N - PEERing into access

PEER (Publishing and the Ecology of European Research), an EU-funded project to explore the impact of large-scale 'green' open access (deposition of peer-reviewed manuscripts in repositories) on “reader access, author visibility and journal viability, as well as on the broader ecology of European research”, came to a close in May 2012, with an end-of-project conference. Nellie Kroes, EU commissioner with responsibility for the EU's Digital Agenda, opened the event with a call for open access and a discussion of the barriers preventing it being implemented more broadly, saying that lack of access is bad for business: “for small businesses, for example, it can mean two years' extra delay before getting new products to market. So if we want to complete globally, that kind of access cannot be a luxury for Europe — it's a must-have.” The project found that visits to journal websites were slightly higher when that same content was also available in repositories, but that there remain many unanswered questions about green OA, especially its growth and scope.