UK Government Will Enforce Open Access to Development Research

Alok Jha | The Guardian | July 25, 2012

The results of scientific research that tackles disease, food security issues and poverty in the developing world will become freely available as part of the government's plans to open up access to publicly funded studies. The requirement for open access to development research will be announced on Thursday and apply to all work funded by the Department for International Development (DfID) after 1 November.

The policy will put the department in line with the push for open access across the rest of government. Last week, science minister David Willetts announced that all published scientific research funded by the UK Research Councils would be immediately available for anyone to read free of charge by 2014.

"Even the most groundbreaking research is of no use to anyone if it sits on a shelf gathering dust," said international development secretary Andrew Mitchell. "We will continue to support work that finds new ways to tackle diseases that can wipe out a generation, boost crop yields for poor farmers or increase vitamin A levels in sweet potatoes to help malnourished children. What's just as important, though, is ensuring that these findings get into the hands of those in the developing world who stand to gain most from putting them into practical use."...