Keep that pressure on! Scientists want more open access

Following on from highlighting Nature Communications in my last post, there was a more-than-somewhat critical article in the Guardian recently, criticising the vast fees that publishers charge the public to access research that we’ve already paid for.  The article pointed out that when scientists publish papers based on publicly funded academic research, it becomes inaccessible to all unless we’re willing to pay a hefty fee.  You can either buy papers individually at around $30 per paper (in many cases more) or pay a huge up-front licence fee of many thousands of pounds.  The choice is yours, but universities who traditionally provide full-text online access to their students have been struggling to afford the licences in recent years, with some pulling out completely.

Now Science Business has reported that scientists are beginning to bypass these publishers by taking steps to publish their papers elsewhere.  They are becoming increasingly content to publish in open access journals (Nature Communications, being a half-and-half example).  Furthermore, they say that all publicly-funded research results should be available for free. Yippee, that’s the spirit!

You can find the full report here: “An Open Access Future – Report from the eurocancercoms Project”

Hmmm – she sniffs the air – is there a sea-change coming?  It could be quite disruptive!

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