Re: Will the RCUK support OA?

From: Subbiah Arunachalam <subbiah_a_at_YAHOO.COM>
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2005 00:38:35 +0000

If the research councils in the UK are keen to go
ahead with promoting and implementing OAA and if they
need additional funding for this purpose and if it
does not come from the treasury, then we should
persuade organizations such as the Wellcome Trust and
Andrew Mellon Foundation to provide the funds needed.
After all the funds needed are rather small. We should
also mobilise public support in the UK (and elsewhere)
and persuade taxpayers to demand that research paid
out of their taxes should be made publicly available
for free.


--- Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ECS.SOTON.AC.UK> wrote:
> Re-posted from Peter Suber's Open Access News,
> Thursday 24 March 2005.
> Will the RCUK support OA?
> The UK House of Commons Science and Technology
> Committee
> has issued its report on The Work of the
> Research Councils UK (dated
> March 16 but not released online until March
> 23).
> Ever since the government rejected (November
> 2004) the committee's
> OA recommendations (July 2004),
> we've wondered whether the independent RCUK
> might adopt some of those
> recommendations on its own authority.
> The new committee report is the first official
> sign that the RCUK
> might do just that"
> Excerpt (28, p. 16): 'We have already reported
> on the lengths that
> the Government went to in ensuring that there
> was only one response
> to our Report on scientific publications in
> 2004. The Research
> Councils, to whom many of our recommendations
> were directed, did
> not all share the view of Government expressed
> in the Government
> Response. They have since indicated that they
> are to set out their
> own policy, which is likely to be based on
> principles placing a high
> value on the public accessibility of
> publicly-funded research. Lord
> Sainsbury told us that Research Councils were
> "totally independent"
> in their capacity to make policy on this
> front". He added that, as
> Government funds the Councils, "inevitably
> there is some influence in
> terms of their performance and we have a
> responsibility to monitor
> performance. They are independent. They take
> that independence
> very seriously and, if we overstep the mark,
> they tell us to go
> away". OST confirmed that Research Councils
> were free to implement
> their policy, provided that it was funded from
> within their existing
> allocations. OST is well aware that, given
> Research Councils'
> existing commitments and the levels of funding
> required to pursue
> any change of approach, the Research Councils
> would be unable to
> proceed properly without Government support. In
> view of their
> reliance on Government funding, there is an
> obvious and unhealthy
> difficulty for the Research Councils in arguing
> strongly against
> a reluctance by Government to support a policy
> which the Councils
> believe will be of benefit to the research
> community.'
> Re-posted from Peter Suber's Open Access News,
> Thursday 24 March 2005.

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Received on Sat Mar 26 2005 - 00:38:35 GMT

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