International Progress towards Open Access and Harmonised Scientific Careers at the Global Research Council

Science Europe – ANR Press Release

International Progress towards Open Access and Harmonised Scientific Careers at the Global Research Council

(Beijing, 28 May 2014) Today heads of public national research funding organisations from throughout the world endorsed a ‘state-of-play’ report on Open Access to Publications and adopted shared principles to support scientific career development. These are the key outcomes of the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Global Research Council (GRC) held on 27 and 28 May in Beijing (China).  

The state-of-play report on Open Access is the result of a broad consultation of all GRC participants which followed the endorsement of the GRC Action Plan towards Open Access to Publications published in 2013. “These are exciting times”, said Paul Boyle, President of Science Europe. “Public research agencies worldwide support the principle that all results originating from research they have funded should be open access and that activities related to Open Access should be monitored in a systematic way. This is the first time this wide range of agencies have agreed this common approach in their respective policies.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada who co-hosted the GRC Annual Meeting announced the setting up of an international GRC working group on Open Access. This group is mandated to further the analysis of the consultation results, and articulate recommendations to progress.

The adopted Statement of Principles for Shaping the Future will serve as a reference document for research funding agencies to support the next generation of researchers. “For a start, it is crucial that researchers – at any stages of their careers – are recognised as professionals”, said Pascale Briand, Director General of the French National Research Agency (ANR). “I am proud that, as part of the global collaborative efforts which culminated in this statement, the European contribution was instrumental in facilitating the consensus”.

A series of preparatory regional meetings were organised in autumn 2013. Science Europe and ANR – both participants in the GRC – successfully co-organised the European Regional Meeting in Paris in October. The event gathered high-level experts from various European organisations, including research councils, research institutes, EU institutions, stakeholder organisations and representatives of other GRC regions.

The GRC provides an annual forum for research organisations worldwide to engage with one another, and to build the relationships necessary to foster increased international co-operation. The GRC is a voluntary, virtual platform with no permanent secretariat, and focuses its activities on topics of broad international interest to funding agencies. Next year’s fourth Annual Meeting will be co-hosted by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the National Research Foundation (South Africa) in May 2015 in Tokyo (Japan).

The 2014 GRC Annual Meeting conclusions will soon be available for download at:

 Science Europe is the association of 52 Research Funding and Research Performing Organisations from 27 countries, representing a combined research budget of approximately €30 billion per year. It was founded in October 2011 as a platform for collaboration between Member Organisations, both at policy and activity level.

Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Careers are among the key policy areas for which Science Europe Member Organisations recognised the added value of collaboration to complement and strengthen their own activities.

The French National Research Agency (ANR) provides funding for project-based research. Employing a method based on competitive peer reviews that complies with international standards, ANR attaches great importance to providing the scientific community with instruments and conditions that promote creativity and openness, and stimulate new ideas and partnerships, particularly between the public and private sectors. The agency notably offers a funding instrument specifically dedicated to the Young Researchers. Its activity also contributes to enhancing the competitiveness and the influence of French research in Europe and across the world.

 More than 11,000 research projects were financed by ANR since its creation in 2005.

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