Open Access situation in Europe and North America presents a varied picture, from countries with the most OA depositories and journals globally and national funding mandates and OA legislations (USA), to those with limited internet connectivity (e.g. Albania) and few peer-reviewed OA journals (Luxembourg, Albania, Latvia, Monténégro etc.)

Although OA developments often follow economic development this is not always so: Moldova, for example, in partnership with INASP and eIFL, has developed active OA programmes. Its work with eIFL has enabled a consortium of international recognition with representation at UN World Intellectual Property Organization.

For many countries in Europe the DRIVER initiative was the critical stimulating activity for Open Access developments. Through provision of guidelines and by establishing a network of OA experts, the project provided the support required to introduce OA practices. The work of INASP and eIFL have assisted in taking these developments further; eIFL in particular has offered an important advocacy role in raising OA awareness and debate. In collaboration with the respective national libraries, eIFL actively provides OA support to a number of developing and transition countries in Europe.

In 2015, North America topped the world rankings with the highest regional internet pentration rate (86.9%) and Europe follows closely with an internet penetration rate of 70.4%. This has created an enabling environment for the development of OA digital repositories and e-journal interfaces in the regions.

Throughout Europe there are currently 1304 OA repositories which are registered in OpenDOAR. UK (232), Germany (175) and Spain (120) are major contributors. There is a further 571 from North America (470 in USA; 72 in Canada and 29 in Mexico).

In DOAJ, USA tops the OA journals list with a total of 1,059 indexed journals. UK, Spain and Germany follow closely with a total of 699, 586 and 353 OA journals, respectively. In total, Europe and North America currently constitute about 57% (6050) of OA journals listed in DOAJ out of a total of 10,529 [figures valid as of September 2015].

DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) Directory of Open Access Journals

Is a service that provides access to quality controlled Open Access journals. The Directory aims to be comprehensive and cover all Open Access scientific and scholarly journals that use an appropriate quality control system, and is not limited to any particular language or subject area. The aim of the directory is to increase the visibility and ease of use of Open Access scientific and scholarly journals, thereby promoting their increased usage and impact. It is maintained by the University of Lund, Sweden.

DRIVER II (Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research)

DRIVER has established a network of relevant experts and Open Access repositories. DRIVER-II will consolidate these efforts and transform the initial testbed into a fully functional, state-of-the art service, extending the network to a larger confederation of repositories. DRIVER is integral to the suite of electronic infrastructures that have emerged in the worldwide GÉANT network and is hence funded under the e-Infrastructures call of the European Commission's 7th framework programme. It aims to “… optimise the way the e-Infrastructure is used to store knowledge, add value to primary research data and information making secondary research more effective, provide a valuable asset for industry, and help bridging research and education”. The objectives of DRIVER-II, the second phase of the project, include efforts to expand, enrich, and strengthen the results of DRIVER, in the following areas: strategic geographic and communtiy expansion by means of the DRIVER confederation; establish a robust, scalable repository infrastructure accompanied by an open source software package D-Net; broader coverage of content through the use of enhanced publications; advanced end-user functionality to support scientific exploration of complex digital objects; larger outreach and advocacy programmes; continued repository support; guidelines for interoperability in the larger European digital library community.

e-SciDR (Towards a European Infrastructure for e-Science Digital Repositories)

e-SciDR was a study led by the Digital Archiving Consultancy on behalf of the European Commission to drive forward the development and use of digital repositories—widely defined, constructs from data to publications to tools—in the EU in all areas of science, from the humanities to the earth sciences.

NIH Public Access Policy

The (US) NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication. To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.

OASIS (Open Acccess Scholarly Information Sourcebook)

Aims to provide an authoritative ‘sourcebook’ on Open Access, covering the concept, principles, advantages, approaches and means to achieving it. The site highlights developments and initiatives from around the world, with links to diverse additional resources and case studies. As such, it is a community-building as much as a resource-building exercise. Users are encouraged to share and download the resources provided, and to modify and customize them for local use. Open Access is evolving, and we invite the growing world-wide community to take part in this exciting global movement.

Open Access Directory (OAD)

Is a compendium of simple factual lists about open access (OA) to science and scholarship, maintained by the OA community at large. By bringing many OA-related lists together in one place, OAD makes it easier for everyone to discover them, use them for reference, and update them. The easier they are to maintain and discover, the more effectively they can spread useful, accurate information about OA. OAD is a wiki and relies upon its users to maintain an accurate and current source of information.

