Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

UK government response to committee report on OA

The UK government released a new response (dated January 26, released February 1) to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's response (November 8, 2004) to the government's rejection of the committee's report (July 20, 2004) on open access and STM publishing. Excerpt: 'The Government should be supporting the best and most cost effective way possible to channel scientific outputs and at the moment it is not demonstrable that the 'author pays' model is the better system....DTI has not sought to neutralise the views of JISC....The Government has not decided against the author-pays model, but does not want to force a premature transition to a different system. To strongly endorse or reject the author-pays approach would not be in the interests of allowing the market itself to evolve to meet the needs of authors and the wider academic community....The Government recognises the potential benefits of Institutional Repositories and sees them as a significant development worthy of encouragement. But it believes that each Institution has to make its own decision about Institutional Repositories depending on individual circumstances.'

(PS: This response suffers from the same problems as the government's November response. First, it focuses more on OA journals than OA repositories, when the committee report did the reverse. Second, it dismisses the primary recommendation --for mandated OA for taxpayer-funded research through OA repositories-- without addressing the committee's evidence and arguments. In November the committee criticized the government for precisely these two failings, and in this response the government is repeating them.)