UK to make academic research available free on the Net
May 3, 2012 | Source: BBC News
The UK plans to give the public access to academic research via the Internet free of charge.
Science Minister David Willetts outlined details of the plan in an article in the Guardian newspaper ahead of a speech to the Publishers Association. He noted that the state currently spent about £5bn a year funding university studies.
The announcement followed a campaign dubbed the “academic spring” in which thousands of researchers pledged to boycott journals that restricted the free sharing of information.
The minister outlined two possible models: universities and others fund the research cover the costs of the review process, or publishers restrict access for a limited time, to recoup costs, before a wider release.
If implemented, the action is likely to mean huge cost savings for academic libraries, which currently spend about £200m a year accessing UK-based and international research published in journals and databases .