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SCOAP3 Open Access Initiative kicks off in January 2014

Last December 5, CERN confirmed the launch of the Open Access initiative SCOAP3, on January 1, 2014. A large number of scientific papers in the field of particle physics will become available in open access, at no cost for the authors: everyone will be able to access these papers; the authors will have their copyright reserved and licenses will be applied to allow the widespread reuse of all the information. SCOAP is the result of intense preparation and consensus building with the support of partners in 24 countries, including Portugal, represented by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT).

Based at CERN, this is the largest global open access initiative ever created and involves international collaboration between more than a thousand libraries, library consortia and research organizations. The SCOAP3 project is supported by funding agencies and has been established in cooperation with leading scientific publishers, namely Elsevier, IOP Publishing and Springer. To enhance the results, subscriptions have been reduced for thousands of participating libraries worldwide, making it possible for these libraries to provide funds to support SCOAP3.

Portugal is represented in the SCOAP3 consortium by FCCN, the FCT unit responsible for two national initiatives in the field of scientific information, the Open Access Scientific Repository of Portugal - RCAAP and the Online Knowledge Library - b-on.

The main objective of SCOAP3 is to grant unrestricted access to scientific articles published in scientific journals, which until now would only be accessible to scientists, in certain university libraries, and generally not available to the general public. For two decades, open dissemination of primary information, in the form ofpeer-reviewed published articles, has been the norm in High Energy Physics and related fields. The SCOAP3 project extends this sharing opportunity and allows extending a high-quality peer-review service, making it possible to make the final version of articles available within the principles of Open Access and the free dissemination of science, while respecting the intellectual property rights of the authors, as well as general access for reuse of content. In the SCOAP3 model, member libraries and funding agencies pool resources currently used to underwrite scientific journals to directly support the peer review system in cooperation with publishers.

The SCOAP3 initiative hopes to establish new partnerships in the Asia-Pacific, Americas, Europe, Africa and Middle East regions, where scientists will certainly be able to enjoy the benefits of Open Access and many libraries and library consortia will be able to benefit from reductions in subscription costs.