Christmas is over. Research funding should go to research, not to publishers!

Nowadays, European universities pay publishers significant parts of their university budget. Hundreds of millions of euro's. Money which is not directly spent on research and education, even though it is largely taxpayers´ money. As Harvard University already denounced in 2012, many large journal publishers have rendered the situation “fiscally unsustainable and academically restrictive”, with some journals costing as much as $40,000 per year (and publishers drawing profits of 35% or more). If one of the wealthiest universities in the world can no longer afford it, who can?

It is easy to picture the struggle of European universities with tighter budgets. In addition to subscription costs, academic research funding is also largely affected by “Article Processing Charges” (APC), which come at an additional cost of €2000/article, on average, when making individual articles Gold Open Access. Some publishers are in this way even being paid twice for the same content ("double dipping"). Is this how the EU envisions access to the results of academic research?

"Christmas is over", says Prof Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General of the League for European Research Universities (LERU): "I call upon the European Commission and the forthcoming Dutch EU Presidency to work with all stakeholders and bodies involved, to bring sensible solutions to the fore.

"In the era of Open Science, Open Access to publications is one of the cornerstones of the new research paradigm and business models must support this transition. It should be one of the principal objectives of Commissioner Carlos Moedas and the Dutch EU Presidency (January-June 2016) to ensure that this transition happens. Further developing the EU´s leadership in research and innovation largely depends on it.

With this statement "Moving Forwards on Open Access", LERU calls upon all universities, research institutes, research funders and researchers to sign this statement and give a clear signal towards the European Commission and the Dutch EU Presidency.

2.500 people and organisations already signed up to the LERU statement! (updated list will be published regularly)

We encourage researchers working and living in Switzerland to sign the petition.