Scientific Information Policy Board
Chairman: Guido Altarelli
Membership: Isabelle Bejar Alonso, Mick Draper, Nick Ellis, Klaus Freudenreich,
Maximillian Metzger, Jean-Pol Matheys, Francesco Navarria, Linda Orr-Easo, Corrado
Pettenati, Ezio Todesco, Joachim Tuckmantel, Gabriele Veneziano, Rudiger Voss.
Continuing CERN action on Open Access
journals and conference proceedings
Open Access (OA) is an idea that would change the publishing landscape to bring
benefits to all readers and authors. New publishing models based on electronic
dissemination and OA are emerging. Active measures taken by CERN at this time could
have an important impact on the wider adoption of OA principles.
CERN has supported the principles of open access to scientific information since its
creation in 1954. CERN's Scientific Information Policy Board (SIPB) adopted the
modern OA philosophy into its publishing policy in November 2003, encouraging
submission of scientific documents to the relevant e-archive and also stating that "CERN
should support and encourage publishing in low-cost easily-accessible electronic
journals". By signing the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the
Sciences and Humanities in May 2004, CERN made a further commitment to the wider
Technological innovation has enabled greater efficiencies for publishers and allows
quicker and wider dissemination of results. Supplementary material can also be made
available, as can new search capabilities and document management techniques. The
digitisation of information makes OA technically possible. However, this revolution in
publishing has not resulted in a decrease of costs as was hoped; on the contrary, costs are
still rising and the amount of information published continues to grow. Even CERN
Library is unable to offer complete coverage across its core subjects. Although a move to
OA is unlikely to lower costs initially, the long term projections for OA suggest it might
ultimately be more efficient and would certainly lead to increased access for all.
Emerging new publishing models: Many publishers are experimenting with new
publishing models in response to pressure from the OA movement. Their common aim is
to provide free and unrestricted access to readers by recovering their costs from sources
other than the traditional subscription route.
The alternative journal forms include some traditional and some new features:
Areas for CERN involvement:
OA journals: A small number of OA journals already exist in which CERN authors are
encouraged to publish. Some of these charge author fees which should be paid from
research budgets. Alternatively, as a transitional measure, CERN could consider
arranging an institutional fee for certain popular titles which would allow all CERN
authors to then submit to that journal.
OA conferences: The accelerator physics community is already using JACoW to make
their proceedings available via OA. The scientific community should use this as a model
for publishing their own respective series of proceedings with costs absorbed by the
Publishers experimenting with new models: Some publishers are experimenting with
different OA business models but policy and funding in institutions are not yet organised
in such a way as to respond to these options. CERN could consider encouraging authors
to pay fees and/or work in collaboration with other institutions to support emerging titles.
Pioneer OA journals: CERN strongly supported the start-up of the first OA peer-
reviewed journal in the particle physics field, the Journal of High-Energy Physics
(JHEP), which quickly achieved an impressively high impact factor. For financial
reasons, the marketing of JHEP had to be outsourced to the IOP and is not OA at present.
At the end of 2006 the contract with the IOP will expire and JHEP could then revert to a
fully OA form, provided that reliable and adequate means of financial support can be
guaranteed by the community.
Long-term archiving: OA journals are currently only considered as one route to a
revolution in publishing, and stability in the environment has not yet been achieved.
Institutions have a much greater motivation than publishers to ensure papers are
preserved in the long term and many policies and procedures are already in place for
archiving documents that are in institutional electronic archives. Publication and
repository submission should be seen as complementary actions.
CERN OA Policy
As part of its OA policy, CERN will:
Changing the publishing model for scientific journals is only one part of the OA
movement, but it is one where CERN is in a position to lead and influence the scientific
community. Scientific communication in the whole research community will benefit from
the more rapid adoption of OA principles.