Mariya Gabriel, commissioner Innovation Youth

Mariya Gabriel is the New Commissioner for Innovation and Youth

Bulgaria’s Mariya Gabriel is the new Commissioner for Innovation and Youth, taking over the position of Carlos Moedas, the current Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. The announcement was made by the European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen, on September 10, in Brussels, Belgium.
During her time as Commissioner for Youth and Innovation, Mariya Gabriel will deal with topics such as education, research, innovation, culture and sports. The new Commissioner will also face the mission of implementing Horizon Europe, the European Union (EU) framework for funding for research and innovation that will replace Horizon2020, from 2021 to 2027.

In the mission-letter addressed to Gabriel, von der Leyen states the challenges Gabriel faces in the newly formed EU team. We highlighted some examples:

  • (…) ensure sufficient investment flows to disruptive research and breakthrough innovations, notably through the European Innovation Council. To stay competitive globally, we should better support our innovators to bring their ideas to the market.
  • (…) support the objective of tripling the Erasmus+ program as part of the next budget.
  • (…) lead the work on making the European Education Area a reality by 2025, working in close cooperation with regional and national authorities
  • (…) focus on digital literacy and education to close the digital skills gap. You should lead on the updating of the Digital Education Action Plan and look at how we can increase the take-up of massive open online courses. You should also look at how to help increase awareness from an early age of disinformation and other online threats
  • (…) ensure the full implementation of the New European Agenda for Culture. You should develop ways to strengthen Europe’s commitment to preserving and protecting our cultural heritage, notably by making the most of digital technologies.
  • (…) promote sport as a tool for inclusion and wellbeing.


Mariya Gabriel is a member of the GERB, Bulgaria’s conservative and second-largest party and, since 2017, she has held the role of Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society.


Image Credit: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency /Flickr

What are the major considerations for authors to publish on a journal?

Open access is important for research and researchers. However, how indispensable open access is for researchers and research? The survey conducted by Ithaka SR (a consulting firm for non-profits) attempted to answer this very question.

The survey result reveals that researcher’s decision to choose a particular journal is primarily influenced by how widely the journal is pertinent to the authors’ faculty. Journals’ circulation i.e. how widely it has been read is also another crucial consideration for authors.

Moreover, journal’s reputation, mostly expressed in terms of its impact factor, is another factor that influences researchers’ decision making as to where to publish. Surprisingly, authors are less interested to publish on journals with APCs (article processing charges), the survey findings reveal.

According to the survey, the time it takes to publish an article is another important factor that affects authors’ decision.

Nevertheless, consideration such as whether the journal is fully open access or not, is not among the top five factors that affects decision making process of the authors. Source

Plan S implementation delayed

The implementation of Plan S has been pushed to 2021. This is, according to the statement by Coalition S, to give authors, publishers and repositories enough time to prepare for the transition. Plan S’ initial goal demands full and immediate open access to scientific articles by 2020.

Plan S mandates all grant receiving authors are to publish articles only on fully open access journals. It requires full compliance from authors and publishers.

According to Plan S Article Processing Charges (APCs) should be covered by funding agencies or universities.

Plan S was a response to a high journal subscription. It was launched in 2018. It is an initiative by 13 consortium of European research funding agencies. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Welcome Trust are also organizations behind the initiative.

Th proponents of Plan S argue that it makes a transition to open access swift and as a result it benefits science and society. Nonetheless, Plan S has been criticized by some publishers and researchers. Researchers concern is that the mandate to publish only on open access journals inhibits researchers’ freedom to publish on journals of their choice. Moreover, it does not allow enough time to transition to fully open access journals, they argue. Read more

Cambridge University Press

Cambridge University Press reached Open Access agreement with the Bavarian State Library

Cambridge University Press (CUP) has reached a major Open Access agreement with the Bavarian State Library (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, BSB), according to STM-Publishing. The Bavarian State Library reached an agreement with the CUP representing all higher education and research institutions in Germany.

According to this agreement institutions reached read and publish deals with the publisher. They also pay article processing changes to publish. Authors from institutions in the consortium will publish publicly-funded articles in CUP’s hybrid journals.

Research university consortiums in the Netherlands and Sweden previously reached a similar deal with the CUP. Read more

International OA week 2018: Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge

Open access has increasingly become the new norm. Countries and research funders are embracing open access. Many set targets to reach 100% open access before 2020. However, issues related to equitable sharing, diversity and inclusion is not fully addressed, according to a statement by SPARC.

Open access should serve the need of all scholarly communities and research output consumers in an equitable way. The challenge in this front so far has been what is open access to an institution might not be the case for others. For instance, students and staff members have free access to their own institutional repositories. Nonetheless, due to log in requirements, individuals without login access are hindered to access articles. There are repositories trying to make open access as open as possible, nevertheless.

It seems that open access advocacy groups are realizing deficiency related to open access equity and inclusion. Emphasizing on the need for equitable sharing as the theme for International Open Access Week 2018 underscores this. Brining equity to the front might help institutions, research funders and policy makers to set equitable sharing of scholarly output as one of their top agenda items.