19 June 2012
The Guardian, by Alok Jha
Transition to open access could cost £60m a year but bring benefits for UK economy and increase efficiency of research
Making all the UK's publicly funded scientific research free for anyone to read could cost up to £60m per year, according to an independent study commissioned by the government. Professor Dame Janet Finch, who led the work, said "open access" was the future for academic publishing and that the short-term transition costs she had identified should reduce over time as more articles became freely available and the journal subscription costs currently paid by university libraries fell.
Prof Finch, a sociologist at the University of Manchester, was asked by the government to consult academics and publishers on how the UK could make the scientific research funded by taxpayers available free of charge while maintaining high standards of peer review and without undermining the UK's successful publishing industry.
"In the longer term, the future lies with open access publishing," said Finch at the launch of her report on Monday. "The UK should recognise this change, should embrace it and should find ways of managing it in a measured way."
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