First LHC physics results published. Open Access.

There is great excitement in the High-Energy Physics community for the successful start of the operations of the LHC collider. This scientific watershed is relevant for the Open Access community as well: the first LHC physics results, from the ALICE Collaboration, have just been published by Springer in the European Physical Journal C. This article is Open Access and is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Recently, another group working at the LHC, the CMS collaboration, prepared 23 articles describing the performance of their experimental apparatus. These are submitted to arXiv.org, and they will also appear as Open Access publications on the SISSA/IOPp Journal of Instrumentation.

These articles signify once more the commitment of the LHC experimental teams, counting about 10’000 scientists from over 80 countries, to privilege Open Access for the dissemination of their scientific results. They also testify the willingness of publishers in the field to engage with the community and devise win-win solutions which accommodate Open Access options without charging fees to authors, while waiting for the SCOAP3 model to become operational.

While these articles appeared Open Access thanks to special agreements between publishers and CERN, the host laboratory of the LHC, the SCOAP3 effort aims to convert all the literature of the field to Open Access, at no costs for authors. A budget envelope of 10 Million Euros/year is estimated for the operation, and over 65% of these funds have been so far pledged by partners in 23 countries.

We hope to soon welcome more partners in Asia, South America and among U.S. libraries of all sizes in order to proceed to the next phase of the initiative: a call for tender to publishers to provide Open Access and peer-review to all publication of the field, for first results of the LHC and beyond.