Monday, 16 July 2012

UK government announces liberated open-access policy

Remarkable, this should be done every where: U.K. government has announced plans to make all scientific journal articles on research founded by British taxpayers free: ..."From April 2013, science papers must be made free to access within six months of publication if they come from work paid for by one of the United Kingdom’s seven government-funded grant agencies, the research councils, which together spend about £2.8 billion (US$4.4 billion) each year on research.
The policy, announced this morning by the agencies’ umbrella body Research Councils UK (RCUK), makes clear that researchers should shun science journals that don’t allow authors to follow this mandate.
Also this morning, the UK government formally welcomed the Finch report into open access (which it had commissioned). Its response makes clear that RCUK’s new policy is the driving force for change.
RCUK hasn’t said how it will sanction those who don’t comply. (Astrid Wissenberg, who chairs the RCUK Impact Group, tells Nature that it will be looking to push to “75% compliance over a number of years”). But if it does rigorously enforce the policy, that will mark a dramatic shift for scientists, publishers and universities — perhaps the most significant change on the ground since Britain’s science minister David Willetts began discussing how to improve access to research papers more than a year ago."
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