Research Open Access Policies: US and UK

Editor’s Note:  President Obama has championed expanding public access to federally funded research.  The OSTP Memorandum from Dr. Holdren, “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research” is available here.  The House of Commons has recently completed an Inquiry into British open access policy.  A comparison of US and UK policies may be helpful to policy leadership on both sides of the Atlantic. 

A news story from Nature discussing the UK report is available here.  A Glossary of key terms used in the report (Gold Access, Green Access, etc.) is available here.  Below are highlights and links to the complete text of the report.

From: Commons Select Committee/Open Access

Inquiry status: evidence sessions concluded. Report in preparation.

The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee has announced an inquiry into the Government’s Open Access Policy.

The Committee will consider a range of topics including:

  • The Government’s acceptance of the recommendations of the Finch Group Report ‘Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications’, including its preference for the ‘gold’ over the ‘green’ open access model;
  • Rights of use and re-use in relation to open access research publications, including the implications of Creative Commons ‘CC-BY’ licences;
  • The costs of article processing charges (APCs) and the implications for research funding and for the taxpayer; and
  • The level of ‘gold’ open access uptake in the rest of the world versus the UK, and the ability of UK higher education institutions to remain competitive.


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