Effect of policies promoting open access in the scientific ecosystem: case study of ERC grantee publication practice

Abstract

The European Research Council (ERC) is one of the leading sources of research funding worldwide. This article analyses the papers published by its grantees. The primary aim was to determine the access policies of the journals chosen by researchers benefiting from public funding to disseminate their findings, based on an analysis of 44,481 papers published from 2007 to 2015. The study showed that 85% were published in hybrid or non-OA journals, with 50% to 60% of citations referring to the articles carried by such blue journals. The mean excellence rate was 6.4%, with > 11% for blue journal, nearly 8% for green journal and 6.5% for gold OA journal papers. Two lessons have been learnt from the ERC’s endeavour and experience in the international scientific ecosystem in the first decade since its institution. The first is that research proposed, reviewed and funded by scientists delivers highly influential and visible results. The second is that, while complying with OA publication recommendations and mandates, grantees prefer to publish their papers in non-gold OA journals.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  1. Bautista-Puig, N., García-Zorita, C., & Mauleón, E. (2019). European Research Council: Excellence and leadership over time from a gender perspective. Research Evaluation, 28(4), 370–382. https://doi.org/10.1093/reseval/rvz023.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Beerkens, M. (2019). The European Research Council and the academic profession: insights from studying starting grant holders. European Political Science, 18(2), 267–274. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41304-018-0166-7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. cOAlition S. (2018). Plan S: Accelerating the transition to full and immediate Open Access to scientific publications. [Online]. Brussels: Science Europe. https://web.archive.org/web/20180904122211/https://www.scienceeurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Plan_S.pdf. Retrieved: 12/01/2021.

  4. cOAlition S. (2020). Rights Retention Strategy to safeguard researchers’ intellectual ownership rights and suppress unreasonable embargo periods. [Online]. Brussels: Science Europe. https://www.coalition-s.org/coalition-s-develops-rights-retention-strategy/. Retrieved: 12/01/2021.

  5. Cruz-Castro, L., Benitez-Amado, A., & Sanz-Menéndez, L. (2016). The proof of the pudding: University responses to the European Research Council. Research Evaluation, 25(4), 358–370. https://doi.org/10.1093/reseval/rvw015.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Gadd, E., Fry, J., Creaser, C. (2018). The influence of journal publisher characteristics on open access policy trends. Scientometrics, 115(3), 1371–1393. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-018-2716-8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Edler J, Frischer D, Glanz M, Stampfer M. (2014). Funding individuals - Changing organisations: The impact of the ERC on universities. In: Organizational transformation and scientific change: The impact of institutional restructuring on universities and intellectual innovation. Wingley: Emerald, pp. 77–109. ISBN: 978-1-78350-684-2. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X20140000042003.

  8. ERC. (2006). ERC Scientific Council Statement on Open Access. [Online]. Brussels: European Research Council. https://erc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/press_release/files/erc_scc_statement_2006_open_access_0.pdf. Retrieved: 12/01/2021.

  9. ERC. (2007). ERC Scientific Council Guidelines for Open Access. [Online]. Brussels: European Research Council. https://erc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/document/file/erc_scc_guidelines_open_access.pdf. Retrieved: 12/01/2021.

  10. ERC. (2020). Managing your project: Open Access. [Online]. Brussels: European Research Council. https://erc.europa.eu/managing-project/open-access. Retrieved: 12/01/2021.

  11. Follesdal, A. (2019). Introduction: The European Research Council @ 10—What has it done to us? European Political Science, 18(2), 234–236. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41304-018-0163-x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Gatesfoundation. (2021). Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Open Access Policy. [Online]. Seattle: Gatesfoundation.org. https://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/General-Information/Open-Access-Policy. Retrieved: 12/01/2021.

  13. Jenkins C, Probets S, Oppenheim C, Hubbard B. (2007). RoMEO Studies 8: self-archiving: the logic behind the colour-coding used in the Copyright Knowledge Bank. Program: electronic library and information systems, 41 (2), 124–133. https://doi.org/10.1108/00330330710742908.

