Call for comments on RCUK’s new Open Access policy
March 30, 2012
Research Councils UK is the aggregate of the UK’s seven research councils, which makes it overall the most important and influential funding body for science in Britain. A few days ago, they released a draft of their new open access policy, and they are soliciting comments now. Comments can be from anyone — individuals or groups, British or overseas — like the recent OSTP Request For Information in the States which we have to assume was influential in the defeat of the RWA.
What does the new draft policy say? I urge you to read it yourself: its only six pages, and they are very clear. To quote from the document’s introduction:
Key differences with the current policy include:
- Specifically stating that Open Access includes unrestricted use of manual and automated text and data mining tools; and unrestricted reuse of content with proper attribution.
- Requiring publication in journals that meet Research Council ‘standards’ for Open Access.
- No support for publisher embargoes of longer than six months from the date of publication.
Unsurprisingly I am very much in favour of the proposed changes to the RCUK policy, and I will be a making a lengthy submission commenting on individual changes.
But any comment is significant — even you’re just writing to say “I approve of the policy changes”, or “I recommend a 12-month embargo period instead of six” or indeed “open access is a silly fad, this policy in unnecessary”. The point is that RCUK want to hear your opinion. Your voice matters.
So please email your comments to email@example.com with the subject “Open Access Feedback”. I am told (by Cameron Neylon, who heard it from a colleague who’d had it from a friend of his) that the deadline is Thursday 5 April, but since that is hardly a definitive source, I recommend getting your submissions in as soon as possible. (You can be sure that the publishers will be doing so.)