OA Working Group comment on the RCUK policy

From: Stevan Harnad <harnad_at_ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2005 18:45:20 +0100

I suspect that Peter Suber had more than a small hand in this excellent,
spot-on overview, endorsement and recommendation to the RCUK, from the
Open Access Working Group (of which Peter is a member).
This is from Peter Suber's Open Access News (today):

    The Open Access Working Group
    has publicly released its August 23 comment
    on the draft RCUK policy.


        "We believe that open-access research dissemination is an
        indispensable part of the overall remedy to the serious problems
        now facing the system of scholarly communication. Moreover,
        open access is a necessary ingredient in any plan to fully
        realize the social benefits of scientific advances. While these
        advantages are important no matter the source of the funding,
        it is particularly critical when the research is publicly funded
        and the resulting output is a public good....Implementation of
        [the draft] policy will result in taxpayers gaining immediate,
        full and direct access to the research for which they have already
        paid. Moreover, such a policy will increase the return on the
        government's investment in this research; as a result of deposit
        the research becomes more accessible, discoverable, sharable, and
        for these reasons, more useful, than toll-access research....We
        are particularly pleased to note that the Research Council's
        policy requires grantees to deposit final published articles,
        greatly enhancing the policy's chances for successfully achieving
        these important goals and ensuring maximum participation....To
        further ensure the success of this policy, we would suggest that
        the Research Councils consider revising the section of the policy
        that specifically relates to the timing of the deposit of research
        materials. [The current language in paragraph 14.b] language
        seems to allow publishers, in cases where they have become the
        copyright-holder, to object to deposit or to demand long delays
        or embargoes prior to deposit or public release. We encourage
        the Research Councils to close this loophole before the final
        draft is finished to ensure that deposit does indeed occur at
        the desired point, at or around the time of publication. We note
        that the draft policy exempts researchers from the requirement
        to deposit their research in instances where they do not have
        access to an institutional or disciplinary repository. We hope
        that the Research Councils will implement strategies to encourage
        the development of repositories in the U.K. in a manner that
        makes deposit available to all researchers."

    The OAWG members who signed this comment are the American Association
    of Law Libraries (AALL), the American Library Association (ALA),
    the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL), the
    Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), the Association
    of Research Libraries (ARL), the Medical Library Association (MLA),
    Public Knowledge (PK), and the Scholarly Publication and Academic
    Resources Coalition (SPARC). I participated in the drafting of
    this comment.

    Posted by Peter Suber at 9/02/2005 08:54:00 AM.
Received on Fri Sep 02 2005 - 20:00:40 BST

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