UK Plans To Make All Government-Funded Research Free To The Public Immediately Upon Publication
from the groundbreaking dept
Of course, some people take offense to any such exclusivity, seeing as we're still talking about taxpayer-funded research. Over in the UK, it appears that they're going to go completely in favor of open access, with a plan requiring immediate free access to any taxpayer-funded research. That's big news.
Unfortunately, not all of the details sounds as good. The proposal tries to make the journals okay with this by forcing researchers to pay an "article processing charge" for each paper they publish, and it sounds like some of those funds go back to the publishers. But, of course, that's putting more of the cost on the universities that fund the research, and there's reasonable fear that this will lead those universities to ration out how many publications are "allowed." Many open access advocates preferred a different plan, that still involved academics doing deals with journals, but which also allowed them to publish the works online. The publishers, of course, weren't happy with that plan.
More open access is definitely a good thing, but I worry about any sort of plan that involves an explicit attempt to prop up a legacy industry that doesn't want to adapt. That seems very likely to create economic waste and to be abused at the cost of the public.