Australia’s chief scientist takes on the journal publishers gatekeeping knowledge | Australia news | The Guardian

peter.suber's bookmarks 2024-03-14


"Her world-first open access model, recently finalised for the federal government, would provide a centralised digital library for all Australians to access research papers free of charge, as long as they had a MyGov account or were in education. It is currently under departmental consideration....

Open access rates are steadily increasing – as of 2023, four in 10 papers Australian papers were closed, compared with six in 10 the previous decade. But the country still has not caught up internationally.

There are 134 countries that rank higher than Australia on Curtin University’s open access dashboard, including the UK and large parts of Europe, which have sweeping requirements that publicly funded research be freely available at an additional author fee.

In Australia, just two national funding agencies – the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Australian Research Council (ARC) – require publications from funded research be made freely available, with loopholes for legal and contractual arrangements. Only half of government-listed universities have an open access policy or statement.

Foley’s model would go further, democratising the system by making Australia the first country in the world to have a single relationship with all publishers.

She says the cost would be low, pooling together Australia’s estimated half a billion spent annually on subscriptions, similar to how medicine is subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

But it relies on universities, publishers, stakeholders and the federal government to agree.


Elsevier is on board. A spokesperson says they’ve been “working constructively” with Foley and “stands ready to support her vision”."


From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » peter.suber's bookmarks

Tags: oa.australia oa.publishers oa.subscriptions oa.policies

Date tagged:

03/14/2024, 14:57

Date published:

03/14/2024, 10:57