On Open Access to Publications and Harmonised Scientific Careers: the Annual Meeting of the Global Research Council

Monday, 9 June 2014

On 27th and 28th of May, in Beijing, heads of public national research funding organisations from around the globe took part in the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Global Research Council (GRC).

The meeting has been a significant step forward in two particular respects. Firstly, a report on Open Access to Publications was adopted, another milestone on the road to making the results of publicly financed research available to the public. Secondly, the participants endorsed the Statement of Principles for Shaping the Future, which will serve as a reference document for research funding agencies to support the next generation of researchers.

It was brought to attendees’ attention by Pascale Briand, Director General of the French National Research Agency (ANR), that it [was] crucial that researchers - at any stage of their careers - are recognised as professionals. Addressing this issue, Director of the NCN Andrzej Jajszczyk gave a presentation on the National Science Centre’s funding schemes for researchers at early stages of their career: PRELUDIUM, SONATA, ETIUDA and FUGA.

The report on Open Access comes as a follow-up to the endorsement of the GRC Action Plan towards Open Access to Publications published in 2013 and a series of preparatory meetings. Paul Boyle, President of Science Europe, commented: “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 on a common approach to their respective policies.

Among the guests of the opening session was the Premier of the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang. The participants of the Annual Meeting, co-hosted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, included leaders of fifty research funding institutions worldwide.

The Global Research Council is a virtual organisation, comprised of the heads of science and engineering funding agencies from around the world, dedicated to promoting the sharing of data and best practices for high-quality collaboration among funding agencies worldwide.