Monday, July 16, 2012

British Government suddenly recovers sanity

The government is to unveil controversial plans to make publicly funded scientific research immediately available for anyone to read for free by 2014, in the most radical shakeup of academic publishing since the invention of the internet.
Under the scheme, research papers that describe work paid for by the British taxpayer will be free online for universities, companies and individuals to use for any purpose, wherever they are in the world.
In an interview with the Guardian before Monday’s announcement David Willetts , the universities and science minister, said he expected a full transformation to the open approach over the next two years.
The move reflects a groundswell of support for “open access” publishing among academics  who have long protested that journal publishers make large profits by locking research  behind online paywalls. “If the taxpayer has paid for this research to happen, that work shouldn’t be put behind a paywall before a British citizen can read it,” Willetts said.
“This will take time to build up, but within a couple of years we should see this fully feeding through.”

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