Open access vital for safeguarding UK scholarly research

A new commissioned report has recommended that
academic policymakers promote the adoption of gold-route open access publishing
to help increase access to scholarly journals.

Commissioned by Research Information Network (RIN), Research Libraries UK, the Wellcome Trust,
the Publishing Research Consortium and the Joint Information Systems Committee
the report ‘Heading for the open road: costs and benefits of
transitions in scholarly communications’
is the result of a
wide-ranging consultation on the future of the scholarly publishing landscape
with UK-based stakeholders including research funders, librarians and

The report, part of RIN’s Transitions in Scholarly Communication portfolio,
examines five different routes for achieving greater access to research
articles, and scrutinizes the relative costs and benefits of each method. Its
authors conclude that "gold open access" (i.e. open access
journals such as those published by BioMed Central) offers the most attractive
model for policymakers to pursue in order to increase access to research
articles. Better sustainability, greater transparency of costs, and increased
cost-effectiveness are all highlighted as key advantages of the open access
publishing model for communicating the results of research in the UK.

RIN go on to suggest that the report shoul
provide a basis for future discussion of the long-term goal of ensuring the
widest possible dissemination of scholarly material and note that they hope
that the recommendations provide a catalyst for the development of new
approaches during the next five years.

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