Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, December 24, 2004

More on the UK government response to the OA report

Stevan Harnad, Debate Over Open Access in the U.K., Science Magazine, 306 (2004) p. 2187. A letter to the editor (accessible only to subscribers). Excerpt: 'Daniel Clery's article about open access in the United Kingdom ("Mixed week for open access in the U.K.," News of the Week, 12 Nov., p. 1115) seems to be carrying on a tradition on this topic of drubbing Peter to pox Paul! Clery reports that the U.K. government rejected recommendations on open access from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. The only major recommendation of the committee was to mandate open access self-archiving (i.e., that U.K. researchers must make their published journal articles publicly accessible to all would-be users on their institution's Web sites). Yet no one--members of Parliament, press, publishers, or librarians--seems to be able to stop going on and on about open access publishing (where the author-institution pays for publication per outgoing article instead of the reader-institution paying for subscription per incoming journal), which was not what the committee recommended mandating....Let the next parliamentary recommendation be shorter and clearer and make no mention whatsoever of Paul (open access publishing), and then maybe Peter will stand a fair chance!'