UK Research Funders Announce Liberated Open Access Policy
From April 2013, science papers must be made free to access within six months of publication if they come from work paid for by one of the UKâ€™s seven government-funded grant agencies, the research councils, which together spend about Â£2.8 billion each year on research. The policy, announced by the agenciesâ€™ umbrella body Research Councils UK (RCUK), makes clear that researchers should shun science journals which donâ€™t allow authors to follow this mandate.
RCUK hasnâ€™t said how it will sanction those who donâ€™t comply. But if it does rigorously enforce the policy it will mark a dramatic shift for scientists, publishers, and universities â€“ perhaps the most significant change on the ground since Britainâ€™s science minister David Willetts started to discuss how to improve access to research papers more than a year ago.