21 May 2012

EU and World Bank provide boost for open access

The European Union has thrown its weight behind a transition to open access for publicly-funded research outputs, with a proposed requirement for all peer-reviewed research funded under the EU Horizon 2020 programme to be made freely available.

This will mean all researchers receiving funding from the EUR80 billion Horizon programme between 2014 and 2020 will be expected to publish either in an open access journal, or in a journal that allows a version to be deposited in a repository. This is currently the case for some projects in the EU FP7 programme, under the OpenAIRE pilot.

THE reports the latest move to back open access in the article 'Muscle from Brussels as open access gets an €80bn boost'

This follows a recent announcement from the World Bank on its plans for a new open access policy to be implemented in July 2012. The World Bank launched its Open Knowledge Repository in April and will use the repository to publish research including books, journal articles and data under a Creative Commons licence.

International petition in support of open access

A White House 'We the People' petition has been posted to gather international support for open access to scholarly articles arising from publicly-funded research. If the petition receives 25,000 signatures in 30 days, the US Administration must issue an official response.

The petition to the Obama administration states:

"We believe in the power of the Internet to foster innovation, research, and education. Requiring the published results of taxpayer-funded research to be posted on the Internet in human and machine readable form would provide access to patients and caregivers, students and their teachers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and other taxpayers who paid for the research. Expanding access would speed the research process and increase the return on our investment in scientific research.

The highly successful Public Access Policy of the National Institutes of Health proves that this can be done without disrupting the research process, and we urge President Obama to act now to implement open access policies for all federal agencies that fund scientific research."

Calls for action have appeared on Twitter with the tag #OAMonday, and on the morning of the petition's launch (Monday 21 April 2012) over 500 signatures had already been added.

See the petition at https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions/%21/petition/require-free-access-over-internet-scientific-journal-articles-arising-taxpayer-funded-research/wDX82FLQ
(requires a White House account to sign)

16 May 2012

EPSRC reminder on open access

EPSRC has published a reminder to grant holders that published research arising from EPSRC funding must be made openly accessible by any available route.

"The current EPSRC policy requires that all published research articles arising from EPSRC-sponsored research, and which were submitted for publication on or after 1 September 2011, must become available on an Open Access basis through any appropriate route."

There is advice to St Anderws researchere on our Library web pages on how to comply with the EPSRC and other RCUK open access policies.

The EPSRC reminder also indicates that the RCUK policy will be further developed in the context of advice from a UK Government Working Group on Expanding Access. We will update our advice as necessary when new details are available.

3 May 2012

UK Government minister's support for open access

The Government Minister for universities and science, David Willets, made a significant speech yesterday in support of a transition to open access. Speaking to the Publishers Association, he made strong statements of intent to ensure sustainable models are found to make publicly funded research available to the public.

There is a useful analysis of the speech in a blog by scientist Stephen Curry.

This follows a month where open access has made front page news in the Guardian and has been the subject of numerous news stories by the BBC, The Economist, Times Higher Education and more. The UK PubMed Central blog provides a round-up of some of these stories.

The Government's commissioned report looking into options for enabling open access is due in the next few weeks, and will no doubt spur further debate.