COMMUNIA: Policy Paper on access to publicly funded research

On April 11, 2024, COMMUNIA issued Policy Paper #17 on access to publicly funded research, proposing a change to the EU copyright law that would contribute to greater access to publicly funded research.

COMMUNIA, as an advocate for policies that expand the public domain and increase access to and reuse of knowledge, highlighted the issue of access to publicly funded research in its Policy Paper #17. Although European taxpayers are the ones who fund the research, they are often limited in accessing its findings. In many cases, they must pay publishers again to access the research results, as publishers have acquired economic exploitation rights from the researchers. The current system is contrary to the fundamental purpose of research, which aims to maximize its impact through wide accessibility in the shortest possible time.

To achieve the desired effects of research, COMMUNIA proposed in its document a three-step approach to open public access to publicly funded research immediately after its publication, in a way that a secondary publication obligation co-exists with a secondary publication right. COMMUNIA believes that by obligating researchers to republish, the public interest would be safeguarded, as this would make Open Access mandatory. More about the document.

In the Slovenian legal system, with the adoption of the Act on Scientific Research and Innovation Activities (2021) and the Regulation on the Implementation of Scientific Research Work in Accordance with the Principles of Open Science (2023), a system of retaining copyright on the results of publicly funded research has already been established. However, upgrading the current legal framework with a system of a secondary publication right would increase the efficiency of disseminating publicly funded knowledge.