STM Publishers Welcome Spanish Science Law Press Release

The International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM) today welcomed the balanced legislation in the new Spanish Science Law. “STM applauds the efforts of Spanish government to improve Spanish science with this new law, and in particular the respect for intellectual property rights articulated in Article 37,” said Michael Mabe, CEO of the International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers.

 The Plenary of the House of Representatives adopted the Law on Science, Technology and Innovation by 289 votes in favor, 3 against and no abstentions. The bill updates the 1986 law, Spain’s first scientific legislation after becoming a democracy.

 Article 37 of the wide-ranging bill includes encouragement for the development of open access repositories. It also mandates deposit of research outputs funded by the General Budget of the State in publicly accessible repositories within twelve months of publication. This applies to the authors accepted version of the manuscript, and the bill requires third party agreements such as copyright transfer to be respected.

 “The new law will allow authors to continue to have freedom to publish in journals of their choice and therefore supports the international visibility of Spanish science,” continued Mabe.

 While the bill was being debated, STM asked the Spanish Government, Ministry for Science and Innovation to consider more flexibility in terms of embargo periods for public access. Not every discipline or sub-discipline has the same attitude to material being available before final publication, nor does every discipline have the same pattern of access to scientific articles.

 STM calls on the Spanish government to make funds available to government-funded researchers for open access publication. Publishers are committed to the wide dissemination and unrestricted access to content they publish, on the understanding that services that publishers provide must be paid for in some way. Unfunded mandates for self-archiving have the potential to undermine the sustainability of STM publishing with negative impacts on scholarly communication.

Contact: Kim Beadle, STM, beadle@stm-assoc.org or phone +44 1865 339321

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