Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Scientific discovery has always come in two parts; finding something out, and telling everyone else. As Archimedes realized when he leaped from his bath shouting “Eureka”, what you have found does not become knowledge until it is shared.
Since that mythic moment, the scientific publication system has grown more elaborate. From the correspondence networks of medieval scholars, through the early transactions of organizations like the Royal Society in England, to the modern myriad of scholarly journals, it depended on the physical circulation of paper. Now that is being complemented, or even superseded, by digital publication. With the growth in use of the internet, bits and bytes travel more easily and cheaply, than ink on paper. This promises great advantages in ease of access to scientific results, but also new complications and even conflicts. It is easy to argue that the transition to a mainly digital system is inevitable, but working out the details raises much policy, financial and legal issues. This is a major change in the scientific ecosystem, with unpredictable consequences.
These changes were at the heart of the discussion at the conference on Scientific Publishing in the European Research Area. The meeting, in fact, ranged well beyond publishing in Europe, scientific publishing is part of a global system. But European concerns were part of the core agenda. As Janez Potocnik, EU Commissioner for Science and Research, emphasised in his opening speech, the Commission believes that the future of Europe depends on establishing a knowledge society. So the Commission naturally has a strong interest in the dissemination of knowledge, and the way it is going to be done in future. This conference brought together scientists and scholars, publishers, editors, librarians, archivists, computer scientists, research funders, representatives of learned societies and others with an interest in the circulation and use of research to share views on the changes now under w

Additional information

Authors: TURNEY J, European Commission, DG Research, Brussels (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2007. 20 pp. free of charge
Availability: (Catalogue Number: KI-77-07-244-EN-C)
ISBN: ISBN: 978-92-79-05476-1
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