Science Publishing Workgroup 2004-2005 overview

2005 overview of the workgroup “Science Publishing”

The goal of our working group is to help find answers to some of the numerous questions raised by the evolution of scientific communication by internet and which are confronted by scientists.

Some of these questions have been discussed during the ESOF2004 symposium held at Stockholm [1] and as announced, the ESOF2006 symposium will be a follow up.

The deadline for submitting a pre-programme at ESOF was 15 June, so we submitted a draft for this date. But a lot remains to be done for preparing this event and for making the scientific community aware of what is at stake.

Two representatives of learned societies have joined us. However our small team would welcome additional members .It seems essential that scientists, totally involved in laboratory activities, could express their opinion. If you are interested in discussing these issues (essentially by e-mail) we would be pleased to have you join us.

E-mail :

Helene Bosc
Convenor of the working group

[1] The symposium was devoted to the publication of the so-called primary literature, excluding education, training and popularisation.

Establishment of the Permanent Workgroup Science Publishing [1]

Dear colleagues and friends, distinguished members of Euroscience,

We are happy to announce that Euroscience Board recently approved [2] our proposal to create a new Euroscience Working Group: Science Publishing. Indeed, the final act of any scientific research process is publishing papers. The sound functioning of the learned publishing being of primary importance for all scientists, it was quite natural that Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) 2004 tackled that issue as well [3]. We suggest that this should be a regular practice driven by Euroscience at every next ESOF since one of the roles of a Forum of that scale is to discuss problems common to all scientists. The goal of the Working group will be just to prepare proposals for appropriate discussion formats to the Organizing committees of every next Forum.

The very lively debate on scientific publishing and open access is spreading beyond the scientific and publishing circles as shown, among others, by the announcement by the European Commission of “a study on the economic and technical evolution of the scientific publication markets in Europe” and by the publication of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report “Scientific Publications: Free for all?”

However, the situation evolves rapidly, and the open questions remain more numerous than the answers proposed. Euroscience has therefore the strategic task to maintain the issue of science publishing on the front burner, preparing with much care the discussions in the frame at every next ESOF.
The learned societies in Europe should be the indispensable partners in the process, and we hope that Euroscience and its new Working Group will assure the leadership. We are happy to report that as kind of follow up to the ESOF 2004 event, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is hosting in March 2005 a meeting[4], where one of us (PB) together with Mrs Hélène Bosc will represent Euroscience. A recent but already very devoted ES member, Mrs Bosc [5] was kind to accept the task of being convenor of the Working Group on the science publishing. Her competence will be an asset in this important and complex enterprise

[1] Proposed by Simeon Anguelov (, Pierre Baruch (, and Françoise Praderie (, Co-organizers of the Symposium “Spreading the Word: who profits from the scientific publishing”, held in the frame of ESOF 2004 at Stockholm, 2004. They contributed this text to the web site of Euroscience.

[2] ES Board meeting, 29-30 January 2005, Geneva

[3] The symposium was devoted to the publication of the so-called primary literature, excluding education, training and popularisation . The main bulk of the papers presented will be published as well in the journal Learned Publishing vol.18, No 1, January 2005 and the following issues.

[4] Subject: The Future of the Research Information Chain -The role of Publishers and Learned Societies
Venue: Budapest, 17 & 18 March 2005. Co-organizers: ALLEA (All European Academies –The European Federation of National Academies of Sciences and Humanities), and STM (The International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers)

[5] Hélène Bosc is librarian and translater from Russian at INRA, France (National Institute for Agricultural Research), since 1967. She was actively involved in spreading the information on the transformations in the scientific communication, and in setting up an experimental Open Archive in 2002. Key-note speaker at the symposium “Spreading the Word: who profits from the scientific publishing” (In a paperless world a new role for academic libraries: providing Open Access