Thursday, July 19, 2012

UK to open up publicly funded research

The UK and the OA advocacy community around the world have been in an uproar for several weeks over the Finch Report. It is still difficult to sort out what it all means, but it is clear that, in whatever form and with whatever funding, OA for publicly funded research is becoming inevitable in the UK.

 This post from the department of Business Innovation and Skills sheds some light on the plan -- links at the bottom of the post lead to the Finch Report and other commentary.

Academics, businesses and the public will get easier access to publicly funded research, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts will announce today.
The Government will widely accept the recommendations in a report on open access by Dame Janet Finch, a move which is likely to see a major increase in the number of taxpayer funded research papers freely available to the public.
Currently most formally published research is only available behind restricted paywalls. Reforms will see publications opened up to a greater audience, providing more opportunities for research and development across a range of sectors. They will also support the commercial exploitation of research, contributing to the Government’s economic growth agenda.
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “Removing paywalls that surround taxpayer funded research will have real economic and social benefits. It will allow academics and businesses to develop and commercialise their research more easily and herald a new era of academic discovery. This development will provide exciting new opportunities and keep the UK at the forefront of global research to drive innovation and growth.”

Among the recommendations that have been accepted by the Government are:
Moving to deliver open access through a ‘gold’ model, where article processing charges are paid upfront to cover the cost of publication.

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