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[Journal-notes] SPARC Europe Firmly Supports RCUK Access Policy

Stevan Harnad harnad at ecs.soton.ac.uk
Thu Jul 14 12:51:17 EST 2005

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2005 13:24:38 -0400
From: David Prosser <david.prosser at bodley.ox.ac.uk>
To: SPARC Open Access Forum <SPARC-OAForum at arl.org>

Apologies for Cross Posting

Press Release

Leading European Library Organization firmly supports Research Councils UK 
new open access policy

Policy that requires UK-funded research be deposited in openly accessible 
archives will strengthen increased investment in research.

July 14, 2005

For more information, contact: David Prosser, 
<mailto:david.prosser at bodley.ox.ac.uk>david.prosser at bodley.ox.ac.uk

Oxford, UK ­ SPARC Europe (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources 
Coalition), a leading organization of European research libraries, calls 
for wide support for the proposed policy released by Research Councils UK 
(RCUK), the main public investor in fundamental research in the UK. The 
policy, announced in June, requires Research Council grantees to deposit 
the resulting research reports into openly accessible repositories in order 
to speed and widen dissemination.

David Prosser, Director of SPARC Europe, commented: 

    "We are currently in the position where UK researchers cannot get easy
    access to all the work of their peers, despite the vast majority of
    it being published online. So, while the UK Government has greatly
    increased research spending, to £2.4B for the Research Councils,
    the return on this investment is not maximized.  If implemented,
    the RCUK policy would rectify this."

RCUK spent over a year consulting universities, academic libraries,
researchers, and publishers to develop a fair, well-balanced policy that
covers research outputs in the form of journal articles or conference
proceedings. SPARC Europe encourages submission of favourable comments
that support the draft during the public comment period set to end
August 31st.

According to RCUK, one of the policy's cornerstones is that 

    "ideas and knowledge derived from publicly-funded research must
    be made available and accessible for public use, interrogation,
    and scrutiny, as widely, rapidly and effectively as practicable."

The Research Councils will therefore require grant holders to deposit
copies of any resultant published journal articles and conference
proceedings in suitable open access institutional or subject-based
repositories. These repositories are online databases that provide
an electronic archive of the research that is immediately and openly
available over the Internet.

To further improve access to publicly funded research, the Research
Councils will also make funds available for researchers to pay open access
journal publication fees. While encouraging the practice of publishing
articles in open access journals, the policy preserves academic freedom
by not mandating submissions to such journals.

The academic libraries represented by SPARC Europe look forward to the 
challenge of working with their academics, the Research Councils, and 
publishers to maximize research impact by implementing the policy. 

David Prosser said:

    "Many of our members, especially in the UK, already have great
    experience with running institutional repositories and there is a
    strong commitment to further develop these repositories as research
    tools.  Ensuring access to high-quality, peer-reviewed research is
    one of the central remits of the library and the new policy will
    enable greater access to a wider range of research, so benefiting
    researchers, students, and society in general."

The full RCUK policy, together with details of the consultation process, 
can be found at 

SPARC Europe http://www.sparceurope.org/ is an alliance of 110 
research-led university libraries from 14 European countries. It is 
affiliated with SPARC http://www.arl.org/sparc/ based in Washington, D.C., 
which represents over 200 institutions, mainly in North America. SPARC 
Europe and SPARC work to develop and promote new models of scholarly 
communication that increase the access to and utility of the research 


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