order to reach agreements in which open access is the standard. Include citizen science into the mainstream.
  • Publishers, Research Performing Organisations and individual researchers: experiment with new, faster ways of publishing, such as immediate publishing based on open peer review (flipped publishing). No longer accept disclosure clauses.
  • Publishers, Research Performing Organisations, individual researchers and research funders: promote widespread application of citizen science as a knowledge transfer. This includes that the output of citizen science projects should be accessible.
  • National authorities, European Commission and research funders: encourage parties to develop new models for knowledge distribution and for the various academic disciplines using start-up money, and guarantee sustainability in the long term by adequate funding. Broaden the Open Library of Humanities to the Open Library of Sciences for library consortia.
  • Research funders and Research Performing Organisations: provide start-up money for alternative open access publishing models so that they can become established and sustainable. Provide less specific funding tracks, more flexible funding (including open science components in research proposals, faster calls), better promotion of funding possibilities for young/new/innovative stakeholders, including small-scale initiatives. Have specific research output translated to specific target groups, such as patients.
  • Research funders: bring in new users, allow for new forms of funding, like crowdfunding. Think in 'terms of 'problem spaces' and develop Joint Open Science Initiatives (JOSIs) around a societal challenge. Make cross-border funding easier and fund risky projects more aggressively. Be critical in financing commercial entities with a poor record on open science adoption.
  • Research libraries: act as publishers of open access for their institutions; create a database of open science best practices.
  • Publishers, Research Performing Organisations and individual researchers: remove barriers to citizen science by charging no APCs and allowing citizens without institutional support to publish as well. Allow for the publication of negative results/data.
  • Funders, publishers, Research Performing Organisations and research libraries: support discipline-based foundations that help flip subscription journals to FAIR open access by providing funds for APCs and transition by 2020. 
  • Universities, university libraries, publishers and funders: promote 'bulk' processing of APCs to reduce administration overload among researchers. 

Expected positive effects

  • Quicker, more effective knowledge transfer;
  • Involving far more actors in the innovation of models for academic communication;
  • Transparency in costs and fair pricing.
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  1. Anonymous

    The participants of the innovation track of the Presidency Conference on Open Science provided their feedback on the Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science via Some remarks of the partcipants were already processed into this updated draft. Some additional comments were:   

    1. In the title: Replace 'knowledge transfer' with 'knowledge exchange'  (succesfull transfer is usually exchange)
    2. Action 8 should set a clear goal
    3. Action 8 does not help existing innovators. 

    On behalf of our participants, Marina Noordegraaf

    On behalf of myself:

    Regarding the third remark of one of our participants, we could alter the text and leave out 'new'  in stimulate 'new publishing models' and almost every other mention of 'new'. It is also about rewarding existing innovative models which aim for opening up research outputs and speed up discovery. So the aim/goal should be at the center of this action and forms which help achieving this aim/goal should be stimulated.   

    Also, some spelling suggestions: 

    • 'We train student' should be 'We train students'
    • 'but when they leave universities they can no longer access ...' should be followed up by 'this literature'
    • in the last bullet point: replace 'university libraries' with 'research libraries' 

    Marina Noordegraaf

  2. Anonymous

    LIBER/ Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen



    Concrete actions

    LIBER/Research libraries: run license negotiations together with universities and research institutes, act as OA publishers, support the publishing process, design OA workflows together with researchers, raise awareness of OA

  3. Anonymous

    GreyNet International, Amsterdam / Joachim Schöpfel


    Most of the debate on open access to scientific information is concerned with journal publishing and books. However, grey literature – consisting of a multiple document types produced on all levels of government, academics, business, and organization not controlled by commercial publishing - would contribute substantially to the open access strategy of the EU and their member states. Event though grey literature such as dissertations, reports or communications are not the products of commercial publishers this does not mean that they are as yet freely available via open access. A recent study[i] on the Dutch NARCIS portal shows that significant parts of the grey literature remain hidden behind embargoes and other access restrictions. The Amsterdam Call for Action should include concrete actions in favour of open access to grey literature in Europe by raising awareness and urging new initiatives especially in the field of dissertations and scientific reports.

    [i] Doorn, P., 2014. Going Dutch: Aggregating research information and research data services. In: euroCRIS Strategic Membership Meeting Autumn 2014 (KNAW, Amsterdam, Nov 11-12, 2014).

  4. Anonymous

    Re: Concrete actions

    Item 6

    I wonder why this single model (Open Library of the Humanities) is highlighted while other models or initiatives are not mentioned at all?


    Item 8

    I can’t see why/how bringing in new users and allowing for new forms of funding, like crowdfunding, this is an action for research funders


    Item 10

    I cant’s see why RPOs and individual researchers are the addressees of these actions


    Item 11

    I’m strictly against using this document as a vehicle to introduce or even to promote new qualifiers in regard to open access like “FAIR OA” “fair OA”. See my remark on topic 4.

