Sant Joan d’Alacant Declaration in defense of Open Access to scientific publications, by the group of editors of Spanish journals on health sciences (GERECS)

The concept of Open Access (OA) not only has to do with accessibility to the scientific document, but also with restrictive reuse permissions depending on the distribution reserved rights. From this idea, numerous initiatives emerged, with or without profit, to facilitate universal access through the Internet to scientific publications.

Projects such as Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO, 1998), The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC, 1998), PubMed Central (PMC, 2000), The Public Library of Science (PLOS, 2000) or BioMed Central (BMC, 2001), were pioneers of a revolution that would rethink the commercial strategies of scientific publishing. Others such as Dialnet (2001), Red de Revistas Científicas de América Latina y el Caribe, España y Portugal (Redalyc, 2003) and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ, 2003), would also extend the open access movement and help the process of globalization of knowledge in the scientific communities of the Ibero-America.

The first Declarations that laid the foundations for the future development of open access were: the Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002), Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) and Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (2003), the latter considered as the declaration of principles for the health sciences.

On the other hand, manifestos have been promoted, usually driven in meetings of editors of scientific journals that proposed some recommendations for the correct development of open access to science. In Spain, we could cite the Alhambra Declaration (2010), which provided recommendations for the policies and action plan for the development of open access in southern Europe. More recent and in the Latin American scope, the Statement of the First Consortium Assembly from Ibero-America and the Caribbean (2017) was drawn up, which among its recommendations discusses the deviation of the concept of Open Access due to the growing appearance of paid journals for publication with prices sometimes abusive (APC, Article Processing Charges) with the Open Access label.

The last conference in Amsterdam, “Open Science – From Vision to Action” (2016) formulated two important pan-European objectives to be achieved in the year 2020:

  • Full Open Access for all scientific publications.
  • A new approach oriented towards the optimal reuse of research data.

To achieve these objectives, the application of new evaluation and reward systems for scientific works and the generation of good practice policies were proposed.

In this line, the ministers of science of the nations of the European Union agreed, in the session held on May 27, 2016, on the document The transition towards an Open Science system – Council conclusions, recommending that the publications resulting from the research financed with Public funds are available free of charge in the year 2020, for which each country must implement its own publication policy.

This agreement underlines that the principle for the optimal reuse of research data should be “as open as possible, as closed as necessary” and emphasizes that opportunities for the optimal reuse of research data can only be accomplished if the data are consistent with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable) within a safe and reliable environment.

Thus, the European Open Science Policy Platform, at its third meeting in March 2017, adopted the following recommendations:

  • The interested communities, the Member States and the European Commission should jointly evaluate and identify how the Open Access 2020 mandate should be achieved.
  • Progress towards a complete OA should consider the speed with which the publication system changes and how academic communications grow in richness and variety.
  • There is no single solution, although the goal for all disciplines may be the same. Issues related to compliance, including incentives and enforcement, should be proposed, clarified and harmonized in a manner that is sensitive to all disciplines.
  • The options of payment terms for the publication should be clear and easily located in the conditions established by each journal.
  • Starting in 2020, the European Commission must move towards a broader definition of OA, which incorporates the full range of formats and emerging applications as a result of scientific research.

Taking into account all the aforementioned, aware of the future changes that the editors of the Spanish journals on health sciences will have to assume, they propose the following recommendations and requests:

  1. Adhere to the criteria emanating from the March 2017 meeting of the European Open Science Policy Platform.
  2. Encourage our institutions to support Expression of Interest OA2020 ( and, consequently, sign its principles.
  3. Urge research agencies at the national level to implement scientific policies that require their researchers to deposit their publications in institutional repositories.
  4. Taking into account the social commitment of journals in OA with the accessibility of knowledge, including citizenship, the recognition as academic/professional merit is requested for publication in open access journals that are indexed in platforms committed to excellence, such as SciELO, Redalyc or DOAJ.

Also, in line with the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA, 2012), the editors of health sciences journals consider it necessary to support the adoption of the following practices:

  1. Reduce the emphasis of the impact index, or other metrics based on indicators on the journal in which it was published, as a personal promotion tool.
  2. Promote new indicators related to the scientific content of the article instead of metrics on the journal in which it was published.

