United Kingdom's open access policy urgently needs a tweak
D-Lib Magazine, 18, (9/10), Autumn Issue (doi:10.1045/september2012-harnad).
The UK government, under the joint influence of the publisher lobby and short-sighted advice from Open Access (OA) advocates, has decided to make all UK research output OA within two years by diverting funds from UK research to pay publishers extra for (Gold) OA publishing, over and above what the UK (and the rest of the world) already pays publishers for journal subscriptions. This would merely be a needless waste of UK's scarce research funds in exchange for OA, instead of strengthening the UK's existing mandate for cost-free (Green) OA self-archiving. But the UK has also been persuaded to require researchers to pick and pay for Gold OA, instead of leaving the Green/Gold choice to them. This requirement needs to be dropped to prevent perverse consequences, both locally and globally, for both the UK and OA.
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