Open Access: Where Are We, What Still Needs To Be Done?

Richard Poynder | Open and Shut? | July 1, 2013

Making Open Access (OA) a reality has proved considerably more difficult and time consuming than OA advocates expected when they started out. It is now 19 years since cognitive scientist Stevan Harnad posted his Subversive Proposal calling on researchers to make their papers freely available on the Web; and it is nearly 12 years since those who took part in the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) coined the term Open Access, and agreed on a definition.  

However, few now doubt that OA is inevitable, and a number of developments this year have served to confirm that. In February, for instance, the US Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) published a memorandum on public access in which it directed federal agencies with more than $100M in R&D expenditures to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication.

Then last month agreement was finally reached in Europe on the details of the next EU research programme. Amongst other things, this will require that papers arising from research the EU funds will have to be made OA.