What an amazing day for open access
February 23, 2013
Well, yesterday was insane.
I happened to be going out yesterday evening; when I left the house it had been the worst day for open access in recent memory. Then when I got back three hours later it was to the news the the US Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) had responded to the #OAMonday petition, issuing a memorandum that greatly increases access to US government-funded research.
So it’s one step back in the UK, two steps forward in America. With my nationalist hat on, it’s a shame to see Britain so cravenly abandon its position of leadership in the worldwide move to open access. But I can’t really care too much about that. Progress towards open access is not a zero-sum game: when America wins, we all win. And when we in the UK win — as we surely win — everyone will benefit from that, too.
I won’t go into details — there’s no need to, as Peter Suber has done a fantastically detailed job of explaining what the new policy does and doesn’t include, and how it resembles and differs from the still very important FASTR legislation. Get yourself over there are read up on the details.
Then crack open a bottle a wine and celebrate. This policy isn’t perfect, no, and there is still a lot of work to do. But it represents significant progress. O happy day.