The Water Environment Research Foundation today announced a new “open access” initiative that will bring its wastewater and stormwater research results to the forefront of scientific and technical innovation. The new policy, which was vetted with all subscribers through an initial survey and then with a follow-up invitation to comment on the proposal, will go into full effect on July 1, 2009.
Recognizing that its subscribers benefit when elected officials, regulators, and the public have accurate information on which to base funding and regulatory decisions, WERF intends to improve access to its objective research results.
The open access policy has two primary components:
First, all WERF final research report PDF files and hard copy reports remain available exclusively to subscribers, or available for sale to the public, through WERF and its publishing partners for two years. After the initial two years, all WERF final research report PDF files will be “open access,” free to the general public, from the WERF website. (Tools are not part of the open access initiative.)
Second, if the WERF Board of Directors, Research Council, Communications Advisory Committee, or executive director determine that an earlier release of a final research report is in the public’s and subscribers' interest, they will need a majority vote in the affirmative to enact “open access” for that report before the 2-year open access date. Once WERF designates a report as open access, a PDF version of the report will be available, free of charge, on the WERF website....
In November, WERF sent an advisory survey to all subscribing organizations, asking if WERF should make its research reports freely available to the public. Subscribers were generous with their comments....
Open access policies are becoming the new standard for research organizations that want to provide objective and peer-reviewed information to an increasingly interconnected world.
“The amount of misinformation readily available on the internet compels WERF to make its work, among the best that exists, available to all interested parties,” noted one subscriber in his response to the November survey.
A complete copy of the WERF Open Access Policy, adopted by the Board of Directors at their meeting on December 16, 2008, is on the WERF website.
...We are a nonprofit organization that operates with funding from subscribers and the federal government. Our subscribers include wastewater treatment plants, stormwater utilities, and regulatory agencies. Industry, equipment companies, engineers and environmental consultants also lend their support and expertise as subscribers....
Peter Suber at 5/04/2009 09:01:00 PM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.