In December 2005 a Task Force on Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics was set up, and it produced its report in June 2006. Its main conclusion was that a sponsorship model was the most appropriate for the transition period to full Open Access.
The present meeting was called to discuss the formation of a consortium (SCOAP3) that could coordinate this sponsorship. Representatives from major European particle physics funding agencies, library consortia and the research community attended.
In the past year, many more physics publishers have introduced Open Access options of one kind or another. It is fairly clear that these moves have been a direct consequence of the discussion on Open Access in the particle physics research community.
The maintenance of a peer-review system for quality assurance, currently carried out by the publishers, was felt to be an essential element to preserve in the transition to Open Access.
A move to full Open Access, rather than the hybrid variety currently proposed by several publishers, was also felt to be desirable, in order to avoid multiple payments for the same service.
Detailed statistics on the publication of particle physics articles written in year 2005 were presented. Breakdowns both by journal and by country of author affiliation led to preliminary estimates of what could constitute a "fair share" model for financial contributions.
It was felt that a successful move to full Open Access publishing in particle physics could lead the way to a similar move in other research areas. The following decisions were taken unanimously by the meeting:
1) That all participants would discuss in their own countries/organisations the setting up of such a consortium;
2) An interim working party was established, composed from those present;
3) This interim working party agreed to produce a progress report by 15th January 2007;
4) By the end of February 2007, decisions to join SCOAP3 should be taken.
These dates were fixed by working back from a proposed start of full Open Access particle physics publishing by January 2008. A six-month period was stated to be needed before this for the tendering process with publishers. This rather stringent timescale was adopted in order to be ready for the start-up of the LHC at CERN.