BMJ 2012; 344 doi: 10.1136/bmj.e3184 (Published 3 May 2012)
Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3184
The government has enlisted Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, to help realise plans to make all publicly funded research accessible free of charge.
David Willetts, the minister for universities and science, announced the appointment in an article in the Guardian today (www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/01/open-free-access-academic-research) and was due to elaborate on it later in a speech to the Publishers Association.
Last December in its innovation and research strategy for growth the government promised that open access was its aim, and it set up a working group chaired by Janet Finch, former vice chancellor of Keele University, to consider implementation. She is expected to report next month.
“Giving people the right to roam freely over publicly funded research will usher in a new era of academic discovery and collaboration,” wrote Willetts in his Guardian article. “The challenge is how we get there without ruining the value added by academic publishers.”