European Commission's Survey on Digital Scientific Information

The European Commission has published the results of its Online survey on scientific information in the digital age.

Conducted between July and September 2011 the survey received 1140 responses from respondents in 42 countries, representing national and regional government; university and research institutes; libraries; publishers; individual researchers; charities; learned societies and professional associations. 

The survey hoped to identify ways in which the EU can help contribute to the improved access to and circulation and preservation of knowledge.  82% of respondents called for EU level policy formulation and 86% agreed that an EU network of repositories should be developed.

84% of respondents disagreed with the statement that there were currently no access issues to scientific publications in Europe.  Key reasons stated included:

  • The high price of journal subscriptions
  • Limited library budgets
  • Insufficient policies on access to scientific material
  • Different VAT rates for print and electronic materials

90% of respondents stated that publications resulting from publicly funded research should be made available in Open Access (OA) and a similar number stated that the research data of such research should also be made available.

With regards to the preservation of scientific information 64% of respondents disagreed with the statement that this is currently 'sufficiently addressed' with the main reason for this given as lack of clarity as to who is responsible for preservation.

The full research results are available here.