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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Research Councils UK: Open Access Position Announcement

Research Councils UK: Open Access Position Announcement

Today the Research Council UK, published an updated position paper on improved access to research outputs. RCUK is funded by taxpayers money through the Science Budget of the governments Office of Science and Innovation. They are incorporated by Royal Charter and together manage a research budget of over £2.5 billion a year.

The paper reaffirms the Research Councils' commitment to the guiding principles that publicly funded research must be made available and accessible for public examination as rapidly as practical; published research outputs should be effectively peer-reviewed; this must be a cost effective use of public funds; and outputs must be preserved and remain accessible for future generations. However, the RCUK Executive Group has made nojudgmentt as to the most appropriate publishing model.

The position statement covers two aspects of the changing publication landscape; Author-pays publishing and Self-archiving.

It appears that they have held back from the demands made by many, that open access publishing should be required, however will require deposition of articles and research outputs in a repository as designated by the individual research council - although there is no indication of what these may be or who will be running them - although the response to the statement by JISC gives some good indications eg UK PubMed Central.

The importance of quality assurance procedures through peer review are recognised and should remainundiminishedd by this announcement.

Work still needed is to discuss with interested learned societies, the implications for them of self-archiving, and consulting regarding copyright and licensing issues.

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