    Delete "FAIR" in this statement.


    Georg Botz


  5. Anonymous

    The rationale behind this chapter, considering that new models of publication still have to be created, with the support of "start-up money", lags behind reality. Those new models, alternative to traditional APC Gold, already exist. There are a lot more than just OLH : Oapen, KU, OpenEdition, Ubiquity Press, OpenBook Publishers, to name a few of them. Even traditional players, such as scholarly societies, university presses, institutions, academic publication SMEs across Europe and American continent, explore new or not so new but working business models for OA publishing, beyond APC. The problem, and obviously from the chapter itself and the conference in Amsterdam, is that the alternative models lack visibility. For a landscape of alternative models, see the workshop organized by DG CNCT and RTD : 

    Therefore, the question is no more to stimulate the creation of new publishing models from scratch, leading to more fragmentation, but to help existing ones, at least the most fair, effective and promising ones, to develop, find their place on the market, be sustainable in the long term and comply with the best practices of the sector. The real question is how to design a global ecosystem for scholarly communication that ensures a real diversity of solutions and models and balance between different players to address the specific needs of the different scientific communities, and respect the principles of "bibliodiversity" :

    Therefore, my proposition would be to add to or replace partially the existing text : 

    The problem

    During the last decade, new open access publishing models emerged in different countries and have been developed to address the specific needs of the different scientific communities. In most cases, stakeholders lack visibility on the existing models and on their viability in the long term. On the other hand, many alternative publishing service providers lack resources to ensure scalability and convert their project from an innovative start-up initiative to a sound organization providing stable and sustainable services. 

    The solution

    • List, describe, study, benchmark existing alternative models to sort out the most promising and viable ones.
    • Support by different means existing models to achieve scalability and sustainability
    • Coordinate stakeholders in the academic publishing market to ensure shared principles such as common standards, fair practices and eventually, bibliodiversity.

    Concrete actions :

    National authorities and European Commission: support new players from the academic community that reinvent the scientific publication practices on new foundations directly from the current needs of the researchers. Fund and support the development of neutral, open and public infrastructures (networks, platforms and market places) where all the players in the academic publishing sector can collaborate and compete on an equal footing.

    Research funders and Research Performing Organisations: Integrate progressively in the research assessment systems innovative practices of scientific communication that increase the transparency and quality of publications (open peer review), disseminate knowledge through various media (blogs, social networks) and various types of objects (open data).

    Universities, university libraries: publicize and compare feedback from their communities on existing services. Secure middle term funding beyond short term projects fundings, to support the development of innovative services and allow them to scale up and ensure sustainability in the long term.


    Pierre Mounier
    Associate Director for international development - OpenEdition - 
    Coordinator of OPERAS -
  6. Unknown User (

    Re: "The solution
    Bring in more competition into the academic publishing market; we need sustainable long-term funding for open access publishing models and auxiliary open access services (like DOAJ)."

    Why only mention the DOAJ here?
    I would suggest to at least add Fair Open Access / Linguistics in Open Access ( and the Quality Open Access Market ( here.


    Johan Rooryck (EiC Glossa & President, LingOA)

  7. Unknown User (

    Regarding the following useful remark: "Innovative models for knowledge transfer, like citizen science and crowdsourcing, are primarily seen as 'nice to have' and are not sufficiently embedded in regional and national research and innovation strategies."

    This also applies for the Quality Open Access Market ( QOAM is a market place for scientific and scholarly journals which publish articles in open access. Quality scoring of the journals in QOAM is based on academic crowd sourcing; price information includes institutional licensed pricing.


    Johan Rooryck,  EiC Glossa & President, LingOA

  8. Anonymous

    New publishing models will involve knowledge exchange, which is broader than knowledge transfer.

    "Take stock of the information needs among SMEs and explore how open science can help fill those needs": Needs have to be explored from all partners, not only SME’s.

    Inge Van Nieuwerburgh for VLIR the Flemish Interuniversity Council

  9. Anonymous

    Under 'Concrete actions', first bullet point:

    I suggest changing the last sentence in that point as follows: "Take stock of the information needs among SMEs, NGOs and other societal partners and explore how open science can help fill those needs."

    Dagmar Meyer, Brussels


  10. Anonymous

    Michael Matlosz, President Science Europe:

    Given the experimental nature of many new models of scholarly communication and publishing it is probably more urgent and appropriate to support the enabling conditions (infrastructure and auxiliary services) and remove barriers for creative, community based models to emerge and establish themselves, rather than try to impose specific models in a top-down fashion.

  11. Anonymous

    We note that there is a parallel need to support and train researchers, and to support and inform funders, of the emergence of a range of new research outputs.  Ideally assessment and evaluation of research should be “format-blind”, where the impact and importance of a contribution to knowledge is not measured in such a way that favours one particular form of publication over another.

    With this in mind we would also be keen to see support for experimental new forms of publishing.

    David Kernohan, Jisc, UK