4 July 2012

Open Access (OA) News

Public sector already saves £28.6 million through use of OA but greater access would provide even greater benefits.
Open Access to research materials has had high profile recently.  The UK Open Access Implementation Group (OAIG) has released two reports that say open access (OA) to published scholarly research offers significant benefits to the UK.
Their findings show that the UK public sector already saves £28.6 million by using OA and that both the public and voluntary sectors would see further direct and indirect benefits from increased access to UK higher education research publications. The UK public sector spends £135 million a year, made up of subscriptions and time spent trying to find articles, accessing the journal papers it needs to perform effectively. Every additional 5 percent of journal papers accessed via OA on the web would save the public purse £1.7 million, even if no subscription fees were to be saved, say the reports.
The UK's voluntary and charitable sectors also benefit from OA to academic research and survey respondents quote the most frequent barrier to accessing research as cost (80 percent.
These reports also notes that making more research free at the point of access, and easier to search across, could produce significant savings, and could also lead  to better decisions based on all the available evidence. This would offer benefits back to researchers, boosting the impact of their research by increasing its reach outside the academia.
The reports make a number of recommendations around increasing awareness of OA in the public and private sectors. These include promoting the value of the information produced as a result of public research funding and exploring ways of improving relationships between academic researchers and workers in other sectors who rely on their research to do their jobs well.
More information here or you can read the reports Benefits of Open Access to Scholarly Research to the Public Sector.
Inspire - eNewsletter May 2012

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