  14. Kohls A, Mele S. (2018). Converting the literature of a scientific field to open access through global collaboration: the experience of SCOAP3 in Particle Physics. Publications, 6 (2). https://doi.org/10.3390/publications6020015.kohls.

  15. König, T. (2017). The European Research Council. Polity Press.

  16. Laakso, M., Solomon, D., & Bjork, B. C. (2016). How subscription-based scholarly journals can convert to open access: a review of approaches. Learned Publishing, 29, 259–269. https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1056.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Luukkonen, T. (2012). Conservatism and risk-taking in peer review: Emerging ERC practices. Research Evaluation, 21(1), 48–60. https://doi.org/10.1093/reseval/rvs001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Luukkonen T. (2014). The European Research Council and the European research funding landscape. Science and Public Policy, 41 (1),sct031, pp. 29–43. https://doi.org/10.1093/scipol/sct031.

  19. Mugabushaka, A. M., Rieder, V., & Toma, E. (2013). Mobile researchers in European research systems insights from data of applicants to the European Research Council. Reflets et Perspectives de la Vie Economique, 52(4), 81–98. https://doi.org/10.3917/rpve.524.0081.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Nedeva, M., & Stampfer, M. (2012). From “Science in Europe” to “European Science.” Science, 336(6084), 982–983. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1216878.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Neufeld, J., Huber, N., & Wegner, A. (2013). Peer review-based selection decisions in individual research funding, applicants’ publication strategies and performance: The case of the ERC starting grants. Research Evaluation, 22(4), 237–247. https://doi.org/10.1093/reseval/rvt014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Nowotny, H. (2013). Preserve the European Research Council’s legacy. Nature, 504(7479), 189. https://doi.org/10.1038/504189a.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Nowotny, H. (2017). ERC-the next 10 years. Science, 355(6329), 997. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aan1143.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Perianes-Rodríguez, A., & Olmeda-Gómez, C. (2019). Effects of journal choice on the visibility of scientific publications: a comparison between subscription-based and full Open Access models. Scientometrics, 121(3), 1737–1752. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-019-03265-y.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Pina, D. G., Barac, L., Buljan, I., Grimaldo, F., & Marušic, A. (2019). Effects of seniority, gender and geography on the bibliometric output and collaboration networks of European Research Council (ERC) grant recipients. PLoS ONE, 14(2), e0212286. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0212286.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Scherngell, T., Roche, I., Rlesberger, M. H., Besagni, D., Ger, M. E. Z., & Holste, D. (2013). Initial comparative analysis of model and peer review process for ERC starting grant proposals. Research Evaluation, 22(4), 248–257. https://doi.org/10.1093/reseval/rvt015.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Thomson, S., & Kanesarajah, V. (2017). The European Research Council: the first 10 years. . Clarivate Analytics.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Van Noorden, R. (2017). Gates Foundation research can’t be published in top journals. Nature, 541(7637), 270. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature.2017.21299.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Van Noorden, R. (2018). Science journals end open-access trial with Gates Foundation. Nature, 559, 311–312. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-018-05729-2.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Van Noorden, R. (2020). Open-access Plan S to allow publishing in any journal. Nature. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-02134-6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Vesper, I. (2018). Europe’s top science funder shows high-risk research pays off news: European Research Council publishes third impact assessment of the projects it supports. Nature, 558(7708), 16–17. https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-018-05325-4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

Antonio Perianes-Rodríguez would like to thank Drs Alexis-Michel Mugabushaka and Theodore Papazoglou for their valuable comments and suggestions on an earlier version of this article. In memory of Theo.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Antonio Perianes‐Rodríguez.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Perianes‐Rodríguez, A., Olmeda-Gómez, C. Effect of policies promoting open access in the scientific ecosystem: case study of ERC grantee publication practice. Scientometrics 126, 6825–6836 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-021-03966-3

Download citation