Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, May 01, 2004

More on the Wellcome Trust report

Mark Walport, The paperless revolution in knowledge, Financial Times, April 30, 2004. The director of the Wellcome Trust summarizes its new report on open-access publishing. Excerpt: "Another issue is that once copyright is surrendered, anyone wanting to look at that research in the future, including the researchers and the body that funded them, must pay whether they read the paper journals or access them online. Thus, the Wellcome Trust, which funds £400m of research a year, is denied opportunities to disseminate the results of studies it funds. The National Health Service is a big funder of medical research. Some 90 per cent of the findings are published on the internet but the NHS must pay subscriptions to journals to read many of the results. The taxpayer paid for the research and will pay again for researchers to use it. There is an alternative: an extra 1 per cent of the research grant could be passed to the researchers who would use it to pay for their work to be published on online peer-reviewed journals that are freely available to anyone. It retains all the essential peer-review quality control of the old system but maximises the availability of research results....A report launched today by the Wellcome Trust, available to everyone at shows that publishing a paper in the traditional way costs between £800 and £1,500. Under open access, the cost is £550 to £1,100. The report shows this is an efficient, affordable and high quality model sustainable for the long term."