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Key policy and regulatory actions

Since 2008, the European Commission has published recommendations with the purpose of:

  • ensuring that the results of research are made freely available to the public;
  • guaranteeing open access to articles financed with public funds;
  • publicising research data (big data) for economic growth, innovation, digitalisation, and the sharing of knowledge.

In 2018 Science Europe, The European Commission and The European Research Council established cOAlition S and launched the Plan S project to create the transition of publications resulting from research financed with public funds to open access by January 2021.

Since 26 November 2020 the platform Open Research Europe has been active, commissioned by the European Commission to facilitate the free OA publication of scientific articles for beneficiaries of Horizon 2020 projects.

The white paper Disrupting the subscription journals' business model for the necessary large-scale transformation to open access, published in 2015, and the 12th Berlin Conference in the same year launched a progressive change to the subscription models of academic journals. During the 14th Berlin Conference in 2018 , the strategies for implementing the open access publication model were presented, and later listed in the OA2020 Progress Report and the Expression of Interest for the large-scale spread of open access academic journals, signed by 145 institutions around the world.

Fundamental agreements were concluded with Wiley (2019) and Springer-Nature (2020) by Project Deal, a consortium led by the Conference of German University Chancellors; these were the first transformative agreements.

In Italy, in 2022 the Ministry of Universities and Research published the National Plan for Open Science (PNSA) which is referred to in the National Programme for Research 2021-2027.

The PNSA lays the foundations for the full implementation of open science in Italy, facilitating the transition towards a transparent, fair system in line with the most recent European trends.

In doing so, the Plan identifies 5 pillars of action: scientific publications, research data, its evaluation, participation, and the opening up of data from research on SARS-COV-2 and Covid-19.