Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Open Access Science

European science news:
Research funders from France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and eight other European nations have unveiled a radical open-access initiative that could change the face of science publishing in two years. . . .

The 11 agencies, who together spend €7.6 billion (US$8.8 billion) in research grants annually, say they will mandate that, from 2020, the scientists they fund must make resulting papers free to read immediately on publication. The papers would have a liberal publishing licence that would allow anyone else to download, translate or otherwise reuse the work. “No science should be locked behind paywalls!” says a preamble document that accompanies the pledge, called Plan S, released on 4 September. . . .

As written, Plan S would bar researchers from publishing in 85% of journals, including influential titles such as Nature and Science.
About time, I would say. Scientific journals were founded to speed the distribution of scientific results, but now they spend most of their energy trying to limit access. I think this is especially annoying when the money for the research comes from the government; when the taxpayers pay for science, they have a right to read the results.

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