OpenAIRE, a breath of freedom in publishing

On 2 December, the new OpenAIRE portal was launched at Ghent University (Belgium) in the presence of the Vice-President of the European Commission, Dr Neelie Kroes. OpenAIRE will be a central point for the publications of EC-funded researchers. One pillar on which OpenAIRE is built is CERN’s Invenio, the digital library system software that also powers CDS and INSPIRE.


Screenshot of the OpenAIRE website.

The OpenAIRE (Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe) project was launched one year ago to create a gateway for easy access to the research results of EU-funded programmes, in support of the EC initiative on open access that was part of the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7). “OpenAIRE demonstrates the EU's engagement with the open access philosophy, providing an infrastructure which removes the obstacles preventing EU researchers from making their EU-funded research results freely available,” says Tim Smith, head of the IT/UDS group and leader of the Invenio technical team in OpenAIRE.

CERN also actively promotes the Open Access initiative through its participation in SCOAP3 (Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics), which aims at converting all high-quality high-energy physics journals to Open Access for authors free of charge. “The CERN Library and the CERN IT Department are working together to promote and facilitate Open Access by driving initiatives and providing tools to make it a reality in our community. OpenAIRE enables a similar philosophy to be applied across the research domains at the European level,” comments Tim Smith.

The OpenAIRE platform is built upon the Invenio software developed at CERN. “We have deployed, and now support, an adaptation of Invenio as a so-called Orphan Repository for OpenAIRE, for researchers whose institute, subject or country do not provide a repository of reference. This way we ensure that everyone has access across Europe to an Open Access repository,” says Smith. Besides being a digital repository for documents, OpenAIRE also provides guidance and assistance to researchers in publishing their research results in Open Access. The portal features a helpdesk system in 27 European countries, consisting of a network of experts as well as online tools.

OpenAIRE is a 3-year project aimed at supporting the FP7 Open Access pilot, which focuses on 7 specific research subjects. The aim of the EU is to open this up to all subjects funded under the successor programme, FP8, and to extend it to include data. OpenAIRE is intended to support this expansion through successor projects.

by CERN Bulletin