Open Access Is Spreading—But Is It Really Open Access?

Glyn Moody | TechDirt | December 19, 2011

The latest big boost to open access has come from in UK government's "Innovation and research strategy for growth" (pdf), which says:

"The Government, in line with our overarching commitment to transparency and open data, is committed to ensuring that publicly-funded research should be accessible free of charge. Free and open access to taxpayer-funded research offers significant social and economic benefits by spreading knowledge, raising the prestige of UK research and encouraging technology transfer. At the moment, such research is often difficult to find and expensive to access. This can defeat the original purpose of taxpayer-funded academic research and limits understanding and innovation. We have already committed, in our response to Ian Hargreaves’s review of intellectual property, to facilitate data mining of published research. This could have substantial benefits, for example in tackling diseases. But we need to go much further if, as a nation, we are to gain the full potential benefits of publicly-funded research."

That sounds like great news. But one of the leading proponents of openness in science, Peter Murray-Rust, thinks that the open access movement is being short-changed with existing open access publications. His concerns arose when he attended the annual general meeting of the UK version of PubMed Central, which is "a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the US National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM)"...