Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, February 19, 2007

OA to increase impact of publicly-funded research

Colin Steele, Profits before public brains trust in push for open research, Canberra Times, February 19, 2007.  A letter to the editor.  (Colin didn't pick the title!)  Excerpt:

[T]o ensure that CSIRO [Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation] "research achieves maximum impact", [we] should note the growing global evidence that maximum impact derives from making research openly accessible.

The Department of Education, Science and Training's accessibility framework, for example, aims to make "it possible for research conducted in Australian higher education providers to be discoverable, accessible and shareable".

These words come from DEST's January 2007 response to the Productivity Commission's draft research report on "Public Support for Science and Innovation". Last week, a petition signed by more than 20,000 researchers, Nobel Prize-winners, librarians and concerned citizens was delivered in Brussels to the European Commissioner for Science and Research supporting policies for free public access to research results.

Such public availability of research includes traditional peer review processes.

Copyright protection of research, as recommended by the DEST-funded OAK Law Project ("Creating a Legal Framework for Copyright Management of Open Access within the Australian Academic and Research Sector"), is more protective of individual and institutional copyright than that allowed by most of the major six-seven multinational commercial science publishers. Publishing by these firms of largely tax payer-funded research have become billion-dollar businesses, which are more focused on increasing profits to shareholders than to the open distribution of knowledge.