UK Presses Ahead with Open-Access Policy | GenomeWeb Daily News | GenomeWeb 2012-05-28


“The UK's biggest biomedical research funders are starting to get serious about making the results from science they have paid for more widely and easily available by expanding and strengthening their open-access policies. The Research Councils UK and the Wellcome Trust are leading a movement toward enhanced open-access policies, developing new plans to expand availability of the results of the science that they fund and to increase compliance with those policies. RCUK, which includes the Medical Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, among others, plans in the coming months to issue a revamped policy for access to scholarly papers to the one it adopted in 2006. That policy maintained that grantees should make their research outputs available through an e-print repository, such as UK PubMed Central, or UKPMC. Now, the RCUK is planning to have researchers deposit their papers in a suitable, agreed-upon time period, and they will use a 'pay-to-publish' model that provides funds to grantees to cover the costs of publishing. The RCUK also plans other changes, such as not accepting embargo periods given by publishers, and stipulating that an embargo period can be no more than six months for most hard science research, in order to keep the research results from being hidden from the public. The Wellcome Trust also is planning changes that would firm up its policy on open access. Currently, the Trust requires that electronic copies of research that have been accepted in peer-reviewed journals be made available through UKPMC or PudMed Central within six months of the journal's official publication. It also provides funding to cover open access charges, and it requires authors and publishers to license research papers so that they may be re-used freely. The trouble with the current approach is that not enough researchers are following the rules, according to Robert Kiley, Wellcome Trust's head of digital services. Kiley told GenomeWeb Daily News in a recent interview that the compliance rate for its open-access policy is currently around 55 percent, meaning only a little over half of the science it funds is landing reliably in open-access publications. ‘We're not really happy with this state of affairs. We believe the best way to maximize the impact of our research spending is for papers to be made open-access. So, we have announced that we plan to start getting tougher with the researchers,’ Kiley told GWDN. The institute's new plans most likely will include a policy to activate only a researcher's new grants after their previously funded projects have been made open-access — in effect, telling applicants that ‘open-access is not an option, it is a requirement,’ he said. Another likely change would make institutions accountable for their researchers, by withholding some percentage of funding from institutions that fail to ensure that their researchers have complied with the open-access publishing requirements, Kiley said. Kiley said, at some time in the near future, probably in 2013, the Wellcome Trust will shift to a creative commons, attribution-only license model, under which it will only make payments to publishers, such as Elsevier or the Public Library of Science, if the publisher makes the research available for use and reuse by the research community. Under the creative commons license plan, anyone in the world may republish an article, including for some commercial uses, so long as they attribute it to the original publication and author... ‘The best way we can maximize the use of that research is by allowing anyone and everyone to make use of that content,’ and to use it for commercial purposes, Kiley explained. The movement to shift UK-funded science towards open-access may have recently received greater attention because Cambridge University Professor of Mathematics Tim Gowers spurred a boycott campaign against Elsevier that has now gained over 11,000 signees. Early this year, Gowers published a highly critical post against Elsevier on a blog, explaining that he refuses to publish with Elsevier primarily because, they ‘charge exorbitantly high prices for subscriptions to individual journals,’ force universities to buy ‘bundles’ of journals to access ones they require, and support measures such as the Research Works Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act, which are viewed by open-access and transparency advocates as restricting the free exchange of information. Those Gowers supporters who have joined the Elsevier boycott say that they will not publish with Elsevier, referee for them, do editorial work with them, or all three. At the same time that this ground-up open-access effort is growing, pressure also is coming from the government, as UK Minister of State for Universities and Science David Willetts has sent strong signals that some form of enhanced open-access policy is likely to be the norm very soon. Last year, Willetts set up the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings, also called The Finch Committee, to study open-access policies and m



08/16/2012, 06:08

From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) »


oa.medicine oa.pubmed oa.business_models oa.publishers oa.licensing oa.comment oa.government oa.mandates oa.usa oa.legislation oa.rwa oa.nih oa.advocacy oa.signatures oa.petitions oa.boycotts oa.elsevier oa.copyright oa.deposits oa.peer_review oa.usage oa.sustainability oa.funders oa.fees oa.wellcome oa.embargoes oa.rcuk oa.citations oa.funds oa.compliance oa.biomedicine oa.elife oa.altmetrics oa.finch_report oa.metrics oa.libre oa.policies oa.journals oa.economics_of oa.repositories



Date tagged:

05/28/2012, 19:43

Date published:

05/09/2012, 14:21