Sant Joan d’Alacant,Spain, November 25, 2017


  • Javier Sanz-Valero
    Editor-in-chief of the journal Medicina y Seguridad del Trabajo. Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Escuela Nacional de Medicina del Trabajo, Madrid, Spain.
  • Remedios Melero Melero
    Member of the work group Acceso Abierto a La Ciencia. Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos (CSIC), Valencia, Spain.
  • Cristina Bojo Canales
    Coordinator of SciELO España. Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Biblioteca Nacional de Ciencias de la Salud, Madrid, Spain.
  • Enrique Perdiguero Gil
    Director of the journal Doctorado. Universidad Miguel Hernández, Elche, Spain.
  • Jesús Manuel Culebras Fernández
    Director of the Journal of Negative and No Positive Results. Asociación para el Progreso de la Medicina, León, Spain.
  • Carmina Wanden-Berghe
    Director of the journal Hospital a Domicilio. Centro Internacional Virtual de Investigación en Nutrición (CIVIN), Alicante, Spain.
  • Maria Dolores Ruiz López
    Editor of the journal Ars Pharmaceutica. Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain.
  • Manuel Amezcua Martínez
    Director of the journal Index de Enfermería. Fundación Index, Granada, Spain.
  • Carlos Alvarez-Dardet
    Director of the journal Gaceta Sanitaria. Sociedad Española de Salud Pública (SESPAS), Barcelona, Spain.
  • Mikel Astrain Gallart
    Director of the journal Dynamis. Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain.
  • María del Mar Vaquero Pérez
    Director of the journal Cirugía Plástica Ibero-Latinoamericana. Federación Ibero-latinoamericana de Cirugía Plástica (FILACP) and Sociedad Española de Cirugía Plástica, Reparadora y Estética (SECPRE), Madrid, Spain.
  • María José López Montesinos
    Director of the journal Enfermería Global. Universidad de Murcia, Murcia, Spain.
  • Manuel Sosa Henríquez
    Director of the journal Osteoporosis y Metabolismo Mineral. Sociedad Española de Investigación Ósea y Metabolismo Mineral (SEIOMM), Madrid, Spain.
  • José Luis Pardal-Refoyo
    Director of the journal ORL. Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.
  • Agustín Romero Medina
    Director of the journal Anales de Psicología. Universidad de Murcia, Murcia, Spain.
  • Elena Primo Peña
    Director of the Biblioteca Nacional de Ciencias de la Salud. Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.
  • Ángel Hernández Merino
    Director of the journal Revista Pediatría de Atención Primaria. Asociación Española de Pediatría de Atención Primaria, Madrid, Spain.
  • Luis Miguel Torres Morera
    Director of the journal Revista de la Sociedad Española del Dolor. Sociedad Española del Dolor, Cádiz, Spain.
  • Antonio Bascones Martínez
    Director of the journal Avances en Odontoestomatología. Ediciones Avances, Madrid, Spain.
  • Fernando Fernandez-Llimos
    Editor-in-chief of the journal Pharmacy Practice. Centro de Investigaciones y Publicaciones Farmacéuticas, Granada, Spain.
  • Mariano Rodriguez Portillo
    Director of the journal Nefrología. Sociedad Española de Nefrología, Santander, Spain.
  • Javier Soldevilla Agreda
    Director of the journal GEROKOMOS. Sociedad Española de Enfermería Geriátrica y Gerontológica, Barcelona, Spain.
  • José Miguel Soriano del Castillo
    Editor-in-chief of the journal Revista Española de Nutrición Humana y Dietética. Fundación Academia Española de Nutrición y Dietética, Pamplona, Spain.
  • Elena Ronda Pérez
    Director of the journal Archivos de Prevención de Riesgos Laborales. Societat Catalana de Salut Laboral, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Martín Rodríguez Álvaro
    Director of the journal ENE Revista de Enfermería. Grupo de enfermería ENE, La Palma, Spain.
  • Jose Manuel Moreno Villares
    Director of the journal Nutrición Hospitalaria. Sociedad Española de Nutrición Parenteral y Enteral (SENPE), Madrid, Spain.
  • Teresa del Campo Balsa
    Director of the journal Revista de la Asociación Española de Especialistas en Medicina del Trabajo. Asociación Española de Especialistas en Medicina del Trabajo, Madrid, Spain.
  • Marta Molina Olivas
    Editor of the journal Revista Española de Salud Pública. Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad. Madrid, Spain.
  • Julián Almaraz Carretero
    Director of the journal Escritos de Psicología. Facultad de Psicología de la Universidad de Málaga, Málaga, Spain.
  • Ernest Abadal
    Editor of the journal BiD. Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
  • Rodolfo Crespo Montero
    Director of the journal Enfermería Nefrológica. Sociedad Española de Enfermería Nefrológica, Madrid, Spain.
  • Ana Dago Martínez
    Director of the journal Pharmaceutical Care España. Fundación Pharmaceutical Care España, Madrid, Spain.

Note: This document is published simultaneously in the journals that have signed the Declaration of Sant Joan d’Alacant of the Group of Editors of Spanish Journals on Health Sciences (GERECS) on November 25, 2017.


Translated from the original in Spanish by the SciELO Team.


Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

GROUP OF EDITORS OF SPANISH JOURNALS ON HEALTH SCIENCES. Sant Joan d’Alacant Declaration in defense of Open Access to scientific publications, by the group of editors of Spanish journals on health sciences (GERECS) [online]. SciELO in Perspective, 2018 [viewed ]. Available from:


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