Present changes in scientific publishing, especially those summarised by the term ‘Open Access’ (OA), may ultimately lead to the complete replacement of a reader-paid to an author, or funding-paid, publication system. This transformation would shift the financial burden for scientific publishing from the Research Performing Organisations (RPOs), particularly from scientific libraries, universities, etc, to the Research Funding Organisations (RFOs). The transition phase is difficult; it leads to double funding of OA publications (by subscriptions and author-sponsored OA) and may thus increase the overall costs of scientific publishing. This may explain why – with a few exceptions – RFOs have not been at the forefront of the OA paradigm in the past. In 2008, the General Assembly of EUROHORCs, the European organisation of the heads of research councils, agreed to recommend to its member organisations at least a minimal standard of Open Access based on the Berlin Declaration of 2003 (green way of OA). In the long run, the publishing system needs some fundamental changes to reduce the present costs and to keep up its potential. In order to design a new system, all players have to cooperate and be ready to throw overboard some old traditions, lovable as they may be.
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