14 September saw the International Association of STM publishers (STM) issue a response to the EC’s proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which flies in the face of LERU’s views contained in its own Press Release. Amongst other things, STM is calling for the extension of ancillary copyright to cover academic publishing, implying that they will take legal action if this does not happen. The omission of scientific publishers from the scope of the Directive is labelled ‘disappointing, unwarranted and potentially discriminatory’. Ancillary copyright in this case would extend copyright protection, not allowing academics and universities freely to link to/use the world of information on the Internet, placing publishers in control of the information environment. LERU rejects this as counter to academic freedom and to the EC’s vison for Open Science. It would be a black day for Europe if STM’s suggested extension of copyright protection were adopted.
Today, the European Commission has presented its legislative proposal to update the EU framework on copyright. LERU is very pleased to see that the EC has finally included the much needed mandatory exception for Text and Data Mining in the proposed Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market. This exception will allow Europe to further develop its research potential so as to remain competitive in the global landscape. Although it is clear that there is much room for improvement in the draft directive, LERU believes that this is a first step in the good direction and calls on the other institutions involved in the legislative procedure (European Parliament and Council) to strengthen and widen the exception so as to ensure that it will be good for research but also good enough for innovation.
Just a few months short of his scheduled end of term as President of the University of Strasbourg and Chairman of LERU, Prof. Alain Beretz has been appointed as the Director-General for Research and Innovation at the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research in Paris.
To forge better links not only between university research laboratories but also with companies, there should be more room for bottom-up, collaborative research in the EU’s framework research programme – specifically in Horizon 2020’s pillars II and III.
Professor Sarah Whatmore FBA has been appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) at the University of Oxford.
Mathematician Hester Bijl will be appointed Vice-Rector Magnificus and member of the Executive Board of Leiden University with effect from 1 November 2016. She succeeds Simone Buitendijk.
The League of European Research Universities (LERU), one of the strongest collaborations of leading research universities in the world, regrets the outcome of the recent UK referendum. With 21 members across 10 countries, LERU nonetheless respects the result as the democratic will of the British people.
From 10 to 15 July 2016, Leiden University and Leiden University Medical Center will host the 7th LERU Doctoral Summer School, a yearly event for PhD students of LERU partners. The theme of the 2016 Summer School is ‘Data Stewardship for Scientific Discovery and Innovation’.
Hosted in a different European city every two years, ESOF is a unique international and multidisciplinary event which presents and discusses the frontiers of scientific and technological research in Europe.
On 20 June 2016 the EC's High Level Expert Group on the European Open Science Cloud, on which LERU was represented by Dr Paul Ayris (UCL) and Prof Barend Moons (Leiden University), published its draft Report. This is the product of months of deliberation and discussion amongst the Group's international membership.