Open access and the Academic Spring continues to blossom in the U.K.

Edward Fullbrook | Real-World Economics Review Blog | July 17, 2012

The Academic Spring has seen four major developments in the last 32 hours.

  1. The United Kingdom government announced that by 2014 all publicly funded scientific research papers would be immediately available for anyone to read for free.  This is being called “the most radical shakeup of academic publishing since the invention of the internet“.  The payoff for society will be incalculably huge.
  2. Research Councils UK, a coalition of the UK’s biggest research funders, has announced that henceforth it will require true open access that allows free commercial reuse.
  3. The Higher Education Funding Council for England announced plans to require open access in all publications evaluated for the Research Evaluation Framework, i.e. to be counted towards promotion and departmental research funding.  This in the UK will have the immediate effect of achieving Harvard’s goal to “move prestige to open access” journals.
  4. This is the biggest of all.  A few minutes ago the European Commission, which controls one of the world’s largest science budgets, backed calls for free access to all publicly funded research...