Will the RCUK support OA?

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Thu Mar 24 13:30:11 EST 2005


Re-posted from Peter Suber's Open Access News, Thursday 24 March 2005.
http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/2005_03_20_fosblogarchive.html#a111168615476714393

    Will the RCUK support OA?   

    The UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee 
http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/science_and_technology_committee.cfm
    
    has issued its report on The Work of the Research Councils UK (dated
    March 16 but not released online until March 23).
http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/documents/scrutinyreport.pdf

    Ever since the government rejected (November 2004) the committee's
    OA recommendations (July 2004),
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmsctech/399/39903.htm

    we've wondered whether the independent RCUK might adopt some of those
    recommendations on its own authority. 
http://www.stm-assoc.org/conferences/Goldstein.ppt

    The new committee report is the first official sign that the RCUK
    might do just that"

     Excerpt (§28, p. 16): 'We have already reported on the lengths that
     the Government went to in ensuring that there was only one response
     to our Report on scientific publications in 2004. The Research
     Councils, to whom many of our recommendations were directed, did
     not all share the view of Government expressed in the Government
     Response. They have since indicated that they are to set out their
     own policy, which is likely to be based on principles placing a high
     value on the public accessibility of publicly-funded research. Lord
     Sainsbury told us that Research Councils were "totally independent"
     in their capacity to make policy on this front". He added that, as
     Government funds the Councils, "inevitably there is some influence in
     terms of their performance and we have a responsibility to monitor
     performance. They are independent. They take that independence
     very seriously and, if we overstep the mark, they tell us to go
     away". OST confirmed that Research Councils were free to implement
     their policy, provided that it was funded from within their existing
     allocations. OST is well aware that, given Research Councils'
     existing commitments and the levels of funding required to pursue
     any change of approach, the Research Councils would be unable to
     proceed properly without Government support. In view of their
     reliance on Government funding, there is an obvious and unhealthy
     difficulty for the Research Councils in arguing strongly against
     a reluctance by Government to support a policy which the Councils
     believe will be of benefit to the research community.'

Re-posted from Peter Suber's Open Access News, Thursday 24 March 2005.
http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/2005_03_20_fosblogarchive.html#a111168615476714393





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