OpenAIRE (Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe)

OpenAIRE builds on well-known and low cost technology for an Open Access infrastructure and bases its activities on the European network of institutional and thematic repositories. This allows the project to focus on the real effort – the human factor – by creating and establishing a vibrant network of Open Access advisors in 27 European countries, proactively communicating Open Access policies to researchers, engaging institution and library executives, national funders and policy makers, while adjusting efforts onto the local context.

OpenDOAR directory

OpenDOAR directory of open access repositories, searchable by location, contents and statistics.

PEER (Publishing and the Ecology of European Research)

The PEER Pilot Programme is Investigating the Effect of the Deposit of Author Manuscripts on the Ecology of European Research and Publishng. It is supported by the EC eContentplus programme, will investigate the effects of the large-scale, systematic depositing of authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts (so called Green Open Access or stage-two research output) on reader access, author visibility, and journal viability, as well as on the broader ecology of European research. The project is a collaboration between publishers, repositories and researchers and will last from 2008 to 2012.

PKP (Public Knowledge Project)

The Public Knowledge Project is dedicated to improving the scholarly and public quality of research. It operates through a partnership among the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, the Simon Fraser University Library, the School of Education at Stanford University, and the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing at Simon Fraser University.

Southern European Libraries Link (SELL)

Represents library consortia of six countries (France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey). Although this organization was created to exchange experiences and to act as a pressure group in relation to scientific and technical publishers, its founding charter also states clearly that one of its main goals is “to draw common policies towards information acquirement and provision”.

SPARC; the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition

Is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system. Developed by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change. Its pragmatic focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries. Action by SPARC in collaboration with stakeholders – including authors, publishers, and libraries – builds on the unprecedented opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship. Leading academic organizations have endorsed SPARC.

SPARC Europe Seal for Open Access Journals

Offers certification for journals choosing the CC-BY license (Creative Commons) and provide DOAJ with metadata on article level.


  • Creative Commons (CC) aims to enable legal sharing of work.
  • DOAJ
  • OpenDepot allows all academics worldwide to deposit their research in an Open Access repository.
  • SHERPA: develops Open Access institutional repositories in universities to facilitate the rapid and efficient worldwide dissemination of research. SHERPA services are based at the Centre for Research Communications at the University of Nottingham, UK.


As of September 2015, ROARMAP registers 432 institutional OA policies from Europe, 128 from USA, 27 from Canada and 03 from Mexico.


PASTEUR4OA (Open Access Policy Alignment Strategies for European Union Research) aims to support the Horizon 2020 rules and European Commission’s Recommendation to Member States of July 2012 that they develop and implement policies to ensure Open Access to all outputs from publicly-funded research. PASTEUR4OA project has the following overarching objectives:


  • The identification of key node organizations throughout Europe and the development of a network of expert organizations.
  • The development of a programme for engaging policymakers: On 24 July, 2015, PASTEUR4OA project announced regional policy workshops for research funders and organizations that would take place between September 2015 and April 2016 in Spain, Hungary, Greece, Belgium, Italy, Turkey and in the Nordic countries.
  • A Europe-wide project meeting of national experts.
  • Recording policies and policy types in order to develop a policy typology.
  • Policy analysis; effectiveness and growth.
  • A mapping of existing policies to policymakers.
  • Development of advocacy materials: on 26 August, 2015, PASTEUR4OA announced the development of a series of policy data visualizations using data from ROARMAP. The release of this data visualization website contains links to policy-related infographics that Member States can use during presentations and other advocacy work etc.
  • A final project conference that will bring together key node members and policymakers.


Furthermore, the following funders' OA mandates have substantial effect due to the geographical spread of their fundees:



At European level, an Open Science Agenda is being developed which will set out areas of specific action agreed by the European Commission (EC) and Member States. The EC is now moving decisively from ‘Open Access’ into the broader picture of ‘Open science’. The Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science is a living document outlining concrete actions for the European Community to move to Open Science.

The Science with and for Society work programme of Horizon 2020 (2016- 2017) calls for addressing text and data mining, and innovative approaches to release and disseminate research results and measure their impact.

Elements of Open science will also gradually feed into the shaping of a policy for Responsible Research and Innovation and contribute to the realization of the European Research Area and the Innovation Union, the two main flagship initiatives for scientific research and innovation.


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