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Thursday, 21st March 2013

UK: The implementation of open access

Source: House of Lords Science and Technology Committee (UK)

From Summary:

The growth of open access publishing—specifically, making peer-reviewed journal articles available online at no cost to readers—is revolutionising communication of the results of research. The Government commissioned an independent working group to consider how to expand access to publicly-funded research (the Finch Group) and Research Councils UK (RCUK) revised its policy on open access following the report of this group. The revised policy has caused considerable concern in both the publishing and academic communities. Publishers are worried about specific requirements of the policy. Learned societies fear they will lose a valuable income stream which they use to support their respective academic communities. Academics are concerned about the policy taking a “one size fits all” approach, and possible unintended consequences such as lessening the quality of peer review, restricting ability to collaborate and limiting freedom to publish in the best journals. Both communities have expressed frustration that they were not adequately consulted about the policy.

In the light of these concerns, we conducted a short inquiry to consider the plans for implementation of RCUK’s open access policy, with a view to offering recommendations to inform RCUK’s revision of its policy guidance.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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