Following the publication of the Finch Report in June, the UK has continued to push towards open access to taxpayer funded research. Last month, Research Councils UK, the body responsible for investing public money in research in the UK, published an article explaining the benefits of open access publishing. In particular, they focus on the importance of publishing work under a licence that allows full re-use and are advocating the CC-BY licence, which allows others to modify, build upon and/or distribute the licensed work, including for commercial purposes, as long as the original author is credited.
Another important aspect of making research open access is that it opens up the ability to text mine the data. Text mining can play an important role in data review and validation but is prohibited under the licence terms of many publishers. However, a key requirement of the new RCUK policy is that peer reviewed research papers resulting from Council funded research must include a statement on how the underlying research materials such as data, samples or models can be accessed.
Below is a roundup of some of the other open access highlights from the past month:
• A Push Grows Abroad for Open Access to Publicly Financed Research
In this article, The Chronicle of Higher Education documents the growing support for open access publishing around the world.
• Ensuring open access for publicly funded research
The British Medical Journal published an editorial last month from Peter Suber, Director of Harvard Open Access Project, about the right way to mix green and gold approaches to open access publishing.
• Open-access everything: Peter Binfield on freeing up scientific knowledge
The Medicine X, an initiative at the Stanford School of Medicine designed to explore the potential of social media and information technology to advance the practice of medicine, published an interview with Peter Binfield from PeerJ, examining the open access publishing model.