UK Research Funders Announce Liberated Open Access Policy

UK Research Funders Announce Liberated Open Access Policy

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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 UK’s seven government-funded grant agencies, the research councils, which together spend about £2.8 billion each year on research. The policy, announced by the agencies’ umbrella body Research Councils UK (RCUK), makes clear that researchers should shun science journals which don’t allow authors to follow this mandate.

RCUK hasn’t said how it will sanction those who don’t comply. But if it does rigorously enforce the policy it will mark a dramatic shift for scientists, publishers, and universities – perhaps the most significant change on the ground since Britain’s science minister David Willetts started to discuss how to improve access to research papers more than a year ago.

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