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HardwareX journal on open source hardware in science launched

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Scientific publishing house Elsevier has just launched the first issue of HardwareX, an open access journal on the free and open-source design, building and customising of scientific infrastructure (hardware). The journal says it is open to input from all scientific, technological and medical disciplines.

To give an impression of the scope of HardwareX: the first issue brings articles on 3D-printed lab equipment, an automatic feeder for animal experiments, a low-power sensor platform for smart cities, an activity datalogger for following arthropods, a plug-and-play WiFi antenna, IoT metering devices for smart and energy-efficient school buildings, and an FPGA-based implementation of a face detection algorithm.

Free sharing

In May 2016, the EU Competitiveness Council announced [1, 2] that from 2020 onwards all articles on the results of publicly (co-)funded scientific research will have to be freely accessible.

Research and innovation generate economic growth and jobs, and provide solutions to societal challenges — and that means a stronger Europe, said Sander Dekker, the Netherlands Undersecretary for Education, Culture and Science. To achieve that, Europe must be as attractive as possible for researchers and start-ups to locate here and for companies to invest. That calls for knowledge to be freely shared.

Open science

Another requirement for public funding will be that the underlying research data — whenever reasonably possible — will also have to be made available for easy re-use (as open data).

This and other measures are all part of a transition to a European Open Science system, in which publishing research papers will no longer be the only way to measure the value of scientific output.

With a total budget of EUR 80 billion, Horizon 2020, the eighth European Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP) is the world's largest cross-border programme. In addition to impact, cooperation and excellence, openness is becoming more and more important as a factor influencing decisions to grant funding.