Some of the most prominent world leaders announced an initiative which asserts that European scientific papers should be made freely available to all by 2020. This would legally only impact research supported by public and public-private funds, which are a vast portion of the papers produced annually; however, the goal is to make all science freely available.
This decision comes as a result of a meeting by the Competitiveness Council, which includes the ministers of Science, Innovation, Trade, and Industry. European Union member states were in agreement regarding the value of, and their commitment to, this new open access (OA) target.
If the 2020 target is met, it would mean that millions of people (literally) would have free access to the knowledge and information produced by experts in physics, astronomy, mathematics, engineering, biology… it would make the sciences accessible to individuals in ways that previous generations could only dream about. European science chief Carlos Moedas calls it a “life-changing” move.