In Europe we are very grateful because the ministers of Competitiveness of the European Union (EU)gave recently their support to all European articles, publicly funded or public-private are accessible free of charge for 2020. Thus, the member states of the European Union want to ensure that the knowledge generated by our scientists can be reused. It is proposed that European scientists should not be judged by the number of produced publications but by the social impact of their work. .
The first thing that came up when we read the new, it is the potential great economic profit linked to the scientific progress.
If citizens invest a portion of our taxes to train technicians, scientists and intellectuals, it would be stupid that the fruit of their labor, it was not available for their financial supporters, for the society. Anyone would not conceal the knowledge generated by our scientists to the rest of our scientists and this way, slowing the natural progress of science itself, based on the sum of efforts. Something that perfectly sums up the famous quote of Isaac Newton ” If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”
We congratulate ourselves and , on the other hand, we should think about the long road that we still have to walk in. Let´s think in the amount of money (millions and millions of euros) spent by our administrations in privative software. Knowledge not accessible for us. Let´s imagine the technological growth that would cause a measure announced such as the one applied to the software´s world. Hopefully, the time will come when we can finally announce that the European Union definitely commits to free software, and it will stop spending on licenses to invest in knowledge. Scientific knowledge, also at the level of software, can be reused.
It is a great moment to remember the sadly deceased Aaron Swartz. If we can congratulate ourselves today for this new is thanks to people like Aaron, who decided to face the perverse logic that knowledge should not be freely accessible.