Willetts 'Should Have Done Open-Access Homework'

Paul Jump | Times Higher Education (THE) | February 14, 2013

'Summer reading lists' no basis for policy, says don

Ministers should avoid making policy "on the basis of their summer reading lists", a senior sector figure has cautioned. The remark by James Wilsdon, professor of science and democracy at the University of Sussex, came after confirmation that the cost-benefit analysis carried out by the government prior to unveiling its open-access policy only examined the likely cost of the various options to the Exchequer.

At a hearing of the Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry into open access last month, David Willetts, minister for universities and science, was asked what analysis his department had carried out. The question followed claims from many academics, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, that the case for a wholesale shift to open access had not been made in their disciplines...