Open Access News

News from the open access movement


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

OA momentum

R. Prasad, Open access to research papers gets a boost, The Hindu, July 20, 2006. Excerpt:
Of what use are papers if they get locked up and are not widely and freely available? More so, if the research has been funded by the government. Despair not. A paradigm shift is happening in the way research findings that get published in any journal subscription based or otherwise, become available. A bill tabled in the United States Senate Federal research Public Access Act of 2006 when passed, will enable federally funded research work that gets published in subscription journals to become freely and widely available to anybody....

The U.S. is not the only country to take this view. The case for making free access to results of government-funded research published in journals, is gaining momentum in other countries and by many funding agencies. In April this year, the European Union Commission urged funding agencies to guarantee open access to results carried out using the Commission's funds. In the U.K., the Executive Group of Research Councils UK (RCUK) issued a draft position statement last month on making research work funded by them freely accessible on the Internet....

Providing free access to papers has been the basis around which 'open access' journals such as the PloS Biology and PLoS Medicine were started in 2003....In an announcement last month, PloS stated that the author's fee has been hiked from $1,500 to 2,500 in the case of PLoS Biology, PLoS Medicine and PLoS Clinical Trials. A news item in Nature published online on June 22...stressed with glee that PLoS lost almost $1 million last year and that its total income from fees and advertising covered just 35 per cent of the total cost....While many agencies are already ear-marking funds for the 'author pays' concept, the new thrust by governments and funding agencies will mean that more and more authors will stand to gain from the funding agencies' largesse....

The Royal Society, which till recently was one of the most vociferous critics of making published papers freely available, has already demonstrated its willingness to adapt itself....If implemented well, it will turn out to be a win-win situation for all.