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The FSFE asks for more Free Software and Open Standards in Open Science

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The Free Software Foundation Europe calls for Free Software and Open Standards to be considered as a vital part of Open Science for all publicly-funded research in Europe. You can help us by sharing our position paper. Read more about the position paper and how you can promote Free Software in science.

Today, the FSFE publishes and submits to the European Commission its Position paper for the endorsement of Free Software and Open Standards in Horizon2020, as part of the ongoing public consultation on the midterm evaluation of Horizon 2020.

The position paper gives key recommendations for the midterm evaluation of Horizon 2020, the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020).

The results of this consultation will help the European Commission to set the scene for future discussions on the post-2020 EU research and innovation funding programmes. The FSFE considers this public consultation of paramount importance and wishes to put forward its suggestions regarding Free Software and Open Standards in Horizon2020 or any other EU research and innovation funding programmes in the future.

In order to safeguard a sustainable future of scientific and technological innovation in Europe and worldwide, the FSFE makes the following recommendations to the European Commission:

  1. Open Standards should be preferred for all knowledge exchange, and in particular for the dissemination of scientific publications and the archival of all articles, data, and software used in scientific research. The use of Open Standards in data and software repositories and Data Management Plans (DMPs) concerning the Horizon 2020 publications, is necessary to ensure data preservation and Open Science. Research Funding Organisations should take the lead and foster changes of business models when dealing with research data.

  2. Software developed with public funding, and in particular in the framework of the Horizon2020 program should be mandatorily published under a Free Software licence.

  3. Software developed with public funding, and in particular in the framework of the Horizon2020 program should be mandatorily archived in a public software repository ensuring long term availability and persistent identification.

  4. Data and software repositories and Data Management Plans (DMPs) must employ Free Software in order to ensure unfettered access to their contents and long term preservation.

  5. Establish "Open Science" Prizes for the promotion of Open Science and raise awareness among stakeholders.

Software is an integral part of almost every research project, enabling scientific progress. In Horizon 2020, most of the software used for scientific research is both acquired and developed in the auspices of public or public-private funding. Ensuring the accessibility to reuse, study, further develop and improve the software would be a catalyst for Open Science, fostering scientific cooperation, improving scientific processes, and benefiting society as a whole.

A recent decision of EU ministers' provided that by 2020, all scientific publications on the results of publicly funded research in Europe must be freely available under Open Access. European Commission expliticly called free public access to publicly funded research "a vision of the future" of Open Science not only in Europe, but globally for the year 2030.

If you are interested to learn more about the above FSFE's recommendations and the reasoning behind them, read our full Position paper (pdf).

Help to spread the word

To find out more about how you can do that, please consult our wiki page. If your time is limited, but you still wish to contribute, please check our 5 minutes instructions! Every and each questionnaire submitted to the consultation makes a difference!

We strongly encourage everyone to take part in the consultation and give weight to more Free Software and Open Standards in publicly-funded scientific research. The consultation is open for everyone and runs until 15.01.2017.